Are you like I once was – someone is coming over and you panic about where you are going to shove all of your kids’ toys that have taken over your home? Then, when you finally get things put away, the kids can’t easily access them and they definitely can’t put them back in their “hiding spots”. I was struggling with this in my home and finally took the time to come up with a way to store the toys in a manner that was attractive, affordable, and could be maintained by the little people playing with them. Having a child be able to clean up after themselves is KEY.
First, I found a completely wasted space in our home to turn into a toy storage area. We have a fairly wide hallway that connects the kids’ rooms and the playroom, and it was screaming for something to fill the space. A console table is what you would typically consider for a long wall in a wide hallway, but it felt pointless as this is strictly a kid area. I found these great storage units at target, and knew they were the perfect piece. I wanted something long and low so that I could hang art above it, like you would a console table, but it had to incorporate storage. The low height prevents the piece from feeling too heavy in the hallway, and also ensures the kids can reach the shelves without help. I pushed together the 8 square unit with a 4 square one, so depending on the space you have, you could use either or both of these. I got the woven storage baskets from Target as well. I like that they aren’t juvenile looking and that they are soft and flexible, so if your kid wants to karate chop one it won’t be destroyed. They are perfect for storing little things like legos and action figures, and look so much better than the brightly colored cube boxes you usually see. I left the top row of cubes open for books, board games that I hate playing with my kids, and larger toys. Be real, does anyone actually enjoy board games? My mother buys them for my daughter as payback for my rebellious years, I’m convinced.
There are some toys that don’t make me cringe to look at, so I used those to style the shelves. The mid-century globe is a favorite, and along with the Mickey Mouse lamp/phone that was mine as a child, feeds my need to have something vintage in every space. The artwork is by a talented local artist, Frances Berry. I love that it is real art, and it’s local. I didn’t have a big budget for framing, so I sent them to Framebridge to be framed. I highly recommend them for affordable, professional framing. (not sponsored, I just like their framing.)
At the other end of the hall there was a smaller space that was perfect for a little bench, also from, shocker, Target. Styling it with cute pillows prevents Molly from piling a bunch of crap on it, and two of the woven baskets fit perfectly underneath it for yet another place to store toys. More Frances art above the bench ties it in with the other end of the hall, and adds some much needed color to the space.
I hope this was helpful to you all struggling to corral all of your kids’ stuff in an attractive and functional way. It’s been about a month since I did this project, and I’m happy to say the cleanliness and organization has been well maintained by Molly with no help from me. Win!