Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Organization: Operation Toy Storage

Before we even had Rowan, we knew that toy storage was going to be a concern in our cozy house.  When planning her room, one of the things we took into consideration was the face that we needed to optimaize storage for all the "stuff" that kids acquire.  Since we want to stay in this home until she is at least two and a half, we knew that we needed baby storage, as well as toddler storage, which are two different beasts.

What we knew we needed:
- maximum storage in the small closet
- two dressers for clothing (small closet, use lower drawers for toys)
- baskets/bins for toys

So, when we started out, we found our perfect closet storage system at IKEA- the TROFAST system.  Originally just a toy storage system, we knew we could make this work in our closet.  We paired a horizontal frame with a vertical frame on one side to create a tall system on one side of the closet and a "seat" on the bottom.


With the TROFAST system, either shelves or bins can be slid into the gooves.  We purchased both so we can switch from bins to shelves later if need be.  Right now, we chose to use the bins, as you can see in the pictures.  They have quickly been filling up with toys- which is what our intention was.  This way, we can pull out the bin that Rowan is interested in at the time, and then place it back later.  

We also put in some homemade shelving on the right to fill in some free space.  Currently, we use this as the movie area.  All of the "kids" movies are here for when Rowan is old enough to watch (and appreciate) them :).  

We also bought an extra clothes bar so we would have two.  Kids clothes are short, so two bars would fit perfectly.  We used the same wire shelf on the top so we could have some upper storage as well.  The board games fit perfectly in that space.

Aside from storage in the closet, we knew we would need some easily accesible areas/storage for toys.  I purchased some baskets at Target for this purpose.  There are two small baskets and two large baskets, which are filled with toys that Rowan plays with on a daily basis.  We have two in the living room, and two are in her room.

We know that eventually Rowan will have coloring books, crayons, etc. My plan for these "crafty" items in to place them in the bottom drawers of her dressers.  We purchased two dressers: one because her clothing storage in the closet is minimal and two, because we needed just one dresser for our cloth diaper storage right now.

An issue we are running into now is that we don't have enough storage in our living room for Rowan's daily play toys.  I don't like just having the toys in a pile when she is finished playing with them, and I can't just have ten baskets of toys sitting in the living room.  I started looking for ideas to combat this problem, and I think we have a solution.  Since we moved out large coffee table out the living room a while back to make room for Rowan to play, we now have a large space in there.  My idea is to purchase a shorter height square or round storage ottoman that Rowan's toys can live in while she is not playing with them.  I love furniture that does double duty, and one day when we don't need it to house toys, it will still be useful as a storage peice.  

I am looking mostly for an inexpensive peice too, but those are few and far between.  Here is what I have found so far...
This is the Nolan round storage ottoman from Target.  I like it because of the shape, that the lid comes completely off for easier access to the inside, and that the lid can be turned upsidedown for a hard, flat surface.

Another option is the Richmond leather storage ottoman from Amazon.  This option has a hinged lid, which I am not sure will work as well, but I might like the square shape better- I'm not for sure yet, however.  

Both of these items are above what I would like to spend, but seem like they would work well for what I need.  Perhaps my fellow bloggers can help me out?  What can you find to hide Rowan's toys.  Other ideas are appreciated!

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