One of the questions we get asked the most is, "Where are all the toys?" Don't worry! I promise you the girls do have toys and our house is not always as tidy as it looks in the pictures. Although they do have plenty of toys, I must admit that we don't have tons and tons of them. This is for two reasons. First, I really want both Lillie and Lola to be creative and use their imaginations so we do alot of coloring, painting and drawing as well as reading and puzzles and stuff like that. Now, don't get me wrong, we still have some oh-so-lovely plastic toys too, including Lillie's current favorite, a Dora the Explorer guitar that lights up and and plays all sorts of loud songs, but we don't have an over-abundance of them.
The second reason is that our house, although I wouldn't necessarily consider small, I wouldn't think of it as big either (I think it is around 1800 square feet), and we have very little storage space. We live in a townhouse and don't have a basement or attic. The bedrooms each have a closet but other than that we just have one tiny coat closet downstairs and a tiny linen closet upstairs, and that is pretty much it for storage. If we had all sorts of toys we wouldn't have anywhere to put them and would be tripping over them all day, which I am pretty sure would drive both Jon and I insane as we are both neat freaks - although since having children we have learned to loosen up considerably!
So, with that little disclaimer I will tell you where we keep the toys that we do have. We keep the larger items (doll strollers, soccer ball, beach toys, etc.) out in the garage when they aren't being used. Then a bunch more of Lillie's things are in her closet and bookshelf. We keep her little kitchen set (which is her largest toy by far) up in her room.
When we first got her this little desk and chair last summer she didn't use it much but lately has started enjoying sitting at it and reading or coloring.
In her little window seat area if you pull the skirt below the seat back there is storage space to put all sorts of junk.
The rest of the toys and baby items are pretty much all stored in this room. They are all there, you just can't see them.
See this little ottoman? If you lift the top off there is all sorts of space to store things.
Over in the corner next to the TV we have a little toy box that looks like a trunk.
Next up - the white slipcovered chairs. Just lift up their skirts and underneath both of them are lots of toys.
Our coffee table has four drawers that are full of all sorts of gadgets and then there are two baskets full of books and puzzles.
And even underneath the coffee table we slide more games and toys.
Underneath the other half of the coffee table is a little basket that contains all of Lola's diapers, wipes, burp clothes and all of those kinds of things. And of course more toys are slid underneath that too.
I plan on moving one of my old side tables with drawers here so we can have more storage for the growing piles of Lola's things. Having lots of furniture with drawers and shelves certainly helps with hiding all the clutter. I like the look of this table better but eventually I can move it back.
And there you have it! That is where we keep the toys. Now as far as the question about it looking so neat goes, well that's a different story. If you walked into our house on a weekday morning it might look like a bomb went off. Because a messy house makes me super stressed, though, I try to clean everything up and get things back in place when the girls are napping and as soon as they go to bed each night before I start working. That helps it from getting too out of control. If you walked into our house after the girls are in bed or during naptime then it will look similar to what you see here on the blog. Although we generally keep it quite tidy, I must admit it can get VERYYYYYYY dirty. There are days that there are about three meals worth of food underneath our dining room table. Haha! Gross, I know! However, yesterday we did a long overdue scrub down of everything and cleaned out drawers, drains and all sorts of other fun stuff. Ahhhhh - I forgot how amazing it feels to have the house feel so CLEAN! Let's see how long that lasts. =)
A lot of readers also wonder about having so much white in a house with two small children. I will address that in another post.
This has nothing to do with this post, but I thought I would share a few pictures of Lillie wearing her Notre Dame basketball jersey while playing tennis a couple of weeks ago. I think we still have a few years until she knows what she is doing but it was still fun to watch her out there playing around with our neighbors.
And lastly, we now have the 12" by 16" Give Thanks Pillow Covers available.
I hope you all have a most fabulous Monday!