Anyone with kids knows they are come with a whole lot of baggage.
From the minute they are born you need accessories from thermometers to muslins, dummy chains to rattles, bibs, cute hats and so much more. The toy scenario is the same and it never ends! The good thing with having kids of the same sex is yes, my boys do play with the same things. They both love train and car sets, they live by Power Rangers and Transformers and they love anything to do with dinosaurs and pirates. Add in some Playdoh, lots of colouring and a HUMONGOUS amount of Lego and I am left buggered with no space to put anything anywhere. I mean, you must remember there are two of them.
So I thought I would show you our toy storage space and how we manage with 2 kids (one being nearly 6 and the other nearly 3). Please do not be fooled – we have toys in the garage – which we recycle every 6 – 8 months. So we basically bring some old toys back and put the new ones in storage and switch this up every 6 month. Its great as kids remember the toys they used to play with and its like a spark has been lit again. Also, if we get too many toys at birthdays and Christmas we save them in storage and bring them out 6 months later. The kids are so excited as they think its a brand new toy – but really they received it ages ago. Beware, the older they are the less this works. So many times Khillian has asked for this playset or that Glow in the Dark whats-its-face and I have to go and get it.
This is our main toy storage station. We have had it since we moved into this house – so 3 years now. I built it myself when I was 6 months pregnant. I wanted something simple and stylist and that people wouldn’t know what was in the boxes. The kids know what is in each box and each box has something different. We have a box for dinosaurs, a box of vehicles, blocks, fancy dress etc. When they want to play they get one box out at a time. Those are the rules. I brought the unit from Ikea and the boxes in packs of 3 from Ebay. I knew I wanted all different patterns in the form of grey and navy and yes there is no pattern. I wanted them all scattered.
We use up as much space as we can as we have 2 kids, so we have our trusty wooden Zebra car/bike friend who sits in the corner with the 2 biggest cuddly toys on top. Its a shape storage unit too so the boys get a lot of use out of it. Well it is mainly Lorenzo’s and we had it personalised too with Fogarty.
I switch the toys around – as in empty the broken ones and add new ones every 3 months so the kids do not get bored. Seems like a lot of work but when they want a toy they always find it. We like to make them see they have to look after their toys and put them back where they belong.
Placed on top of the storage unit are our favourite books. Books we all love that we read together all the time. So when we are at home all together, normally on a Saturday, we read from here and then right on top are puzzles – the hard ones!
Moving into the dinning room – which is the room we use the most. We have a great space so added in a corner sofa when we moved in. We have a cupboard which we all use however, of course Lego took over our life. So we pop all built Lego on the bottom shelf for the kids to display their work. The big and better ones (that Lorenzo cannot touch) now go up in Khillian’s room on display. All kids magazines, colouring books, activity books and paper for drawing are all on the shelf above – easy access for both kids so they can grab what they want and go straight to the table to play.
It took me ages to find this cabinet and I looked everywhere.
I knew I wanted something fun for the kids, like a house, but I didn’t want it to be too OTT so that everyone would look at it when they walked into the room. We call this the Toy House. It was £25 online and we use it so much. The Transformers fit perfectly into the basket at the bottom (which I brought 4/5 years ago from TKMaxx). All the big toys are located here that cannot fit into the boxes. Duplo, puzzles, big books, suitcases for role play (which they use every day) and all fun hats etc sit on top. It was a Godsend!
My tip with units like this is use every single space of it up. We fixed coat pegs on the side of the ‘windows’ and then we can…
A simple idea I saw on Pinterest. I remember ringing my mum asking if she had clothes pegs and she told me that my Nonna did and we still have spares just in case the boys break them. On the pegs go Khillian’s bag, the boy’s superhero masks and capes for easy access (and because they are just so cute). We brought them matching capes last Christmas and I think I love them more. Such a good idea for a young boy or girl!
This trunk was gifted to Khillian when he was born and had his name on it. It was a vinyl sticker. It was in his room for years but once Lorenzo came along I needed more storage so moved it downstairs. Once again, it holds all their toys that they don’t necessarily play with every day but once they are out they remember all about them and play for ages. In here are mainly tool boxes (every boy has one), big army trucks, ambulances (a request from Father Christmas) and of course Laser Guns. The red basket I got from Lidl last year as the boys have a wooden Market stall (that turns into a theatre) we play with it all the time together and the boys put on a show. The blocks in this picture are from Lorenzo’s wooden trolley that he learnt to walk with. With put it in storage but the boys still build towers with them, spell out their names and just have lots of fun with them. Simple wooden blocks always win with my boys.
The green box? More Lego – well its Duplo but the boys play with them all the time. We brought it last year when we went to Legoland. I like the storage box because when they outgrow the toys we can always use for storing Lego parts. Wherever you can hang things do – Lorenzo’s space bag always sits on the edge of the toy trunk.
Captain Flag and Pirate Pete this morning causing havoc to my ship.
Oh yes there is more, remember I have 2 of them. This area is near the kitchen and its where we locate all the board games and Playdoh. Well the tubs of Plydoh. The kids always ask when to play with it, but if we say yes there know where it is and can get them ready.
I hope this is helpful, I wanted to show you that you do not have to throw everything into a Ikea kitchen, have lots of baskets of crap or even just leave everything out. Go on Pinterest – see what floats your boat and start planning. Ikea has great finds and when in doubt always go on Ebay.