First, a story is in order to help explain a later part of this post. A few months back I was drawing on the kitchen chalkboard with our daughter. She asked me to draw a playground, so I drew a slide. Then she eyed me strangely. She then asked that I draw swings. I proceeded to draw a swing set. She eyed me again. Then she asked me to put kid on the swing, so I obliged. Then she looked at me straight-faced and said, “Maybe daddy can show you how to draw it.” So apparently, I am not the artist in the house!
But back to the blog for a moment. An organizing goal of mine this year was to find a way to help corral some of the toy clutter up in the play room. Things stay generally pretty neat up there thanks to our wall of expedit units tucked under the low side of the room. I snapped this picture last summer not long after we moved in:
But I wanted to see if I could tame the space a bit more so that when it was cleaned up things looked decent up there and the space didn’t scream “PLAYROOM” when we had guests staying up there. I knew I wanted to get some canvas bins for the space but had trouble finding some that looked nice and were reasonably priced (especially important since I needed about 8 of them). There were plenty of nice options at Target and IKEA, but those easily ran in the $20/each range, which was just so much more than I wanted to spend! So imagine my delight when I got my Home Decorators catalog in the new year and it was advertising huge sales on all organizing items! I had seen that they had a line of canvas bins that fit the expedit openings pretty well, and so I leafed through the catalog like the excited mad woman I am. Not only were the bins on sale (yay!), I also had a coupon to use! So I was able to order 8 bins for less than $5/each. Much better!
Sydney was actually pretty dang excited when I unwrapped and set them up. She loves putting stuff into containers. I think she gets it from her mom…! Despite her enthusiasm for tossing things into the bins, I still needed to add a bit more master organization to the room so that things had a specific spot. Her method was a bit less precise. So I enlisted the help of the aforementioned resident artist to create labels for the bins. I loved the way they turned out! I snapped this photos of the bins, now getting heavy use, just the other day (ignore the lack of sunlight–it wass snowing in mid-April…bah!):
You can’t really see the labels from that far back, but I took some closer-up shots of the adorable drawings:
I love that Sydney can “read” them and put things away. Not that she does it every day, but she does go on clean-up kicks and feels really proud that she knows where everything goes. It is really adorable! I had thought at first about doing all bins, but I decided that a mix of open and closed storage would ultimately be more functional since many of her toys at this point are awkwardly sized and wouldn’t fit into the bins that well. This has proved a nice mix!
Hooray for a slightly more organized space for just under $40 and some fabulous original DH art!