Living Stylishly with Toys

Yes friends it is possible!  We live in a little California bungalow built in 1920, so their is no playroom or even spare bedroom.  There has to be toys in our grown up spaces.  We really do live in our living room, it's where we are most of the time.  And I don't know about you, but I don't want to feel like I'm living in a day care.

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When I recently gave our living room a mini modern makeover, I realized that the toys were taking over!

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So, I'm going to share a couple tips for living stylishly with toys. 

1.  Give them a home.  Pick one place where ALL the toys will go.  I think you're going to need a small bookcase of some sort.  Mine is built into my mantel, but Nod has an amazing selection to go with any decor or style. 

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2.  Bins and baskets are a MUST!  I love the numbered ones we have, but really The Land of Nod had probably the best selection of bins and baskets out there.  Toys come in so many bits and pieces and sometimes they just need to be contained.  I like to sort like toys in bins together.  My almost 2 year old doesn't always put them back in the correct bins, but every couple days I do.  I really believe kids enjoy toys so much more when they are organized.  And yes, I'm that parent that says "Put that away before you play with something else".  Kids need to learn to clean up after themselves.

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3.  Get the books under control!  I LOVE these rhino bookends, they're funky and functional.  Nod had a great assortment of stylish bookends.  I sorted some of our favorite books into a rainbow of colors and baby board books suddenly become an instant art installation.  

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4.  Leave some space for the the grown ups.  The top shelf needs to be none kiddy.  You need to leave space for your personality to be infused into the space.  I put a picture of our family, my husband's little rhino collection and some books that have meaning to us.  

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5.  Fake it till you make it.  Yes, I have a fake plant on my shelf.  I think a little green goes a long way, but I don't trust my almost 2 year old with dirt yet.  To be safe, anything you put on the shelf needs to be kid proof.  My husband's rhinos (one I bought for him in Ghana and the other in Yemen) are sturdy and totally kid proof.  They look great, but can't be broken if my daughter reaches the top shelf.  

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6.  Rotate toys in and out of the space.  ALL the toys don't have to be out at the same time.  I think it's overwhelming to have too many toys out for kids.  Narrow the choice and rotate toys into the room every couple weeks or month or so.  I have a big basket on the floor full of lots of books, but just a couple weeks ago, it was full of Little People toys.  I'll probably change it out for wooden trains soon.  This makes my kids feel like they are getting new toys every couple weeks.  

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Post by Jeran: Oleander and Palm