Everybody knows that babies have lotsa luggage.
It’s like you bring the baby home from the hospital and all of a sudden, your den turns into a playroom and your playroom vomits toys all over every room in your home. All of a sudden you live in a daycare with lotsa brightly colored, noisy toys that flash lights, sing really annoying fun tunes, stimulate my babies brain, and become a permanent tripping-device. Don’t get me wrong. I love how Will’s face lights up when the bears ride around on the carasol and the way he giggles when we bang the blocks together. But as much as I love bringing home new yard sale finds for him, they don’t exactly match our existing decor. And as the lazy person that I am, I hate trudging up the stairs everytime I want to amuse my four-month old. So for the last few months we have been coming up with smart storage solutions that hide the baby gear without creating an eyesore in our home. Wanna see some of our secret stashes?
So glad you asked. First, let’s look at our living room:
We spend the majority of our time in this space. I mean, it has the television. And the couch. So for a couple of couch-potatoes-who-are-bonafide-television-and-movie-fanatics, this is definitely the hang out spot for the Bowers. Spending time in here means that we need to have things on hand for amusing the little guy while also making it easy to clean up for when non-diaper-wearers come into the house.
The first way we hide the mess is with our white storage ottomans. We scored these beautiful slipcovered cubes from the Pottery Barn outlet years ago and they continually provide the perfect spot for our evolving lifestyles. At first they were just perfect for extra blankets and our offseason pillow covers. After I got pregnant, we stashed lotion (for rubbing my swollen feet) and pregnancy books inside. But now we use them for stashing the plethora of toys in our possession. We just jam them full of the kiddie stuff and pop the lid on top.
Another way we hide kid stuff is pretty obvious…we close some doors. The corner bookshelf has two lower shelves that actually have wooden doors that can cover up a whole slew of games, puzzles and shoe boxes full of flashcards and Lite Brite pegs. Plus, since this is a bookshelf, we put all the kid-friendly books on there (including our Charlie Brown dictionary & set of Dr. Seuss books).
The final secret spot in our living room is the baskets that are on our shelves flanking the television. One of the baskets actually acts as our in-plain-sight-but-outta-sight changing caddy. Since the shelf above is low enough to cover the gear inside, we don’t even think about stuffing our diaper changing supplies into it in an orderly fashion.
But when Will exhibits a little thunder down under, we can quickly whip out the basket which contains a whole stack of cloth diapers, a box full of wipes and his euro pillow sham (which we use as a mat just in case he decides to mark his territory when we aren’t quite velcroed yet!)
But the baby stuff doesn’t stop there. If only.
We also have a basket full of toys in our library-esque den.
“Where?” you might ask…
Well, in this corner we have a small basket that lives beside the fireplace. It has lived there for a very long time and before it always just held extra blankets…you know…for those harsh Georgia winters. Go ahead and laugh you Minnesotans.
But since we had Will, we have accumulated some weird shaped toys…which actually fit just perfectly in this basket. But when company comes over (above the age of 16) we throw this sheepskin over the top and it all disappears and looks chic to boot. I know what you are thinking…and yes, 15 year olds would be very interested in the singing cube of colors 🙂
Granted, we also have some things that are left out in the open…and we don’t mind having that baby-lives-here look…but we also are big believers in keeping our home comfortable to us as adults. I mean, we do pay the bills around here.
So there are a few ways that we keep the kiddie clutter contained. Did you have fun playing hide & seek with me? I hope so. And I hope this gave you a couple good ideas when it comes to keeping your home kid-friendly while still looking put together. Remember – baskets are your friend. And so are any furniture piece with ‘storage’ in the name. And not just for kiddie stuff…for big people stuff too. Each one of these ideas would be ideal for those odds and ends that you want easy access to without putting on display. Now comes the fun part – do you have any smart storage solutions for corraling the clutter in your home? Spill the details on how you make toy-control child’s play.