Our Living Room & Toy Organization

Why can’t I be one of those moms where when I look about our living room strewn with toys everywhere, I happily, joyfully, and peacefully smile to myself and say, “a child lives here.”  Well, actually, I do that sometimes.  But then there are other times I just.get.tired.of.seeing.toys.everywhere.  We sometimes, we go for days, weeks? where the toys don’t get put away, and lately they seem to be multiplying.  And when they do get put away, they’re really not “put away”, they’re just pushed to the side of the room, piled high in numerous baskets.

I admit it.  I need a clean, clear space sometimes- an adult living room, free of kid clutter.  To achieve that goal, I recently added two toy boxes to the room.   Here’s a good example of what it looked like before the toy boxes.

And after clearing the space and putting in the toy boxes, I had room to move the leather chair from our sitting room to the living room.   
I completely lucked out that the toy boxes I chose fit perfectly beside our built-in media center.  And we chose the soft white color, which blends in nicely.  
There is enough room for James to get back there and access his toys and we even have a big basket behind the chair with stuffed animals. 
We have one on the left side too.  If you’re interested, the toy box is called Sauder Shoal Creek Storage Chest.  It has a safety lid (that will remain open until you close it) and space for little fingers. The dimensions are 35.2 W x 15.2 D x 18.9 H.  It did require assembly, but was relatively easy to put together.  
We still keep the big toys between the back of the couch and the window, but that’s okay with me.  For the most part, I think the toddler and parents can both enjoy the living room now. 

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  1. September 13, 2012 / 11:10 am

    It looks AMAZING having that chair in there and your shelving unit is really nice (which is rare!).

    Don't worry about getting tired of the toys….as long as you don't put the KID in a box, you're good! Hah!

    • September 13, 2012 / 4:03 pm

      Ha! Good advice!

  2. September 13, 2012 / 11:33 am

    Nice solution! Those white toy boxes are actually really stylish looking. The Before shot reminds me very much of our extra "addition" room that is the girls' main play space. We don't have a basement, so it's on the first floor…and their toys tend to migrate ALL over the house. It drives me insane. I need to be better about instituting a chore system or something b/c mine are old enough.

    • September 13, 2012 / 1:33 pm

      Hi Andrea, that table is from Crate & Barrel. They sell it in two sizes, and mine is the smaller one.

  3. September 13, 2012 / 1:11 pm

    Oh I love it! They really match your entertainment centre and so you don't notice them. I need some adult space as well. We just have a small 2 bedroom flat here in Scotland {normal houses could fit into your living room!} but it doesn't mean I don't like to have some kid free space. I want to relax at the end of the day instead of look at a mess that still needs cleaned.

    • September 13, 2012 / 4:05 pm

      I agree- it's kinda hard to relax at the end of the day when the toys are everywhere! We need to start getting James to help put his toys away before bed- we haven't been very consistent about that.

  4. September 13, 2012 / 1:21 pm

    Great solution! I will say as a mom and former preschool teacher…James is at the age now where you can put the "one out-one in" plan into action. Allow him to choose a toy, once done playing with that, before choosing another he needs to put the first one away. Teaches them responsibility and will save your sanity!!

  5. Allison
    September 13, 2012 / 1:49 pm

    Very impressive! I also noticed a new round glass coffee table in place of the leather ottoman. I love it! Do you mind sharing your source for this as well? Thanks!

    • September 13, 2012 / 3:45 pm

      Great eye Allison! The coffee table is from West Elm- it might be a tad small for the space, but it was inexpensive and really lightens up the room.

  6. September 13, 2012 / 1:50 pm

    Ah, the never ending saga of what to do with all those toys. We are in such a small house that a playroom isn't an option, so the dining room and family room are IT. But then I realized, even if we had a playroom, everything would still end up where I am (I work in the dining room, which is connected to the family room).

    Your solution looks great and is totally user friendly!

  7. Lauren
    September 13, 2012 / 1:52 pm

    Love your blog, never commented before 🙂 We don't have children, but sometimes I worry that we wouldn't be able to handle the "kid clutter". My husband and I BOTH are a little nuts when it comes to organization and tidiness. I'm glad to see there are stylish options that are kid and parent friendly! Thank you for sharing. I'm bookmarking this one!

    • September 13, 2012 / 4:05 pm

      Well, at least the mess doesn't happen all at once- it kind of evolves over time!

  8. September 13, 2012 / 2:50 pm

    Looks great!! I love that you found storage that blends in. Oh and don't feel bad about the toys driving you nuts- I think most of us feel that way! Maybe if my kids played with wooden and linen and "neutral" toys I wouldn't care so much, but everything is bright and plastic and just looks ugly in the living room! 🙂

  9. Natalie {Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers}
    September 13, 2012 / 11:09 am

    The toys drive me crazy too. Love the storage bin and it matches perfect in your den. I need deets on the house painting, Sterling would love that!

    • September 13, 2012 / 1:35 pm

      Yes- he would love that. Those are just washable paints from Wal-Mart or Target and we were painting a wooden birdhouse I got at Michaels. We were in the garage and spread out on a big roll of brown paper. Of course, James stepped in the paint and it was a huge mess, but it cleans up easily.

  10. September 13, 2012 / 4:13 pm

    I don't mind toys strewn around the place either but is nice to have place to store them so that occasionally you can actually sit and relax a little bit.

  11. Designing Domesticity
    September 13, 2012 / 11:27 am

    What a great idea. They fit perfectly and really blend. Way to go Mama! Thanks for sharing your find, liz

  12. September 13, 2012 / 5:29 pm

    My nephew has a ton of toys and it has become one of my anxieties about having kids in the future. Where does one put all that stuff? I love the way you handled the toy storage! You wouldn't even know that the toy boxes are there! Love it!

  13. September 13, 2012 / 7:34 pm

    What a great idea!! You can't even see the toy boxes!! This makes me want to reorganize my living room and move furniture around! haha

  14. {Hi Sugarplum!}
    September 13, 2012 / 7:06 pm

    Great solution! I'm with you…keep that crap out of sight! 😉 i kid. kinda.

  15. September 14, 2012 / 12:29 am

    Your home and little boy are just beautiful. Love the toy storage.

  16. September 14, 2012 / 12:46 pm

    Wow! What a difference! We use a giant basket right now, but I often wonder how to make it a little more 'concealed' 🙂 thanks for the tip!

  17. Lili
    September 15, 2012 / 3:38 am

    we have the same strategy, we have aston's toy bins behind a couch where he can access it easily but those chests are a great find!

  18. Anonymous
    September 21, 2012 / 6:31 pm

    Love the media center/ shelves!!! Did you make or buy those?

  19. March 21, 2016 / 4:09 pm

    Hi- where is that media center from?

    • March 21, 2016 / 11:00 pm

      Hi Steph, the media center is a built-in piece we had made when our house was built.

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