Saturday, February 19, 2011

In Search of a Kid's Storage Center

My son is only 9 months old and I already feel the toys getting out of hand. We have a beautiful wood chest that I filled with his toys but things just seem to get lost in there. I wanted something with separate cubby holes that would allow me to rotate the toys more efficiently. I immediately came across a pictures from Better Homes and Gardens that I fell in love with...

Perfect, right? It's clean, it's colorful....and after some researching, there's a slight possibility it's Pottery Barn but I really think it's by Twenty Gauge. Good feeling gone. This particular unit isn't listed but by looking at some other prices I'm estimating that only one of these 10 drawer shelving units will cost over $1500 and that's just not something I want to pay. Then I found a similar one from Restoration Hardware (baby and child section if you can believe it!). Way to much at $1100, but if I had the money that beauty would be my new storage center in the living room!

And yet another workable piece by Twenty Gauge at $1250.

So here my search begins to find a similar look within my budget. My first, and still favorite idea, would be to acquire an old box storage locker like so:

A 4x4 locker would be great and can be personalized by painting the frame dark chocolate and the doors and inside space different colors. Used lockers are sold everywhere through online websites and in local listings in places like Craigslist. The only problem with buying one outside city limits is the cost to have it shipped, which defeats the purpose of finding a cost-effective storage solution. There were a few locker listings in the surrounding areas, but since I was looking for boxed lockers in particular, I wasn't able to find what I was looking for. Old lockers are great storage solutions for your kids. Lockers are strong and durable and  will grow with your child easily through the teen years and given the style, maybe even their college years. I still intend to keep an open eye for one as the years go by.

After a lot of websearching, I finally found something that was affordable, and something that I could customize to make it one of a kind. I found it at Target. It's a 9 cube organizer by ClosetMaid with 5 paneled backs and 4 open backs.

I'm not a huge fan of fabric drawers. They bend easily, can't hold a lot of weight and get dirty really easily. Target does carry a better selection than I usually see and they seem a little thicker than usual, but I want something that's going to last a long time. Luckily, ClosetMaid started carrying metal baskets too.  

So I've finally found the perfect storage solution for my son's toy collection. At first, I was going to go with all nickel baskets. But as I was playing with the display on location, I learned that I actually liked mixing it up with the wire baskets. I decided on four of each type, leaving the center cube open for books. To customize, I chose four colors that were already incorporated in my son's bedroom: Vanilla, Baby Blue, Light Mocha and Chocolate. The finished product looks like this:

So finally I have a storage solution that matches the decor and will stand the test of time. In total, I achieved this look for less than $125 so my wallet is happy too. As my son ages and his color scheme changes, all I have to do is invest in some more spray paint to freshen the look. The separation of toys is my favorite feature of this piece. I can divide everything up and rotate different drawers each day to keep him from getting bored with his toys.


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