Toy Storage and The Expedit Conundrum

July 18, 2012 — 5 Comments

Expedit Shelving Unit from Ikea, $69.99

I would love to say that I have some new excited thing to show you. I don’t at the moment (although I have a few swirling around in my head). Instead I am feeling overwhelmed by the toys in our little house. We have officially entered toy storage hell. Okay, maybe that is an overstatement, but the toys are taking over, particularly the Legos and little characters. My old storage systems are no longer working now that the kids have gotten older (and the toys more plentiful). It is now time to rethink and readjust! The kids playroom (the old nursery) has become the holder of a lot of the toys, but it is chaos in there! There is dress up clothes all over and little characters and vehicles lining the floor. We have also entered small Lego world, which means stepping on them at least once a day. We don’t have a lot of shelves for toys right now. Before we relied on low bins and tables to house everything. I now need to think more vertically. I am also looking for some more storage for the kids clothes (particularly out of season and clothes that they haven’t grown into yet), plus artwork storage.

I’ve been perusing shelving and bin options and I pretty much always end up back at the Ikea Expedit. I don’t love it, but it is so functional and affordable. I feel like they are overused, but the other shelves with similar cubbies are 3 and 4 times the price. I have vowed not to buy cheaply made furniture anymore, but it may provide useful storage for the foreseeable future for the kids. I also need to decide on something and move forward.

Land of Nod Container Options

Land of Nod Felt Containers

One thing I am not a big fan of are the box and bin choices for the unit. Fortunately I received a new Land of Nod catalog the other day, and there looking at me (in lots of pretty colors) were some really nice bins, baskets and tubs. They are designed to fit their system (which appears to be about 12×12 verses 13×13 for the Expedit). I am willing to give up that inch to get better looking containers.

Land of Nod Plastic Containers

Of course now comes my second conundrum. I love the softer felt containers, but I’ve heard that clear plastic ones work better with kids so that they can see what is inside easily. I think I may need to compromise and use some of each. I am thinking of also mixing in some boxes from the Container Store. Now if I can just get Maisie to stop “packing for trips” and hoarding toys in strange places, we might be able to get our house back under control.

Does anyone have any advice for toy storage for kids in the 3-5 age group or older?


5 responses to Toy Storage and The Expedit Conundrum

  1. Oh yes, we have expedit but we use the itso fabric bins from Target. they fit PERFECTLY! The itso bins have better color options then ikeas. The felt bins in your post are super nice but not sure if they would hold up as well. the itso.bins can be filled completely using the entire cube. They hold a surprising amount as well.

    • Sarah-Thanks for the idea! I actually have some small itso bins that I have used on other shelving, and it has held up pretty well. It is good to know that it is a better fit and colors. I think those would work really well for storing extra clothes up high.

  2. I had to laugh at your “packing for trips” commment because that is the same source of toy chaos we have over here! I did a major clean of the attic and unpacked about 8 suitcases. Apparently I have instilled the idea that you must pack food when you travel with small children, because all had a plastic feast included with the toys and clothes and baby accoutrement!

    • I’m glad to here that she is well prepared (obviously you have trained her well!). I am waiting for the day that I find actual food in one of Maisie’s bags! We have a good mix of play food in her bags, along with matchbox cars and whatever small toys she can cram in, which almost always includes random game parts.

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