toy storage

BHG Guest Blogger

The Mom! Where’s My Car? Journey: The Little Idea With Big Wheels

 

 

Hi!  My name is Lo, creator of A Lo and Behold Life, a blog about all things that make my house a home.  I’m constantly searching for thoughtful and creative ways to add charm, style and organization into my family’s life.  My passion is to breathe a little innovation into ordinary items giving them life and inspiring others to do the same.  I was honored to be chosen to have my favorite and most popular DIY car garage project featured in the Better Homes and Gardens January I Did it! section.  As if that wasn’t fabulous enough, to have my sons included in the article showing off their beloved toy car collection was the proverbial cherry on top!

 

 

Since the 1950′s, children have been captivated by Matchbox® and Hot Wheels® cars. My boys are no different. Their infatuation with all things on four wheels started at a very young age, and I can hardly find a baby picture without one of them holding a toy car in his little hand.

My husband and I found ourselves using these cars as an inexpensive reward system, “If you are good for mommy in the grocery store you can pick out a new toy car at the check-out counter.” Before we knew it, the overwhelming toy car collection was growing up and over the broken & warped storage basket in the playroom and migrating to all parts of our home!

You’ve been there, right?  In the last week how many times have you heard, “Mom, where’s my car?”  How many minutes have been wasted trying to find that one favorite toy car that always goes missing?  Can you count the number of times you’ve stepped on those toys cars that never seem to get put away?

 

I searched high and low for a functional and affordable storage solution for these cars, but everything out there was either really expensive or just not practical for a 2 year old, never mind two of them.  Then I discovered that with a little ingenuity and creativity I could repurpose a shoe rack to create a wall unit that would organize their entire toy car collection and look really cool too!

What I didn’t expect was how enthusiastic my toddlers would become in keeping their toy cars organized.  Not only was this rack a total space saver but now the boys were taking responsibility for cleaning up their cars, becoming independent in finding that favorite car on his own, and taking pride in their beloved toy car collection.  It was a Matchbox miracle!

There has been an overwhelmingly positive response to the Do-It-Yourself car garage project on A Lo and Behold Life.  Clearly parents are in need of a practical organization solution to solve their household storage dilemmas.  Knowing that not everyone out there has the time, resources, or interest to be a DIY’er I thought, “How can I get this car garage to the masses?”  And so with a little encouragement from family and friends the Mom! Where’s my car? wall garage was put into production.

If you told me two years ago that this seemingly simple idea would be as popular as it is and could potentially be the little engine that could clear toy car clutter forever I would have laughed.  But if my family and I can bring some peace, independence, and organization into your home then all our efforts to bring it to you will be worth it.  Come along with us to put the brakes on toy car clutter at www.momwheresmycar.com

 


Jen Jones

organize this: kid’s gear!

There is no doubt that toys seem to multiply in the night.  And it is often times most convenient to store all of those goodies within the commonly used areas of the home, such as the bedroom, playroom, living room and even within the home office.

So how does one keep a little bit of order mixed with some style, when it comes to stashing kid’s gear?  Here are a few of my favorite ways to store children’s belongings in both convenient and pretty ways.

Any furniture that does double duty storage is a win in my book.  Benches not only add cozy seating to a space, they also bring in storage for stuffed animals, toys and books.

 

Bedrooms aren’t typically known for their abundance of storage and space, so when you add toys to a place where sleeping and getting dressed often take priority, it may require a little creative thinking.  Utilizing the space under the bed by adding drawers on casters, is a smart way to gain oodles of space saving storage and keeps toys concealed when it is time to get some zzz’s.

 

Storage on wheels is a really smart way to corral toys, as kids have no trouble pulling the bins out for playtime, and they easily roll back to where they belong when it is time to pick up.  Bonus points for adding a decorative label and even more extra credit for adding a photo of the toy when your little one is unable to read.

 

Shoe pocket organizers are a simple solution for smaller items and accessories and also for those one off toys that don’t belong to part of a larger set.

 

It is always great to encourage kids to craft and create, but it is not so much fun when crayons end up on hallway walls and smiley faces are painted on computer monitors.  Keep items that are extra messy, tucked behind cabinet doors that lock to ensure that paints and clays are only used during supervised art time.

 

Open shelving with toys concealed in decorative bins offer easy access for both play and cleanup and is a versatile enough option to be functional in any space of the home.

 

Toy chests have been around for decades because they work!  Because of their height and size, they are the perfect solution for youngsters to easily reach in and grab their favorite play things.  They also make pick up time a breeze and their lids neatly tuck things away.

 

Square cubbies are another long time favorite way to store children’s belongings, since you can mix and match a variety of bins and baskets with the ability to also store larger awkward shaped toys and stacks of books for story time.

 

There are many mix and match storage options available on the market, that allow you to customize storage to your exact needs.  Combining different sized pieces allow for versatility based on toy and bin sizes, and the ability to add doors allows you to decide what you would like on display and what you would like kept concealed.

 

With time, our little ones eventually grow out of playing with toys, so it is smart to remember that when planning and implementing your storage systems.  Bookcases, cabinets, drawers, benches, armoires and cubbies are all common pieces of furniture that can be used to store other items down the line, so they make great investment pieces.

 

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