The one thing I swore would never happen has happened. Baby toys have taken over our home. Even more so since my son’s first birthday. Toys are everywhere and we live in a very small town home with minimal storage space. There are only so many places you can hide them yet still keep them within baby’s reach. Below is a tidy picture of our living room before this mama went on a mission to organize and gain back control of our primary living space. On any given day, this was as neat as I could get it, when baby was asleep of course. There were three major problems with this situation: 1. it was in the middle of our living room floor, 2. toys upon toys stacked on top of each other is not functional, 3. the many hazards and attractions that come along with a fireplace.
The scenario above stressed my husband and I out and grated on our nerves. It had to be dealt with. I am a very organized, structured, admittedly a bit rigid problem solver, so here’s what I did to remedy this situation.
- BASKETS….. an organized persons best friend. I love baskets, they are just great for organizing and tidying. They are aesthetically pleasing as well. I wish I had pictures of my classroom when I was a teacher, I had neatly stacked and organized baskets everywhere that were labeled with their contents. I knew exactly where to find what I needed. For toy organization purposes, I knew I wanted four baskets to categorize my baby’s toys. It was also important for me that we be able to see inside the baskets. Mostly so my son could quickly eye and seek out the toys he wanted. I was very excited when I found just the basket I was looking for at Michael’s Craft Store (always use a coupon if you shop here, they are easily found online). I’m not crazy about the black but it matched our fireplace and I figured I can paint them one day. Now we have an organized toy display which is categorized into 1. things that roll, 2. books, 3. kitchen tools, 4. rattles/stackers. It is still in our living room but is covert, cleverly hidden behind a chair. It’s not optimal, but the best we can do at the time being. You actually can’t see the play area when you walk into our house, so I’m cool with that!
- Repositioned the play mat over the fireplace hearth and placed the baskets in front of the doors. This has created a designated play area for my son, which he loves, and has eliminated the fall hazard. I highly recommend a play mat with littles. The baskets have redirected baby’s attention away from the fireplace.
I’ve since added a fifth basket for puzzles BUT the puzzle pieces kept falling out and annoying me. So I came up with this little mom hack that has worked beautifully. I velcroed the pieces to the puzzle using small, transparent velcro circles. It only took my son a few minutes to figure out what he needed to do to remove the pieces. This has made traveling with puzzles so much better too! Totally recommend this!
No matter the size of your space, I recommend using baskets or containers to keep your babies things organized. Having them categorized or labeled makes toy/item location and clean up as easy as possible. The easier the better for this mama! My son has recently joined in on helping put his toys in the baskets as well, which is so cool. As he gets older, I will be able to teach him about the categories. Keeping organized helps me to spend less time being frustrated and searching for things and more time with my baby! Please share any other ideas you may have for organizing babies many, many things. Babies are a very small package with very BIG needs!
Peace & Love,