Apologies for my absence of late, I discovered the world of instagram (@decor.junkie – come say hi!) and also have a toddler who decided to stop napping (nooooo!), well actually he temporarily stopped napping and now we’re back to every few days, which is better than nothing.
While he’s asleep is the perfect time to try and sort his toys, because otherwise he decides he can’t live without that annoying musical toy that he hasn’t played with in 9 months and you just can’t get rid of anything or tidy up.
As much as you try to only buy nice wholesome wooden toys, it’s inevitable that some brightly coloured plastic crap (usually with lots of buttons and irritating noises) will find it’s way into your home. So my solution is to find stylish ways of storing toys away when not being used. Below I’m going to list some of my fave storage solutions for said plastic crap.
Obviously a toy box is a good place to start. Argos have some fairly reasonably priced ones, including a plain pine one that you can easily paint or customise yourself. I went with a white one from Sue Ryder online as it was a bit smaller than some of the others I’d seen and had a soft close lid (avoiding squashing small fingers!). It cost us £49.99, but is now on sale for £39.99 with 10% off for new orders. Click photos for link.
Baskets are pretty much everywhere at the moment and there are some really pretty ones about. They are such an easy way to tidy things away, as you can just bung everything straight inside. The down side being that it takes literally 2 seconds for the toddler to tip it all out again. I’m a little in love with Oli Ella baskets, they have some gorgeous designs and I will definitely be adding a few of their styles to my collection. See my favourites below. Belly baskets are also cheap and simple option (Ikea have some for £9, although make sure they’re in stock before you drive an hour to your local store to get some like we did!). I’m also loving all the grey and felt storage baskets around at the moment, like the one below from John Lewis.
Vintage storage solutions are a good one, as they add heaps of character, can usually be found cheaply second hand and are pretty good on the environment front. I love the old steamer trunks that have plenty of space and can even be used as coffee tables. However, they can be quite hefty and take up a fair bit of space, so something to be aware of. I’m keeping my eye out for a reasonably sized vintage leather suitcase as I think it would make a great home for the wooden train track and train paraphernalia we’ve accumulated.
Metal trunks are a great way of adding an industrial vibe with tons of storage. I’ve already bought one metal trunk and went with this one from Habitat, which cost £40.00, but I’m thinking about getting another larger one to stack underneath. They’re quite hardy and will stand up to a fair bit of bashing from kids, also a few dents and scratches won’t look too amiss and will only add to the industrial look. I’ve found that the clasp on this one generally flips in the way if you knock the lid down. But trapped fingers could be an issue with other styles, so might be one for older kids!
Other toy storage options include stacking boxes, crates and lidded bamboo or seagrass chests.
I particularly like this ‘Mr bear’ pull along crate from Great Little Trading Company (£40), bamboo lidded storage from Habitat (from £30) and wooden stacking crates (£30 GLTC).
Anyone else have any ingenious solutions for hiding away the toys? I’d love to know …