Friday, August 12, 2011

Toys, toys, toys

Toys are the bane of my existence lately.  My daughter doesn't have a ton of toys, but for the life of me I can't seem to come up with a good storage system for them.  I've tried numerous ways to contain the chaos, and none of them seem to work long term.

Part of the problem is that my daughter loves to take toys out of the bins, strew them about the room, and then walk away.  Claire actually likes to organize things and put things in bins, so I need to harness that and teach her to put them back in the bins.  In order for the to happen though, I think we needed to overhaul our current system.

The lastest iteration of our toy storage system was to create a little "toy nook" for C.  It was supposed to look something like this:

But on a good day, it tended to look like this:
Not quite the orderly, easy to keep tidy space I had in mind.  I think Claire had a little too easy access to everything, so she would just pull everything out on the floor, and walk away.  (Note- I promise that Claire doesn't generally play with the cheese slicer.  It is supposed to live in the bottom drawer of the kitchen, and lately Claire has decided that's her satellite toy bin.  Time for the next phase of baby-proofing...)

So I decided that once again I needed to rethink C's toy storage.  I was trying to keep that area free from furniture, because it's only about 3 ft by 3 ft, and I wanted to keep it feeling spacious.  Instead, with the toys everywhere, it felt cluttered, so I decided to bring something in to wrangle the toys.  Enter the bookshelf from C's nursery.  I had hoped that C was at the age where we could start transitioning her play space to her room.  I set up a bookshelf in there with some bins of toys and books for her to enjoy.  However, she's more interested in the diaper pail than her toys in there (yuck!) so that's out. 

Now I'm trying the bookshelf out in the living room.  I'm hoping having the bins on the shelf will mitigate her spreading toys everywhere, because she can't see them all at once.  And, although it takes up more visual room in the space, the bookshelf definitely looks more organized and tidy, so I think that's an improvement.
Notice that I can't get a picture of an organized space without C in it?  This kid loves it when her toys are put away.  It's like suddenly she notices them again.  Oh well, at least she seems to like it.  And I'm happy to report that a couple hours later, the only toys off the shelves were the puzzles.  For now, I think we may have a winner!

Do any of you have some brillant toy storage solutions?  Please do share, because I figure the countdown on this current solution is T minus 15-ish days... :)

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