Our living room has turned into quite the little toy center. I didn’t think in a million years I’d be one of those people who let their toys rule the house. Ha! Little did I know that it would happen and although sometimes annoying, I love it. (You get an old picture here because the toys have stayed fairly organized since we painted.)
So here’s a couple of things we’ve done to try to help this mess! Note that we’re not really trying to hide the toys since we want them played with, just trying to make it a bit neater.
First, we moved the kids table and chair on tv wall back into the dining room (it’s been there before) and we brought our IKEA Expedit bookshelf down from our bedroom (thanks to an epiphany moment I had while in Target late one night). We’ve got instant and (almost) free storage options! Yah! Downside is that what was on it in our bedroom is now on the floor there but we’ll get to that later.
It still felt too messy so I picked up a couple of baskets from IKEA to hold some of the smaller toys. I started with the big plastic bag of mega blocks first. Ruby didn’t really like the mega blocks in the basket at first but she’s since gotten over it. The blocks fit better in the basket than the bag since before we had to leave some on the building table.
I especially like how these baskets allow Ruby (and Archer eventually) to see through them so that she can see what’s inside without having to pull it down and make a mess before deciding whether she wants to play with it.
I used a second basket for doll toys.
We’ve also got this little ottoman in front of the loveseat that use to hold blankets (and a Halloween costume – seriously, I didn’t know where to put it a year plus ago so I just threw it in there and it’d been there ever since).
Now it holds a couple blankets (under the Mr. Potato Head toys) and lots of of other little toys.
Ruby also thinks it fun to open it up and find her toys in there.
And there’s her bookshelves which have been up for a while. They’ve helped a lot with the piles of books we were accumulating in the living room.
We made these bookshelves ourselves from Ana White’s plans and they’re perfect for Ruby to just go and grab a book of her choice without having to get them spread out all over the floor.
Since it’s a limited amount of space for books, it helps us to switch out books read a million times for new ones periodically and to keep the amount of in the living room to a respectable number.