Last week I went to a play date at a friend's house. I hadn't been to her house before. She had the most amazing basement playroom/toy storage system. Huge closets and a wall of shelves with bins and baskets all holding toys sorted by type. It was awe-inspiring. It at least inspired me to finally finish the toy storage redo I've been gradually working on at our house. A few months ago, our toy storage consisted of this:
When Miss was tiny, I started out using a cube-shaped ottoman-type thing that had a lid on it to store her toys (you can see it in the above photo in front of the window). Once her she had her first Christmas under her belt, that was no longer sufficient. So after a while I got the baskets you see under the table below our TV. Then I moved a bunch of toys into a Rubbermade container in the basement. They just kept expanding and expanding. And they were totally disorganized. My family room had been taken over. So, a few months ago I made the decision to buy a few new toy storage items and move everything either down to the basement or into the sunroom. My husband and Miss took care of the assembly.
And the result is so much better.
Family room before:
Far wall of the sunroom before:
Two of the pieces we added were the book cart and the low table (which has been shown in a few other posts as the girls love coloring on it) with the rolling toy bins underneath. We also redistributed our plants to several other spots in the house, and they look much nicer now.
This is the wall along the front of the house before:
And the wall along the back of the house after:
The bookshelf with toy bin at the bottom is our other new piece. I also purchased the fabric baskets to store the girls' play food and dishes. They just happened to fit perfectly in the boxes of one of my old wooden-crates-turned-shelves (just to the left of the doors). We never use these doors to go in and out to the backyard, so having the table and some toys in front of it works just fine.
I am quite happy with the end result. It's nothing compared to my friend's super amazing basement space. But it works. I think the girls like it too. It is more organized so they seem to enjoy their toys more. And they still play in the family room, which is a bigger space and better for running around with baby dolls in strollers and/or shopping carts.
Note the boots in this picture. Remember I posted about getting a great deal on winter boots? Miss loves them!
Without the toys strewn all over the floor in the family room, there's more room to run, and for them to chase each other.
I'm happy to have this great space for my girls to play and color and have friends over. We also moved lots of their bigger toys to the basement, like Miss's tricycle and Lass's cozy coupe car. So they have another space for running and playing and I get to keep those toys out of sight and out of the way. I couldn't bring myself to make the basement into our main playroom because it isn't nicely finished (picture drop ceilings, ugly chair-rail-height paneling, and carpet without padding underneath) and it has no windows. We get little enough daylight here in the winter. I can't bring myself to spend more than a little bit of time in our windowless basement per day. So, this is the perfect solution for me.