I’ve been working on de-cluttering in our house over the last month or so; it’s crazy how much stuff you can accumulate in no time at all! I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by all the things we have and I’ve been slowly trying to pare down what we own. I know it will make our home and lives feel more peaceful and calm, not to mention make picking up and cleaning a lot easier, as the less you have, the less you have to clean!
One of the biggest struggles/complaints I have as a parent (and probably a lot of parents have!) is the overwhelming toy situation! I swear the toys in our house somehow multiply at night; I’m always finding toys that I have no idea when & how they became “our” toys. Trying to maintain some sort of order, when the boys are constantly messing up any “system” I come up with can be frustrating! But I know it’s important to keep at it and keep working with them to teach them how to keep things somewhat neat, so that hopefully one day I won’t feel like I spend most of my day picking up after them!
I’ve found having good storage for toys is a key to maintaining a bit of order and cleanliness with the toy chaos. I want it to be something that I like the look of and fits with our decor, as well as being useful. Having smaller size bins, rather than one large box makes it a lot easier for kids to find toys. Levi’s room still needed a place for toys, and I really liked the look of the mercantile-style bins I’d seen at a few stores, but I didn’t like any of the colors offered, so I decided we should make our own wooden ones.
What you need:
– Wood (we used 1×12 pine)
– Sliding Miter Box Saw
– Table Saw
– Wood Glue
– Nails + Nail Gun
– Mending Plates, optional, for connecting bins together if stacking
How to do it:
Decide the size you want your bins to be. Draw a template for the side of the bin on a piece of cardboard, using the measurements for your size bin. (You don’t have to make a template, but it makes it easier). Our measurements are listed below. Trace the template onto the wood – to make 3 bins, we traced 6 sides. Cut the pieces out using a sliding miter box saw. Measure and cut the bottom and top pieces to length (the width you’d like your bins to be) with the sliding miter box saw. Measure and cut the back piece of the bins (it will be the length of the top piece, minus the thickness of your two sides). Cut the front piece (it will be the same length as the top and bottom pieces). Then using the table saw, cut the top piece to width. Use the table saw to cut the bottom piece to width, making an angle along the front edge. Cut the front piece to width, making an angle along the bottom edge (so the bottom and front piece will fit together). Glue and nail the sides and back of the toy bin together. Then glue and nail the top, bottom, and front on the toy bin. Sand the edges and any rough spots on the bin. If desired, coat with polyurethane or paint the bins. Screw the mending plates onto the back of the bins to connect them. It also might be a good idea to attach the bins to a wall if small children will be using them.
Top Piece – 14″ x 11″
Bottom Piece – 14″ x 10 1/4″
Side Pieces – 13″ x 11″
Front Piece – 14″ x 5″
Back Piece – 12.5″ x 11″
The nice thing about these bins are that you can customize them to fit your space, building as many as you need or can fit (I snapped a picture of how just two together look before we added on the third) and you can arrange them different ways. They can be stacked or set side by side. It’s nice to be able to customize them to be the size you’d like too – I like that ours can fit toys and books and can even fit small sized baskets (these small wire baskets are from the Target dollar bins!) to keep little items contained. It could also double as a bedside stand if needed!
Have you been working on any de-cluttering this year? It seems like it’s been a popular New Year’s goal this year. Any good tips or suggestions for taming the toy chaos??