Baby and Kid

The [Toy] Elephant in the Room

You have seen our basement at its worst, but that is not the only room of the house that faces neglect. The den, where we spend many hours every day, often looks like a tornado hit it. Specifically, the toy situation was getting out. of. control.


The really bad thing is that this is actually the semi-picked up version of the den. Meaning, the toys are at least herded to one corner and aren’t taking over the entire lower level of the house. How did we even get so many toys?! I certainly don’t buy that many. I think they breed on their own. We have so many freaking toys I have been piling them in shopping bags. (In my defense, these collapsible bags from Ikea are really the bee’s knees. Just don’t use them for living room toy storage!)

We have gone through two inflatable ball pits; and while the inflatable part does not survive the might of our little preschool-aged friends, the balls remain. And it is just so fun to see a toddler play in a ball pit, hence the suitcase full of balls. I know, how did we get to be so trashy?

While the toy corner is obviously totally out of control, the rest of the den isn’t much better. We’ve got our work cut out for us, but that is for another day. Today’s focus is just about the TOYS.

I managed to sneak out of the house with my awesome friend Amanda and we made a quick run to Ikea. I have been eyeing a 4×4 Kallax unit, and when I checked yesterday morning I saw that it was on sale for $89! If you’re thinking of buying one, this sale ends July 25th, so grab your Ikea Friends & Family card and start shopping!

Bradley really did try his best to help. He even emulated grunting sounds and re-whacked every wooden dowel with his own little hammer.


He also helped with the book display. Clearly they all look better on the floor.

These cubes really are work horses and are such an economical solution for keeping toys together. Having a mix of baskets and open shelves also means we can easily rotate what is on display. Bradley was pretty thrilled with the toy selection yesterday because we unearthed some items that had been buried for too long.

I know you could take the organization another step by using a label maker to mark on the shelving unit, or by purchasing basket tags (such as these great ones from the Container Store), but I am going to call this project done for now. (Except I ordered one more 3 Sprouts bin for the top right cube because we all need symmetry.) I like the idea of being able to change out the toys, plus when the toddler helps “clean up” (I am using that phrase very loosely), I would be more than happy if he got toys into any bin, much less the correctly labeled one.

What are your current toy solutions? Are you eyeing the beautiful but pricey stackable toy bins from Land of Nod? Does anyone have the traditional plastic organizers in primary colors? What about the nice Pottery Barn version of the Kallax? I’m eager to hear and see what works for other families, as I have a feeling our Battle of the Toys has only just begun.

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