Toddler-friendly toy storage solution | Toddler @ Play! // New Games. Activities. Outings. Fun.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Toddler-friendly toy storage solution

Lately I've been getting kinda desperate for a more ideal storage place for Biscuit's toys. We've accumulated so many that we've actually been using his pack 'n play as a catch-all. I also had a few of his odds and ends on a small bookshelf in his playroom but it didn't hold many and I figured it'd be any day now that he'd start trying to climb it. So, since I was working on organizing yesterday in the basement anyway and getting rid of as many old boxes as possible and consolidating stuff into rubber storage tubs, I decided to try to come up with something more practical for the toys. Turns out the bookshelf was helpful after all - I ended up laying it flat on the floor to make a big open "chest" after removing most of the shelves. Then I used 4 more of those empty diaper boxes (the 124 count size, bless 'em!) to fill the space inside the bookshelf. I was so excited that they fit perfectly!! Now all his toys have a "home" - there's a box for balls, another for rolling cars/trucks/etc., and one for misc. small plastic toys. There's still one yet to fill which I'll probably use for soft toys (most of those are upstairs in his bedroom at the moment). Anyway, I didn't want anything heavy for a lid lest Biscuit squash his fingers but I didn't want all the toys always showing either. So I locked some of his extra foam floor mat pieces together and taped it to some pieces of old foam board I had laying around. Now I have a way to cover up the new toy box when it's not being used. Overall here's why I like it:

1. It's not so high anymore should Biscuit decide to climb it, and he can't pinch his fingers.
2. He can't pull out the boxes and dump things all over the floor very easily. (That's why I didn't want to spring for one of those bin organizer systems - I pictured him grabbing the bins and pouring them all over his own head. But with this floor setup he can still reach in to the boxes and get out what he wants.
3. It's too heavy for Biscuit to tip over onto himself, lift up or push around the room.
4. I didn't have to spend hours online searching for exactly what I wanted, on sale, or groaning about the shipping cost, or stressing over the gas prices if I went shopping for it, or trying to figure out how to have it delivered if I found something decent at a yard sale.
4. Since we had the components already around the house, I essentially didn't have to pay for it.
5. It was free!
6. Did I mention this project cost me in nada, zilch, not a penny, zipporooney--0$?? for toys too big to put into the box, I made several zones in his playroom (for instance, a sports zone for his soccer goal, basketball hoop, baseball toys, etc., and a music zone for his keyboard, xylophone and drum. And so he wouldn't feel like all his toys were banished to the toy box downstairs, I purchased six small stacking bins from Dollar Deals so I could put one "toy-or-book corner" in each room of the house (besides the bathrooms). I plan to rotate these with fresh toys from the box or simply switch the bins from room to room.


Christy said...

WOW! Awesome idea! I love your creativity! I think this blog is going to be inspiring to me! :)

MommySurvivalGuide said...

What a cute idea! I too struggle with storing my toddler's toys. My solution is somewhat close to yours...I found 4 purple bins on clearance, emptied out a cupboard in our bookcase, and keep them in bins there. My daughter can easily access everything and it makes clean up so easy!!