They seem to be taking over our home.
We’ve gone from having the ubiquitous Jumperoo — in duplicate — sitting in the corner of our sitting room; to mounds of Lego, a giant play festival food van, and loads of teeny tiny Playmobil accessories.
I wrote recently about our attempts to turn our backs on the throwaway society that we seem to have found ourselves in; and only give the boys toys that have longevity.
And that doesn’t necessarily mean no plastic — some plastic toys have definite ‘playability’ and a much longer shelf life than others. Lego is something that the twins play with again and again… but we have SO much of it. Tiny little windows, doors, men. Let alone the bricks!
But here’s the rub.
Where do you put it all??
If you’re fortunate to have a playroom, that’s the equation solved.
But if you’re not?
Your kids may be lucky enough to have a bedroom that’s large enough to accommodate their many boardgames, books and other ‘treasure’.
But if you’re short on space; as we are?
It basically means that you’ve got to accept it — and give it some houseroom — in your living areas.
Boxing Clever with Smart Storage
It doesn’t necessarily mean boxes stashed in the corner of the room though.
There’s some really smart storage for toys these days; I’ve touched on some of our favourites before.
The Abbeville Storage Bench, which is brilliant for toys but — in my humble opinion — is even better for shoes.
Then we have the fabulous Pigeonhole Shelf, which housed toys before finding it’s ‘forever home’ in our hallway.
But my favourite by far is Oslo from GLTC. Silently masquerading as a sideboard, it slips into the background so beautifully, you’d never guess that it’s houses half the contents of Toys R Us.
Unlike it’s predecessor
Yep. There’s no denying that our old toy storage was functional — you could fit an awful lot of stuff in it — but it wasn’t very discreet; for want of a better word.
I bet you didn’t spot there it in the corner?
But — jokes aside — our old toy storage solution was so bright and gaudy and it’s open shelving system was no different to just having the toys out on display.
The Oslo couldn’t be any more different.
With six roomy cupboards, and stylish good looks, the Oslo Toy Cupboard has enough space to stash all the boys’ Lego — plus loads of other games and toys.
One of the most exciting discoveries was that the rope baskets, that we use with the Abbeville, fit snugly inside too.
This means that all the tiny, loose toys (Lego, Play Mobil and all the little Dinky cars) can be tidied away easily and have their own dedicated space.
It’s totally transformed the corner of our sitting room.
What used to be a clashing eyesore, is now clean and serene. The toys are safely hidden away behind the doors and Oslo blends beautifully with it’s surroundings.
Hiding In Plain Sight
Co-habiting with my little man-cubs is something that I cherish; I love that our house is now a family home. I treasure the noise and bustle and — as we waited so long to be parents — I feel immense happiness seeing toys dotted around the place.
But what I don’t relish is seeing piles and piles of toys, shoved into the corner of the space that we relax in, once the boys have gone to bed.
Sitting down at night with a brightly coloured ‘elephant’ in the room kind of spoils the ambience. Never properly feeling as though I’d tidied up, because all of the toys were still in plain sight.
Swapping the old style toy storage for the Oslo Toy Cupboard is one of the best things ever. I can’t tell you what a difference it’s made.
The boys have all of their toys downstairs still; so they’re readily accessible, which makes playtime easy.
The toys have a good looking home of their own, which makes the sitting room feel less like a playroom when they’re not in use.
I can sit and relax at night without a hundred pairs of eyes staring at me.
Thanks so much to the Great Little Trading Co for providing me with an Oslo Toy Cupboard for the purposes of styling this post.
The Oslo Toy Cupboard from GLTC has sadly been discontinued but to see more of their brilliant toy storage ideas for small spaces, pop and have a look at their website.
I am proud to be a GLTC testing team member but all thoughts, words and images, as ever, are entirely my own.