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Saving Grace

Toy Storage: Two words that make every parent cringe.

If you’re a parent like me, you just might dread birthdays and holidays. These are the special, monumental times, when friends and family shower your little ones with the latest, greatest (and sometimes largest) “must haves” the toy industry has created. As your child rips open these wonders and squeals with delight, have found yourself thinking, “Where the heck am I going to put that”? Well, guess what, you’re not alone.

A few years ago, I discovered this little gem.

It’s available at most department or home improvement stores and is essentially a square shelf that measures 3’x3’ and is separated into 9 equal squares. But to me, it is so much more. To me, its my saving grace in the constant battle of “Mom vs Toy Clutter”. Not only can you purchase nifty little canvas boxes that slide into the shelves, therefore concealing those smaller, harder to mange toys such as stuffies, plastic cars and blocks, but I’ve also found that the shelves provide amble space for those larger, bulkier items. However, I discovered this past weekend that there’s just one small problem with my saving grace….

The manufacturer only provided backing for several of the shelves. I assume there is a reason for this, (perhaps aesthetics?), but I’m struggling to find a real, logical reason. Anyway, this posed a major problem for the latest re-style of my daughter’s playroom. Until this past weekend, the fact that this shelf was essentially “see-through” never bothered me. The two shelves in our daughter’s playroom both sat against the wall; however, in my latest quest to reorganize our home, I decided that these shelves would separate a “play space” from an “adult space”.

You may remember that several weeks ago, I restyled our master bedroom and in doing so, removed the large BowFlex that once sat in our room. For the past month, the poor BowFlex has sat in our hallway, patiently waiting for a place to call home. Several options were brought to the table….the spare room…the garage….VarageSale….but both my husband and I felt that we needed to keep it close, to increase our chances of actually using the darn thing. And so, our attention turned to the bonus room. When we moved in to this home 5 years ago, we decided that the bonus room would make a great playroom: place for our daughter to hang out and play with her toys. But, does one child really need 120 precious square feet of living space to “hang out”? Probably not.

So, an idea was hatched. We would use my saving grace shelves to create a small wall between “our space” and “her space”. All was going well until I realized there were some “holes” in my plans. Several options were bounced back and forth between my husband and I, but we settled on this product:

It’s distressed pine wood planks that are available in a variety of finishes. The planks are lightweight and easy install with a bit of glue and some finishing nails. The product is intended to be used for creating an accent wall, but for us, it provided a visually appealing barrier between “kid space” and “workout area”.

Our bonus room now houses a cardio area and play area and still provides the toy storage we so desperately need.

Win. Win. Win.

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