When I was pregnant and imagining what life would be like with a child, I remember being horrified at the idea that my house was going to look like Little Tikes threw up all over it.
I mean, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with Little Tikes and I’m in love with many of their products… but I really didn’t want primary colored plastic to be my new design style.
Since we moved right before Jack joined us, I put a lot of thought into ways to organize his stuff without everything screaming, “WE HAVE A KID!!!!” After a little over two years of living with it, I figured I’d share with you my top 5 storage solutions… that don’t look like crap.
#1. Cube Organizer with Baskets
I looked at a bazillion organizers before I found this one, which is EXACTLY what I imagined I wanted. This organizer came from Target a couple years ago and they have an updated version in their Threshold collection that looks very similar. The reason I liked this one is that it’s very hearty AND fit Target’s standard sized baskets for the bottom three cubes.
The top is wide enough that I can display some grown up crap – like candles, glittery potpourri and ceramic animals – without Jack grabbing them and throwing them against a wall for no freaking reason. The three baskets store a HUGE amount of toys and toy pieces, will still looking nice and tidy. So, if someone is coming over in like 2 minutes and you need to hide a toy mess that has suddenly spread throughout the first floor… you can just shove everything in these baskets and pretend you’re totally one of those Pinteresty people who have clean houses all the time. By the way, now is a great time to ask you to please overlook the MOUND OF DUST on the bottom of my lamp. Sigh.
#2. Book Organizers
I made these baby book racks a couple years ago while doing a Pinterest challenge. They are actually $4 spice racks from Ikea that I painted with Rustolium oil-rubbed bronze paint.
When I first made them, I went a little crazy with them and put them up in the living room AND in Jack’s room (with a couple left over). I just recently took some down so that they just live in the living room now. I LOVE these book organizers – like so, so much. In addition to being a great way to store a bunch of books, they’re kind of like fun art for the wall since you can see all the covers.
#3. Woven Baskets
I’m kind of a basket slut. I use them EVERYWHERE to keep stuff together and looking pretty. These are a great example – Jack has a crap-ton of trucks and tractors. It’s like they somehow make sweet, sweet truck love and multiply when I’m not looking.
We started out with one of these cute baskets and then overflowed into two. I could actually use a third one at this point… I chose these particular baskets because they are soft and won’t poke or scratch Jack if he grabs into them. Also, they’re FUN without screaming KID. These came from Target, but there is usually a great selection at World Market, Marshalls and Homegoods too.
In our entrance area, we have a teeny tiny little alcove that is the perfect size for Jack’s stuff. I found this little umbrella hook at Joann’s and use yet another basket to corral his shoes. The hook is low enough that he can grab his own coat and hat and he’s (partially) trained to throw his shoes in the basket when he gets in the house.
I LOVE the cute umbrella hook, but I also really like the giraffe hook that lives in our kitchen (from World Market):
#5. Hey Look, More Cubes
When we were wandering around Ikea one day, we found this cube storage thingie in the “as is” section for less than $30. At the time, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it… but then decided that the ikea book racks weren’t really working in Jack’s room anymore.
BOOM, insert cube storage as the new book racks and I’m a happy camper! I really like this particular piece because I can see it growing with Jack – right now it works as a bookshelf, but it can totally be a TV stand (storing DVDs or video game stuff below), toy storage, clothing storage, or even a bedside table. Once again, it’s classic and modern and doesn’t scream KIDS ROOM.
Oh and I feel like I should mention that all of the storage shelves are anchored to the walls with anti-tip furniture straps. Just in case. I used Safety 1st Furniture Wall Straps because they were reasonably priced and super easy to install.
So there you go: 5 of my favorite storage solutions that don’t look like crap. I also have some storage solutions that DO look like crap, but that’s a totally different post. There is a REASON I made a kiddo playroom…
What do you think – do you prefer the primary colored plastic fabulousness of actual kid storage? Do you have a cool way of storing toys out of the way that you love? If so, please share because I swear Jack’s toys are multiplying as I type…
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