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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

WFMW: Toy Segregation

(Today's post is part of a Backwards Works-For-Me Wednesday - instead of sharing a tip with you, I'm asking for advice!)

We are in the process of getting our house organized. When you live in a small house with very little closet space, it can be quite a challenge! On our "things to do" list is the creation of a playroom for Wendy and David. Instead of them each having a bedroom with their own separate things, they are going to share a bedroom and share a playroom, in the hopes that keeping all of the toys in one location will help things stay a bit neater.

That leads me to a few questions for you:

What are some good, inexpensive ways to control toy clutter?

What features would a good playroom include?

Is there a good way to keep an older child's small (choking hazard) toys away from an active baby?

If you've got any suggestions for me, please let me know! I have Pottery Barn dreams on a Wal-Mart budget, so I could use all the help I can get!

For more Backwards Works-For-Me Wednesday posts, visit We Are THAT Family!


T with Honey said...

One of the things I did on maternity leave was attempt to convert our family room into the toy/play room. I ended up choosing the ClosetMaid 9-cube units available in Target stores (possibly Lowes too) for toy containment and segregation.

It was one of the least expensive options (normally $50 but I snagged em during a sale) with quite a few color options. I bought 5 canvas bins for each unit to put dolls, play-doh toys, cars and stuffies into their own space. I went cheap and used a Sharpie on masking tape to label each bin. Larger toys and books are stored in the unit without a bin. The beauty is that itty bitty stuff like Barbie shoes can be contained on higher shelves away from the baby. I figure I'll have an extra second to get to Squirt when his is a toddler.
Board games can be stacked on top of the units.
Three months into this and I'm still pretty happy. I'll have to write up a post with some pictures for my blog sometime.

Eco said...

Those are the same things I have in Corban's closet and I love them. It may not be as heavy-duty and well-made as something from Pottery Barn, but I figured with all the abuse it will take from kids, I didn't want to see something that I paid a lot of money for be damaged. Anyway, it works well for us.

Tawn said...

The ideas posted before are great! We have one of those shelves in W's room, but used mostly for books. Something I used in my classroom to organize clutter was plastic drawers. Walmart sells some that you can stack and some that come 3 drawers high. Easy to pull out and the bins are usually clear in front, so the kids can see what is in them. Or what about those foot rests that have storage inside? The little square ones. Could be a great place to store dress-up clothes or whatever and could also be used as a seat, if the kiddos needed it for a table or easel or something.

Kirsten said...

We also have a cube organizer, and I have nice baskets under the coffee table that hide the living room toys.

twinsintally said...

thought I would eave you more info here. I did read this blog a while ago, but that was when Noah wasn't napping or sleeping at night. Now at least he is napping, so here goes.
Our house is a wreck. I can't keep up with the organization. I have a few people that give us hand-down clothes and toys, so along with grandparents and the stuff 3 boys accumulate, we are run over in our tiny house. I can't seem to get rid of much of the twins stuff, because Noah is right there, needing it or playing with it... We have 4 bedrooms, but the tiny bedroom really is a closet. So I say that to say, I am not a good person to answer this, but here is where we are.
Every bed has under bed storage, mostly clothes, winter and summer, and "smaller" clothes for me. I save diaper boxes and use them in the twins room for all the extra baby blankets we received. Very cheap, but effective to keep blankets together - I have them stacked like shelves, and so I can grab a blanket when needed. They are narrow and tall, so they fit in tight places. We have the Target cubby organizer, like others said, one in their room, and one in the living room. They are okay, but just small. I also use diaper boxes to store clothes in their closets. (Clothes given to us, that only need to be stored a season, or so) the boxes fit quite nicely in the top of the closets. The last "trick" I have for storage is that we moved our couch in front of the woodstove. Ours wasn't working effectively, and has a big hearth. It allows me to put toys on the hearth, and they are tucked away from view.

My goal this spring is to flip flop all our rooms, and put all 3 boys all in one room and make a playroom out of the twins current room. This means MUCH purging, So we will see.

Also this week (1/18), Staples has their Sauder shelves on sale for 50% off - dark colors only. And another place I DROOL over is Kaplan school supplies. Their dark cherry type finish has been closing out for a long time. I look and look, and am waiting until our tax return comes before I can even begin with adding anything else to our house!!

Good luck - sorry so lengthy.