the one sore point in our entire home has always been the children's toys. i could never find a way to organize them so that they themselves would find it easy to tidy up after playing. they toys always get mixed up (which i really abhor), and they just end up piling them on top of each other. i tried bins and plastic drawers but since i bought them at separate times, they didn't match, so it didn't look good. and since we changed the color scheme in the study/playroom to black, white, and gray, the old shelving didn't look good in it anymore.
i was so happy to receive this link from jane, who tweeted it last week. genius! i hurried over to ikea yesterday and bought the exact same shelving units and proceeded to finally tackle the toys once and for all. here's the story in pictures:
this is how the toys normally look after the kids try to "tidy up"
i thought it still looked messy
i assigned vito to sort the lego into two bins:
small lego parts and bionicles
his lego castle pieces go into a separate sealed bin
i organized the rest into categories: disney cars, transformers, special cars (ferraris, lamborghinis, etc.), and the rest of the vehicles. the other side contains the small lego parts, bionicles (vito is obsessed with bionicles and hero factory), dinosaurs, and duplo/megablocks.
the plastic drawers on the lower right contain the action figures at the top, and wooden blocks at the bottom.
here's what manuel did to our 3 cheap shelves. he put them on their sides, and nailed them together to form one big unit (kinda like the expedit shelves of ikea). this stores all the spill-over books that wouldn't fit into our 3 other tall bookcases. ( i have one tall bookcase in the bedroom and 2 in the living room -- but they're still not enough.) this we placed on the other side of the room so that it won't disturb the black/white/charcoal gray scheme. =)
the baskets at the top contain all the small items and papers that i don't want raoul to be able to reach. one of them contains my collection of pretty blank cards, leftover christmas cards, stationery, etc. my collection of pretty journals is in the bedroom.
i plan to replace the labels of the toy bins later when i find stickers that i like. i'll find a way to erase the ones i wrote somehow. =)