Toys in the Mix

Oh my helpful Jack. I can’t fault him for being so cleanly – it’s in his genes. Even when it takes him triple time to pick up his books, blocks or trucks, I still let him do it. My heart beats proud. And the satisfaction smile he flashes me afterwards is worth millions.

Friday we were in-sync. Cleaning the house for a family BBQ we hosted Saturday. One of my favorites of toddlerhood is Jack’s ability to know where things go and how things work. Not only does he put toys away in the random spots I’ve made their homes (explained below) and keeps sippy cups in the kitchen, but he puts Dad’s hat in his closet, magazines in the basket and loose change in the drawer.

If there’s a bit of dirt left on the floor, he swoops it up. “Dirt,” he observes and takes it to the trash. Our dogs aren’t allowed to lick up dropped cheerios and the pillows must be placed on the bed shortly after we wake. My tidy little guy.

Such a trait in Jack doesn’t come from my husband. It’s one of a few similarities Jack and I share. While my husband enjoys a clean house, he’s not the one that put it together. Justin does the cooking. I do the cleaning and laundry. Jack helps with it all.

As we clean for the weekend company, I realize how I’ve intertwined many of Jack’s belongings within our earthy-style home. We don’t have the luxury of a playroom – yet anyway – so all our living, dining and kitchen areas (all openly connected) serve as our play/live spaces.

When baby Jack began romping around toy-to-toy, I decided I didn’t want his overabundance of things to clutter over our family space. Instead, I incorporated his toys and books into our home.

A decently-priced storage ottoman (this one from Target) holds most big items and is easily accessible in our living room.

A soft bin holds all Jack’s favorite little things on the bottom shelf of our living room shelves. Easy for him to drag out. Above are usually books, blocks and puzzles. Anything too large for the ottoman or bin.

As most, we rarely use the dining room, but it’s situated off the kitchen and foyer, and usually trafficked often. It’s also the home of our bookshelf. When Jack started walking, he discovered the bottom two shelves. So, I removed the breakables and easily torn books and replaced the space with Jack’s toys and books.

Toys, books and other items in “Jack’s spaces” are rotated monthly-ish with others stored in his room. It keeps things fresh. For Jack. And for us.

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