Friday, July 11, 2008

Family Room Toy Storage

The other day when I posted pictures of my daughter's bedroom, I mentioned that most toys are kept downstairs in the family room. I thought today I'd share pictures of some of our family room toy storage.

My biggest area for toy storage is this wall of cubbies. These are two sets of cubbies from Target--I think they're meant for closet storage. Anyhow, I put these up in early January and they have made my life so much easier! I feel like we have a lot of toys, probably because Handsome still likes a lot of babyish toys whereas Princess is into toys for preschoolers. And of course we have our ever-growing collection of books. We have books everywhere in this house!
You can see that five of the cubbies are taken up by books. The last spot on the top row has two different wooden trains. On the second row we have: doctors kits and tool kit, toy phones and princess mirrors, wooden puzzles, bin with "My Friend" doll clothes (my old doll clothes!), two toy firetrucks; toy trucks and truck flashlight. In the third row we have: box with Snap n Style dolls/clothes (with library books stored on top of the box), toy bus and construction vehicle, bin with Leappad books, bin with baby toys, bin with blankies, and a toy airplane.

The Leappad is stored in the gap between the armoire (which houses the television and electronics), and large Little People toys are stored on top of the cubbies. Lincoln Logs are in the big container to the right with a bead maze and firehats stored on top of the container.
Here are the family pictures I have displayed on shelves above the toy storage. These are the only color pictures I have displayed in the house. I just recently put the vinyl lettering up and I love it--except I put it up a couple of inches too low!! Ugh! I know I *could* rearrange the frames, but I like this arrangement. So I'm living with this for now until I decide just how much it all bothers me.

Oh and the wall shelves? They were free--well, either that or the world's most expensive shelves...I guess it depends on your perspective. The previous home owners left them behind and I stashed them in a closet for a couple of years before repainting them and rehanging them. Or another view on the shelves is that they cost us a plumbing project. See, when the previous home owners put those shelves up, they put a screw right through a PVC water pipe in the wall--a mistake that nobody knew about until awhile AFTER we took the shelves down--when I felt the carpet near the wall and realized it was soaked!! Luckily the wall backs onto the garage, so my handy husband cut a huge hole in the wall, cut out and replaced the section of pipe, and I bleached the entire cavity to kill off any mold that was growing. Apparently removing that screw was equivalent to removing a plug and thus water sprayed out of the hole when we ran water in the upstairs bathrooms.

Okay, back to toy storage! To the right of those cubbies is a little coat closet tucked under the stairs. We didn't use it (except for stuffing it with unused stuff!) for a couple of years and then jamming the train table in front of it to keep Princess from exploring the junk we had stuffed in there. Then 1.5 years ago I had the idea to use that space for playing!
We took the door off (another one of those icky oak hollow-core doors...thus the oak trim around the door frame) and my husband removed the pullstring light fixture and did the electrical work necessary to put in a regular light with a lightswitch. I painted the closet up and added in a toy shelf and a rug (to hide the access panel in the floor that leads to our crawl space) and then we revealed it to the children--they had no clue (well, Handsome was a baby then!) what we had been working on.
Princess was so excited and for quite awhile they spent a lot of time playing in there. Lately they haven't spent as much time in the closet playing, so I'm thinking of turning it into a reading nook and moving all of the downstairs books in there and putting some big floor pillows in there. I'm still pondering that though. I think once they outgrow the toy closet completely, I'll turn it into my little office and put a little desk in there for me.

Maybe next week I'll post the before/after pictures of the toy closet. It was a dreary unused space before and now it is so bright and cheerful! You can't see the toy closet at all until you're all the way in our (fairly small) family room, so it is a great surprise for children who come over to play.

We do have more toys, but this is all the pictures I have for now.


katydiddy said...

Great ideas! The closet is darling. Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Susie Harris said...

Looks great ... very neat.. please come to my house.... I need some storage help... smiles,,, Susie H~

Angela Harris said...

Love how neat and orderly everything is. i need to participate in one of these parties and make myself clean up Ha :)

Shannon said...

What a great idea for that closet. I bet your kids love that. I love all the storage! I got that bird tray from a kitchen store locally but I've seen them around town at decorating shops.