The State of the Living Room

by Andrea Cooley

DSC_0574I knew it was inevitable that once we had a baby, the house would slowly be filled with kid stuff. I'm not opposed to toys, but I really want to avoid having our house look like a toy store! Part of it is selfish on my part—I want the house to look nice—but the other part is that I don't think Emerson needs an overabundance of toys. I'm not saying we're going to deprive him of things to play with, but I don't think he needs every toy imaginable.

So far, Adam and I haven't really bought him any toys (with the exception of the activity mat, which was definitely worth it!). I think we'll be able to rely on grandparents to keep his toybox full! And for anything else, we have plenty of friends to borrow things from. At this point, he's still young enough that he doesn't need much, but as he gets bigger, the toys get bigger (and noisier) too!

Most nights after baby boy goes to bed I try to pick up most of the toys. Of course they all come back out every morning, but it's nice reclaim the living room, at least for a few hours each night. For now everything fits in a small basket in the living room or the one in his room. I'm on the hunt for a large storage ottoman for the back room to fill with toys. We just brought an exersaucer up from the basement (picture a large, brightly colored, plastic plaything). I've been keeping it in the back room. Emerson loves to sit in it, and it's great to contain him when I'm running downstairs to change over the laundry or working in the kitchen, but it doesn't exactly go with my decorating scheme!


IMG_0912Look at that cute face! He totally makes all the plastic, primary-colored toys worth it :) And now that he's learned how to roll over from tummy to back and back to tummy, we're going to have to start childproofing.

Any other moms have tips for managing kids clutter?

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Andrea Cooley

  1. Andrea, I was right there with you when our first was born…but then slowly the toys took over – and all we have bought to date for both our kids have been a handful of matchbox cars. 

    It's VERY hard to influence all the grandparents not to buy toys for birthdays/holidays/just because they want to, but they do know that we don't want anything battery operated in our house, and it if it does require batteries, we just don't put them in from the beginning. Which keeps the noise down to a minimum. I have consistently asked for "no gifts" in birthday party invitations and encouraged them to consider contributing to the kids' college savings accounts. 

    I think I finally have to just accept that for this time in my life, I will have toys sprawling (although I do try to organize them into baskets/containers/boxes) all over and that a stranger walking into our home would know without a doubt we have little kids. 

    And then once our kids are grown up, well, I'll probably still have toys out for the hoped for grandkids:)

    • Joylynn, you’re so right, I can’t deny the fact that we now have a baby in the house, but I can try to keep the toys to a minimum. I love your idea of not having battery-operated toys! I’ll have to remember that!

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