Good morning and Happy Friday! What do you have going on this weekend? We have a couple of work-related Christmas parties on tap and of course we’ll be watching the Army/Navy football game tomorrow (Beat Navy!), but otherwise we’ll be staying in and relaxing every chance we can get. The temperatures in the teens aren’t much of an encouragement to get out and do much. I have a few DVRed Christmas movies that I can’t wait to snuggle up and watch with Hadley!
I wanted to pop in real quick today to show you our new living room toy organization system that Jamie and I are totally obsessed with. It’s not attractive or brilliant but it’s insanely functional for not only our girls but for us, too. Oh, and it was cheap!
Our previous toy dilemma
We had accumulated about 10 baskets, buckets, and storage containers of toys that had all of Hadley and Sadie’s toys combined (disaster). At the end of the day we’d go through the living room and Hadley’s room (the two main areas that we hang) and just throw toys back into the buckets. The next day Hadley would slowly start dumping bucket after bucket looking for toys to play with. All of the pieces to various toys were in a bunch of different buckets, so it was hard for her to play with her toys since all of the pieces were scattered. She didn’t know what went with what.
Dumping random buckets was also getting dangerous for seven month old Sadie. I didn’t want her crawling around and putting all of Hadley’s smaller toys in her mouth, and it was hard to monitor for this since our floors were constantly 100% covered in toys.
Y’all, it was so bad.
We were also so tired of tossing hundreds of little toys back in buckets at the day of every single day. Enough was enough. This wasn’t working for anybody.
Last week I went to Dollar Tree and bought 12 of these shoebox-size storage containers for $1 each. On Saturday morning Jamie and I collected every single toy and threw them all over our living room floor. Slowly but surely we organized. Anything broken, torn up, or dangerously small (for Sadie’s sake) went straight into the garbage.
I stole this nine-cube bookcase from Sadie’s closet and put it in the living room since that’s where she plays the most. We explained to her that she can’t get out a toy until she cleans up the toy she was previously playing with. Jamie and I both thought this “grand system” would last all of two days, but six days later and it still looks pretty darn perfect. I took these pictures this morning without “staging” a single thing. We basically don’t do any clean-up at the end of the day because Hadley’s (shockingly) learned to clean up as she goes.
For example, Hadley never used to play with these medium-sized Legos because the pieces were all over the place. Now she has them out constantly. The same goes with her Mr. Potato Head and her medical kit. Since everything is organized, she can easily pretend play, clean up, and move on to the next toy.
I’m telling you – this has been the best week ever as far as my sanity goes. I didn’t know toy organization could be so life-changing. 😉
I considered buying pretty labels or something for the boxes, but I was super not into creating more work for myself. I really just didn’t care if this was pretty or not. 😉
For Sadie, we put all of her baby toys in this soft bucket. She absolutely loves dumping it out and exploring throughout the day, so this is basically the extent of our clean-up.
We have two smaller storage containers with random toys that didn’t have a home. We put those away in our storage closet for a rainy day when Hadley’s bored in the future (likely springtime).
Hadley’s arts and crafts are organized in a three-tiered rubbermaid near her art easel in the basement.
Her play kitchen and accessories are in the basement (we go play down there a couple times a week).
We have two large storage containers of dress-up clothes that are tucked under Hadley’s bed – one for princess dresses and accessories and the other for everything else. I plan to get them out a couple times a week for her to play with (probably when her friends are over or when she specifically asks).
Books are all on her bookcase in her room.
Baby dolls and accessories are in a basket in her room.
She has a couple of toys that are about the size of the treehouse shown above that we have sitting on top of her six-cube bookcase in her room.
Anyway, just wanted to show you guys our new toy system that’s working beautifully for us. I wasn’t interested in making this attractive or expensive – I just needed function for cheap!
Have a fabulous weekend! xo
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to three little girls (ages 7, 4, and 1) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo