Toy storage sure creeps on you as a new parent! I remember having a newborn and wondering “will he ever be interested in toys?!” Well, he now does and it seems like our small collection of toys has multiplied 10 times! I already owned a bunch of bins and so I kept a bin or two in each room of the house so he always had something to play with wherever we were. Then we were preparing to go on vacation and cleaning up the house for my sister while she house-sat. We put all of the bins of toys in the nursery so she didn’t have to stare at baby toys and we were blown away at how much JUNK we had on our hands! And how much nicer the rest of the house looked without toys everywhere! I thought- enough is enough and figured out how to conquer toy storage.
When I was little, we had a toy chest, but it was always a mess because everything gets dumped in there and it is hard to keep like items together- so no on that idea. I already tried the bins through the house idea- so no on that one too. I liked the idea of a bookshelf because I could (selfishly) style it to look gorgeous and then baby Don could see which toys he had and easily play with them. The problem is that his nursery is tiny and I don’t have a ton of extra space.
I ended up going with the Avdala bookcase from Ikea for $19.99. I loved the price and the dimensions were perfect. One day we will move and our toy storage needs will change with so I didn’t want to invest in a fancy bookshelf. Of course, the downside to Ikea is the assembly- which is always a pain, but when a baby insists on “helping”, it takes twice as long (but is 100 times cuter)! I took the end out of the screwdriver and let him play with that. We got it put together and I anchored it to his wall so that it wouldn’t tip over on him when he inevitability pulls on it #safetyfirst.
- Put what you and your baby love most on the shelves first
- Put heavy items on the bottom so they don’t hurt the baby when he/she pull them off the shelf
- Look at the leftover items. Does your baby play with them? Are they duplicates of what is on the shelf? If so donate or give them away!
- If your baby loves the extra toys, consider putting them in a closet and then rotating out the toys so that they have a small collection of options and when they get bored of them, you can rotate them out.
- The top is free to decorate with fragile items or decorative pieces you don’t want baby to play with. It is a great place to add some “pretty” since you probably spend plenty of time in that space as well
- I still have one bin of blocks in our living room that he can play with, but the bin is pretty and you can’t tell it’s toys if you don’t know.
- The fragile books are on shelves behind the rocker
- The board books are in a pretty bin on the floor- I really like books to be accessible
- He has a “baby walker” that sits on the floor
So now I feel like I have toy clutter conquered for now! I am holding my breath for his first birthday and the toys that are sure to be given to him, but we will deal with it then and maybe start a toy rotation then. How have you dealt with the mess of kid toys?