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A Peek in the Credenza O’ Toys

February 3, 2015  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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If you follow me on Instagram, you have witnessed I have been on an organizing spree lately. It started with our junk drawer that I couldn’t take one more day of!

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And from there, we tackled our tool junk drawer (it’s normal to have one of those, right?) and most recently the credenza, err fauxdenza (see how we made ours here), which holds most of the girls’ toys (at least the ones they actually use). We first introduced our toy storage system back in this pretty controversial post.

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Things were tame back then. And when we moved into this house we still had only Greta, so I didn’t take the time to sort things out and organize them again. And somehow, after Christmas and the addition of another child, this happened:

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The horror! Not only was it a completely disorganized mess, but things would fall out when you opened the toy cabinets just like in the TV shows. It really became a concern after Greta received all of her Littlest Pet Shops for Christmas and those tiny pieces were getting mixed in with Faye’s toys. There was zero separation. So, I took everything out, discarded a few empty coloring books and instruction manuals and put things back in place.

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Now, everyone has their own compartment. The adult cabinet is on the left. It holds mostly cords and electronics and a few of our favorite family games. Faye’s cabinet is in the middle. It’s all Faye-friendly plush toys and baby mirrors and no pieces smaller than she can handle. Greta’s cabinet on the far right has her puzzles and Littlest Pet Shops (aka baby choking hazards), coloring books and a few miscellaneous toys in the top bin.

I picked up those canvas bins at Ross (kinda like a TJMaxx) and I wish they had more exciting colors for the girls, but I was just happy to get different colors for each girl to make cleaning up easier. In other “Where are all the toys?!” news, we do have a trampoline in our family room downstairs (along with some toys they don’t use) and I keep a basket of toys that both Faye and Greta play with (mostly stuffed animals and blocks) in a basket in the living room and toss a blanket over top–most people never guess!

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It feels good to have the credenza and junk drawers finally organized! The girls seem to be playing more on their own and I think it has to do with them knowing where and what to play with. Which means  I have more time to purge our master closet. That redesign is coming!

What do you think?

  1. Tammy says:

    Hi there! Just discovered your blog and clearly going waaaaaay back because I’m hooked! I am loving all your projects :) Would you mind telling me where that print on the lamp is from?! It’s such a perfect accent. Thank you for any response and looking forward to following!

  2. Abby says:

    Where did you get the gray lamp from? I love it?

  3. Meagan Briggs says:

    I love the idea of having a basket of toys but have a blanket on top to disguise them. Smart!

  4. Alison G says:

    Wow are you getting organized, nesting perhaps! Ha, Good for you it looks great. I hope your getting better quickly Chris.

  5. Krystal says:

    I just LOVE that messy junk drawer pic….the colours, the lighting….love! I think it would be fabulous to blow it up poster size and hang it in an office. Maybe I’m just weird ;)

  6. Amanda says:

    I think the core of this issue is the mentality that STUFF = HAPPINESS. For us, for our kids, for other people’s kids, for other people’s pets…sigh.

    If your happiness gauge is set to say FULL when you see a lot of stuff then a tidy, simple, minimalist lifestyle will look very EMPTY to you.

    Thanks for writing Chris and Julia, please keep doing what you’re doing!

    • Julia says:

      That’s a really good insight, Amanda. I think Stuff=different things for different people. For me, sometimes it means STRESS! HAHA

  7. Jess says:

    Love all your organization, especially the sneaky basket of toys under the casual throw blanket! Went back and read the original post, and… wow. Can’t believe the judgement people pass along, and on such a silly topic… toys! Toys are great, kids love them, but there is so much more to childhood than just toys! Cooking, outings, playing outside, chatting, giggling, dress-up, coloring, crafts, building stuff, school, friends, family, dance class, sports, games, playdough, the playground…that’s childhood. Not just toys! Sheesh. Anyway, you guys are awesome and Greta and Faye are happy little girls! Keep up the good work. :)

  8. Kristen KRvF says:

    I’m appalled at the comments on that previous post. I have basically the exact set up as you do and honestly, I’m judgmental in the other way. I think most kids have WAY too much stuff and I actually believe it is quite bad on a philosophical level. That said, I *think* this in my head and keep my mouth shut because it is none of my business! Our quantity is about exactly the same as yours, we have one bin upstairs in our formal living room (which is unfortunately off the kitchen), and three bins under the coffee table down stairs in the family room. We have a stack of puzzles in a corner and play kitchen we hand built (like Young House Love), which my daughter hardly ever played with because she’d rather be with me in the real kitchen. It is getting more use these days as she and her brother use it together. I actually refuse to dedicate a room to be used as a play room, but that is just me and what works for us. I LOVE your approach.

  9. Haley says:

    Great idea to just throw a blanket over a basket full of toys. All of our toys are in a bin out in the open, but these are some great ideas to keep them hidden.

  10. Brooke says:

    I hadn’t seen your post on greta’s toys before, but well done! You do a fantastic job of keeping your house tidy, especially the toys. They don’t have to be visible for everyone to see, nor do you have to have a million toys to raise a smart, imaginative child. I know I’m commenting about a previous post, but I found it so interesting. We’re not people who love to own a million toys either, but we have plenty and our kids are happy. Once I got a comment from a friend who told me, you own the least amount of toys of anyone I’ve ever met, ha!

  11. Emily says:

    I read the post you linked to before this one and I cannot imagine writing a comment on a blog about the parenting of another blogger based on the toys/lack of toys in a house. So ridiculous! I keep all the toys in our house in the playroom. Not one toy makes it’s way out of there and I think that’s fine. I love how your organize your toys and obviously it works great for y’all!

  12. Kim says:

    I too have the canvas baskets from Ross. They take to dye very well if you want to inject some color. :)

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