As you can see above, my toddler’s book situation was a lil’ bit out of control. We live in an old house that has small bedrooms, and hers is not only the smallest but also filled with the most furniture. Crib, huge gliding rocking chair, and twin-sized bed – the old Ikea Expedit I’m using as her dresser is wedged into the closet. But reading is a big part of the bedtime routine, so as she began getting more into books (and squirrelling them all away in her room – toddlers are excellent hoarders) I needed a better organizing solution. The shoe rack/makeshift bookcase worked ok for a while, but lately had been a disaster area and way too small to contain much of anything.
Time for a new solution – a real bookcase with lots of space for storage bins, baskets, nightlights and of course, books. We did sacrifice the walking space between the crib and glider to fit one in, but it’s infinitely better. Ready for the big reveal?
I searched high and low for a practical but cute option that would grow with her and not look too juvenile when she’s ten. I finally landed on the one I’ve loved since first sight – this amazing Jenny Lind bookcase. I originally wanted to go with white so we could re-use it in other rooms once she’s flown the nest, then I got sad thinking about that. So I chose this fun, poppy coral that makes me smile every time (Also in a sweet aqua. it was a tough choice) I think she loves it, too.
There’s so much more space to store all the things! It’s lovely and amazing not to have piles of books and stuff just everywhere. Our library’s a lot happier with us too; we’re keeping the weekly library book haul separate in the coral striped bin from Target so they don’t get lost among the rest of our books. #keepsmomsane Can we talk about that super cute ice cream storage bin? It’s from a company called Kaikai & Ash; I met the owner, Johnny, at a home & gift show I went to recently in NYC (more on that in upcoming posts – I can’t wait to show you guys all the cool new stuff I saw for kids, gifts & home!) Their collapsible canvas storage bins are so. freaking. adorable. He sent a few over so I could try them out and let you guys know what I thought – and they’re every bit as amazing as I hoped. We’re using this ice cream one to hold the rotating and ever-growing cast of stuffed animals and babies my fickle little one decides is the flavor of the week for crib sleepovers. The dessert line is my fave (the baby animals and cities are also sweet) – it has everything from pepperoni pizza to strawberry jam and the designs are a combination of embroidery, soft felt and sometimes printing and the quality is crazy good, not flimsy at all. You can see a few more of the dessert choices in her Ikea storage unit/dresser, all available on Amazon.
They’re larger than most storage bins like this – 13×13 – but they fit perfectly into the Ikea Expedit or Kallax series shelves. Genius detail – you use the label to pull the box out! It took me longer than I’m comfortable admitting to figure that one out.
Here’s some of the city line that I’m using in the playroom – these are great for older kids and geography buffs. Or a travel-themed nursery!
They fit a ton of stuff, including all of the bulky, beat up puzzle and board game boxes. Woo-hoo! We’re keeping toy music instruments in New York, and the Paris one is a catchall for bulky or odd-shaped random toys.
So far this open shelving+ bin system is working all over the house – it’s not a groundbreaking new idea, but it’s made a ton of difference in visual clutter and chaos around here. There are so many cute storage bin options right now so I rounded my faves up that might work for you!
Cool Kids’ Storage Bins
What’s your favorite way to keep things organized in kids’ rooms and playrooms, especially if you have open shelving or storage units? Spill your tips in the comments!
>> follow me on Instagram (@amandarwrites) for little snapshots of my favorite things – travel, tips, products and more.