a little bit of storage in my life

(Sorry if Mambo #5 is now playing in your head, but I couldn’t resist.)  Ok, so I know it wasn’t even on my big boy room to-do list yet, but it just felt like it was time to add some storage in there.  (Probably because I was planning my new more-functional office — more on that soon — and had storage on the brain.)  I originally thought we wouldn’t put any toys in the room with J initially so there was no temptation for him to get out of bed and play at night.  But, I was also having a hard time getting much daytime in-room play time to get him used to the room yet without it.  So, I caved and decided it was time to bring on the toys.

I thought about getting more of the Storagepalooza bins from Land of Nod like we got for his nursery, but 1) they aren’t cheap, 2) I was afraid some smaller cars could get lost in the bottom, and 3) the white color they sell doesn’t match the white we have going on in there.  Number 3 wouldn’t have been that big of a deal but with the price being higher and them not being ideal for storing his current playtime obsession, I moved on.

I have heard there are also some similar to the Storagepalooza at overstock.com right now that are more affordable — search on “stackable storage cubby” if you are looking for them on their site.  They didn’t have any white ones, though, so I kept brainstorming.

A few years back, we bought a couple of the 2 cube x 4 cube Expedit bookcases from Ikea to use in our basement, so they came to mind because 1) the price was good, 2) I can get them already painted white, and 3) our others have held up well.  So, I checked them out online to be sure that the dimensions would fit what I was thinking.  And yep.  They were going to fit nicely.  Again, we would go with the 2 cube x 4 cube kind.  I was going to use them like a short, long bookcase instead of a narrow, tall one.  And they were going to be perfect.

I wanted to figure out a way to hold some of his smaller cars and trucks, though.  So, I decided on getting 4 Branas baskets (also from Ikea) for the bottom row of cubes to hold his smaller toys.  They are small enough that he can get them in and out on his own but big enough they can hold a lot of toys.  Yay.

Now, I just had to convince Michael that an afternoon run to Ikea once J woke up from his nap was what we all needed.  He must not have eaten yet or was just distracted because he agreed without any coaxing.  Woohoo.

So, we headed down there and bought 1 white Expedit (69.99) and 4 white Branas baskets (14.99 each) for less than what one of the 2-bin or 3-bin Storagepaloozas would have cost us.  Yay.  I still love the Storagepaloozas for the nursery (and someday the playroom?), but I’m glad we went the less expensive route this time.  Plus, the ones we got for this big boy room are a little wider and a little less deep than the others so the size works a little better in here, too.

Big Boy Room Storage Expedit and Branas Instructions

O, and this Ikea trip may have set some sort of record.  Even on a busy Saturday afternoon, we were in and out in under 40 minutes.  Impressive, right?  What can I say, it’s a special skill of mine. :)

When we got home, J was so excited about his new “toy shelf”, he demanded that we build it right away.  And well, it just must have been some kind of everything-aligning-just-right kinda day (remember Michael agreed without any extra persuasion, super-efficient Ikea run, and now this), because Michael and I got it unpacked and built in just about 30 minutes.

Big Boy Room Storage Expedit Assembly In Process

Maybe it’s that I just love the crazy directions-with-no-words Ikea way.  Or maybe my watch stopped working and it really took longer.  I gotta say I was proud of us.  And J was ecstatic about his “big boy toy shelf”.  It was a good day.  And I got to check something off my list that was not actually on there yet.  Double-woohoo.

Big Boy Room Storage Empty Expedit

No sooner had I gotten the baskets put in the bottom cubbies that the little fellow swooped in and pushed them all in.  Hmmm.  I needed to figure out a way to keep them straight-ish.

Big Boy Room Storage Crooked Baskets

So, I wandered around the house looking for small objects to try between the basket and the base moulding on the wall to see what the right depth of some sort of guard might be.  (Yeah, measuring might have been easier, but this seemed easier…)  Index cards were too big, but a pack of the tiny post-its was just right.  So, I knew I was looking for something just under 2 inches wide.  I found an old bag of Jenga pieces I bought at a thrift store for less than a dollar to use for scrap wood and had a plan.

Big Boy Room Storage Jenga Rigging Blocks

I wood-glued 2 pieces flat-ways together for each cubby and rubber-banded each set together to let the wood glue dry.

Big Boy Room Storage Glued Jenga Blocks

And painted them white to blend in a little better.

Big Boy Room Storage Painting Jenga Blocks

And added little felt bumpers on the front and back to keep them from scratching the basket or the moulding, and attached them to the base of the Expedit with some 3m Picture Hanging Strips so that they could easily be removed if we repurpose this shelf in the future.

Big Boy Room Storage Expedit With Branas Baskets

I gotta say, this Expedit is going to make pretty good big boy room storage.  And J agrees.  Though, I can already tell he is more into pulling everything out of it than admiring its beauty and function.  O well.  I’ll take the win either way.

Now, I need to add toys and something on the wall above it.

Big Boy Room Complete:
Cleared out guest room furniture
Painted (walls, ceiling, moulding)
Replaced window hardware
Installed smoke detector
Replaced fan with cute orb light
Found twin beds
Bought mattresses/mattress wrappers
Bought bedding
Ordered rug/rug pad
Toy storage

Big Boy Room Still To-Do:
Fill toy shelf
Add pops of red
Blackout curtains
Bedside table?
Something for the walls (monogram, racing stripes, something to balance how short everything in the room is)

Check out the big boy room mood board to see my overall vision for this room. Mood Board for J's Big Boy Room Anyone else find their zen with Ikea’s wordless directions?  I seriously enjoy building this stuff.  I know, that’s not normal.  Turns out these Expedit bookshelves are pretty popular on the web.  Do you have one??  If so, how have you rigged the baskets to stay straight across the front?

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8 thoughts on “a little bit of storage in my life

    • Thanks, Elizabeth! Using those Jenga pieces made that many less items in our garage for my husband to gripe about :)

  1. Umm, yeah, uh-mazing idea with the Jenga pieces! And with going the extra mile by painting and felting them! And yes, I love the Ikea instructions, too. I actually find everything I’ve bought from there incredibly easy to assemble. (Ugh. I haven’t been to Ikea in at least 5 years. I’m having serious serious withdrawals…)

    • I don’t know how you have stayed away from Ikea for 5 years – ever since I went my first time, I have always had at least one thing that I want to go check out down there every few months!

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