Esther is one of my oldest blogging friends – and one of the only ones I’ve actually met in person as well! We have a very similar aesthetic, but she is clearly the decor guru, while I slide more towards playthings. Make sure to stop by Buy Modern Baby to see a slew of decorating ideas and furniture inspiration for your kids’ rooms, and hit up her extensive modern product guides for everything baby and kid.
As much as you may try to limit the amount of “stuff” that enters the house at the holidays, inevitably, you’re left with a small mountain of new toys and things to find a place for in your home. At our house, which always seems to be at capacity, any new additions require some time and effort to absorb. My first and best recommendation for dealing with the new influx is to weed out some gifts from previous years and donate or pass along what isn’t interesting or applicable to your children at their current age. After that, it’s a matter of storage.
We use many different storage strategies in our house and these are some of my favorites. I hope they might help you find some new ways to deal with the clutter that accumulates after our gift giving season.
These are four items that we actually use in our home for toy storage.
1. Swoop Bag
We use our Swoop Bag each and every day. My house is a Lego house, which means there are Legos everywhere and they are played with every day. The Swoop Bag has been the best thing I’ve ever purchased to help deal with the situation. While most of the Legos are stored in bins, we keep a rotating variety of bricks in the bag. The kids get the bag out when they want to play and can cinch it up and hang it themselves when they are done. Whenever I find (or step on!) a brick that escaped the confines of the Swoop Bag, I have a place to drop it so that it can re-join the collection. I can’t imagine living without this thing.
Tubtrugs can be used for just about anything. In our house, their #1 purpose is toy storage. Each of my children has a large plastic tub in their bedroom for storing anything that they have difficulty putting away otherwise. In one room it stores stuffed animals. My older son uses his for “miscellaneous” toys. I even keep a couple on the patio for outdoor toys, and during the summer I use one to corral our pool toys in the trunk of my car. I could go on and on about the uses for Tubtrugs or any similar bucket/bins. There are some imitation products, which are fine, but you want to be sure that whichever kind you purchase is flexible enough that you can hold both handles easily in one hand. I can’t recommend these enough.
3. Animal Cracker Tubs
This one is a my eco-friendly, reusing, DIY method. We buy bins of Animal Crackers at Costco, and the containers that they come in are a great square shape and nice big size. From the very first time we bought them, I just couldn’t bear to throw away the container, so I just washed it out and carefully removed the labels. You can use them to store any little collection of small toys. With their square shape, they fit efficiently on a shelf and once you have a few, they look pretty nice. We keep these in the closet.
I do a lot of my shopping at Target. It’s conveniently close to my house and I can make one stop to buy nearly everything I need, including groceries. Every so often, since I’m already there, I wander the aisles looking for solutions to various problems. One afternoon, looking for toy storage that would be attractive enough for the main living areas in my house, I selected a few of these woven baskets. We’ve got two in the living room and four in the family room in various sizes. I really love how they just disappear into the decor, but still make toys accessible for the kids. I don’t believe that all playthings should be stuck in a playroom. Kids live in my house so why shouldn’t they have something of their own in the spaces where they live? Any attractive basket that fits a bunch of toys and blends into the room is a worthwhile purchase.
So those are four of my favorite storage solutions at the house. We have a few more tricks up our sleeves (or in our cabinets), but maybe I’ll get to share those another time!