Sunday, January 3, 2010

Toy storage

As part of my house reorganization/redecorating/restructuring process that I've been in for, oh, about two and a half years or so, I decided to take back my dining room and organize all of Rosemary's toys. I wanted to make sure they were organized and accessible, but also cute. I also wanted them out of sight when I'm trying to eat dinner. And I thought it would be nice to actually have a table to eat dinner on (our table was replaced by her toys a few months ago when I decided our dining table made a better sewing table and we didn't really need a place to eat anyway.) I'm really happy with the result! All of her toys are now in her bedroom (minus her kitchen and easel and a few ride-on-toys that, alas, are in our living room- but at least all the toys with pieces parts are gone!).

Here's the view as you walk in.

The toy chest was mine when I was a kid- repainted and refurbished by my dad before Rosemary was born.
I had been looking for a place to store of Rosemary's fairy wings, princess dresses, and tutus. The clothesline idea was stolen from my classroom days. I used to display my student artwork on a clothesline. The wings and headpieces are so pretty and were getting crushed in the drawer where they were previously stored, I figured I may as well put them on display. She can also access them easier. Of course, when I was showing her how to get them off, it became a full day of playing with clothespins rather than her wings. I'm trying to decide how to pretty up the clothespins- paint them, hot glue something on them. I'm not sure yet. The flowers are the barrettes leftover from the favors for her birthday party. I thought they were cute enough to display and she can wear them whenever she wants! I also like the fact that she can look out the window while she plays fairy dress up. Kind of sets the magical-fairy tale mood- set in a forest wonderland (ok, it's actually a bed that has way too many overgrown ferns, but it kind of looks fairy-tale kingdomish).

Here's the best organizer in the world- the 9 cube storage unit by Closetmaid. One of my biggest needs was a place to store Rosemary's books. I had some on a bookshelf in our dining room (that I was able to completely remove thanks to this wonderful little unit!) and the rest in the basket on the nightstand and in the drawers of the nightstand in this picture. There were just way too many books! Now they're all neatly organized in her little reading nook.

Here's also where my analness came in handy. In the top drawer of the nightstand are delicate paperbacks and antique books that I don't want Rosemary to play with by herself but I want to access when we read together. In the bottom drawer are mini board books. In the top left cubby of the storage organizer are her books from Dolly Parton's Imagination Library (awesome program- free books for all kids under age 5). In the top right cubby are her educational books- colors, shapes, numbers, etc. In the middle cubby are storybooks (fairy tales and classics) and animal books, separated by a Disney Princess board book set. In the bottom left cubby are her Dr. Seuss books and part of a set of Disney hardback books that belonged to Joe when he was a child. In the bottom right cubby are her bedtime stories. In the top pink cubby are her Barbie-type toys (mostly Disney princesses, but also her My Little Pony and Mr. Potato Head.) In the left green bin are her musical instrument toys. The right green bin has her fine motor skill toys (lacing beads, a peg and hammer set, etc). The bottom green bin has her Little People toys. On top of the cubbies are her puzzles, big books that wouldn't fit on the shelves (and thematic ones I put out- something I started doing as a teacher and now do for her. For the holidays I had Christmas books out. I'll probably put out some winter books next. What can I say- I was both a teacher and a librarian. I love books!), and stuffed animals that go along with some of her books. In the basket on the nighttable are electronic toys.
The only thing I need to find a good place for now are her dolls. Right now her cradle is replacing the big bunny in the above picture and her dolls are all around it, but it looks cluttered. So I'm rethinking that. But for now I'm really happy with the way all her toys are organized! Oh- and I found a drawer for the floor piano that is in front of her cubbies in the above picture so it isn't cluttering up the room any more and she can take it out when she wants to play with it. I think Joe and I play with it more than she does (seriously, Joe used to teach piano lessons so he can play some Bach on that thing. It amazes me!)

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