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Here is my latest article featured in the July 2013 issue of MainLineParent Magazine.  If you have small kids and feel overwhelmed with toys, this article you won’t want to miss!

Once upon a time there was a young couple. They got married, bought their first home, and the décor reflected a combination of their own style —  a whimsy of Martha Stewart, Pottery Barn, and touch of shabby chic. Warm, inviting, and organized.

Fast forward five years and that same house is now filled with exersaucers, bouncy seats, Legos, and Littlest Pet Shop figures, all topped with a mountain of stuffed animals. Sound vaguely familiar?

If so, you are not alone. It was my life for many years, and more than likely yours at some point. We love our kids, but that doesn’t mean that we love all their stuff — especially when it’s all over your house.

As a mother of a 12 and 9 year old, I am here to tell you there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Eventually your kids will outgrow Bey Blades and American Girl Dolls, but until that time, you need to figure out a way to reclaim your home without making it a museum where your kids have no where to play.

Toy storage options can be overwhelming, so to save you any added stress, I’ve taken guesswork out for you. Below are my top 10 favorite storage options for summer 2013:

1. The Cameron Collection from Pottery Barn Kids

Why I love it:

  • The cubbies are deep enough for a basket or a large toy, but not too deep to “lose” stuff.
  • It grows as your child does. From baby toys, to books, puzzles, and action figures, this storage unit has room for every child’s growing needs and interests.
  • Whether you prefer open cubbies, drawers, or cabinets, this unit has it all! Customize to suit your needs.

2. You say Coffee, I say Play Table from Land of Nod

Why I love it:

  • Deep drawers hold a variety of items ranging from arts and crafts to blankets.
  • If your family room doubles as play room, this is a great storage solution to hide toys out of site when guests arrive.
  • Sturdy enough to withstand daily use and no more worrying about sharp corners!

3. Tupperware Modular Mates

Why I love it:

  • These versatile storage containers are great for holding Legos, Polly Pockets, markers, crayons…the list is endless!
  • The clear storage makes it easy for kids to identify contents.
  • Stackable to maximize any space.

4. Large Lego Storage Brick from The Container Store

Why I love it:

  • Vibrant colors make it fun and easy for kids to pick up Lego pieces.
  • Available in various sizes to accommodate any space.
  • They bring style and color to a playroom or bedroom.

5. TAGstore Boxes from The Container Store

Why I love it:

  • Color coding makes it easy to identify what is inside.
  • Stackable bins make the most of vertical space.
  • The built-in tab allows you to label with a dry erase marker; change the contents update the label.

6. A vintage box with casters like this one by Holly Mathis 

Why I love it:

  • Character, Character, Character. If you like unique, you’ll love this creative use for a vintage soda box.
  • Re-use, Re-purpose, Re-cycle. The perfect option for a small budget and large imagination!
  • Casters make for great under the bed storage or moving around a room for a quick cleanup.

7. Decorative Wall Planters available at local garden stores 

Why I love it:

  • Great use of vertical space, leaving the floor clear for much needed play space.
  • If you don’t want your home to look like a day care, opt for storage that doesn’t scream “kids!”
  • Easy to see contents and reach inside to get toys as well as put them away.

8. Trofast from IKEA

Why I love it:

  • Affordable, easy to assemble, and full of function.
  • Customize bin colors to suit your style.
  • Various size bins make it an ideal toy solution.

9. Acrylic CD & DVD from The Container Store 

Why I love it:

  • Inexpensive, durable, easy to see contents.
  • Easy to add additional units as your library grows.
  • Narrow enough to fit inside most shelving units.

10. Store By Numbers Cube Bins from Land of Nod             

Why I love it:

  • Great storage for books, games, toys and stuffed animals.
  • Perfect size bins makes clean up a cinch.
  • Stylish Jute with stenciled numbers add an updated look to storage bins.

Remember, just because your house may be overrun with toys doesn’t mean that it has to look that way. Try to select pieces that reflect your style and can grow along with your kids so everyone can enjoy their space.