The Plaything Plight {31 Days of Life. Contained.}


Life Contained 2014 button

This post is part of a series called 31 Days of Life. Contained. Want to catch up on the entire series? Click here. Want to stay connected and not miss another post? Follow me on facebook.


Ready for the first problem??

It’s clutter in the living room. Mine comes in adorable disguises. 😉

the plaything plight

It’s no secret that I have children, several of them actually. The presence of little people everywhere usually results in toys, which also seem to be everywhere.

Over the years, I have had a one firm rule regarding their playthings.

No toys in the living room.

To be honest, we have allowed two tiny exceptions to this rule. When we have a new baby in the house, we always try to keep infant toys handy and even more recently, we brought our wooden block set into the living room for the ease of building on hardwood floors. So, I guess that my rules are not really all that firm.

plaything plight

Some of you are still horrified over the “limited toys in the living room rule” right now, I’m sure. My reason is quite simple. I need one room that stays fairly respectable at all times, a room that will not make me blush when unexpected guests drop in.

You know the feeling. The doorbell rings and you are in a flurry to quickly tidy up the rooms they may see. The pile of clean laundry gets tossed back in the dryer. However, the toilet in the main bathroom hasn’t been flushed and the hand towel is a combination of toothpaste kisses and dirt. Lovely. You see to both of those needs and then make a mad dash to the front door.

Or perhaps it’s the Fedex man with a package that needs a required signature. You crack open the door and hold it open to that exact width with your foot. Humiliation would certainly strike if, perish the thought, the door accidentally swung wide open. You quickly scrawl the world’s worst signature that even you would never recognize as your own and accept the awaited package. Manners are not forgotten as you politely bid him good day and then you sink against the closed door, relieved. You pat the toddler on his head, thrilled with his good behavior during the entire exchange. You glance down with an adoring smile. Good feelings disappear. Your son was only in his underpants the entire time. Yes, I am that mom.

Who really cares what the Fedex man thinks anyway?

infant toy storage

The point is that we’ve all been there. Things can easily get out of hand and clutter can reign. Life happens. However this month’s goal is putting everyday living back in its place. It’s about containing and regaining order in our homes. Take a moment to think about what spot or items that sometimes get out of hand in your main living area. First, can you simplify the piles? Perhaps donate what is not truly necessary? Then find a suitable storage system for the need as well as the room.

My problem area was the loose toys. I needed containers for my two exceptions. It needed to be cheap, nice looking and built like a rock.

toy bucket

How does FREE sound? And sturdy??

I’ll take two metal buckets, please.  I love Pottery Barn Kids. (see how I get deals like these here)

The classic, black chalk paint was simply the icing on the cake.

Here’s a few of the requirements that I wanted.

Easy clean-up:   For those rapid pick-ups that are sometimes necessary 😉

Not see-thru for a clutter free look:   This ties in with the easy clean-up somewhat. It needed to be a container that didn’t involve stacking and packing the items stored. I wanted to be able to dump and walk away.

Blends in with decor:   No Dora the Explorer.

Small:   The smaller the container, the smaller the pile of mess when it is actually out on the floor or on the couch. This also makes pick-up a breeze, a total win-win in my book.

block bucket

Now go take charge in your living room. More than one issue? Start slowly. Focus on just one problem area today. Tackle the clutter one day at a time. It may not be perfect immediately. It may involve some trial and error to find the exact storage solution for your specific needs and dilemma. Don’t give up.

tip 1

I’m loving the buckets for my toy issue. We are so ready for the Fedex man now.

Thanks for reading,

One thought on “The Plaything Plight {31 Days of Life. Contained.}

  1. Mom

    You are so funny- Heather- I laughed out loud as I read your post. Great practical suggestions. Now if I could just get past almost 38 years of stuff and the problem of being too sentimental~


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