Ask and you shall receive (part 3)

So, I didn’t really expect to turn this into a series, but it sorta has of its own accord!  It took me FOR-E-VER to load the pictures from the last two posts and format them correctly, so I decided to divide the downstairs into smaller chunks since there’s a lot more square footage to cover, and more organizational stuff since we’re down there most of the time.

You ready?  I am.  Sort of.  I mean, my house isn’t exactly at its cleanest right now…we have two dogs, a cat, a toddler, and two adults, plus laminate flooring in most of our downstairs rooms…so just do yourself a favor and focus on the organization and not the cleanliness (or, lack thereof, more appropriately) of our house.  Pretty please?

Here goes.


This is the space right off of our front entry, and while it used to house our *cough cough* “formal” dining room, once our baby became a toddler, we decided to convert it into her playroom.  Having the room as a dedicated playroom makes it easier for me when I’m home with her to keep an eye on her while she’s playing, and all of her toys (granted, she doesn’t have a lot) don’t take over our living room.  Plus, we used our dining room maybe, five times in the five years we’ve been married?  Okay, so the photo above is to give you an idea of what it looks like as a whole.  PS ~ do you see my cat perched on top of sweet girl’s play kitchen? Love it.  Actually, it kind of irritates me because then there’s cat hair all over it…but that’s another post, I suppose.


…is a ClosetMaid cube storage system from Tar-jay (fine, Target).  The bins are sold separately, but are made to fit inside of the CM systems.  They’re just beautiful, aren’t they?  *sigh*  My system isn’t 100% complete yet, but these bins store ALL of my daughter’s toys.  The only exception is one small purple and pink Circo bin on rollers and with handles that lives in my office upstairs ~ that bin holds a few toys, some colors, and a coloring pad for when we’re up there and want to play.

Anyway, the bins are separated into categories.  One holds musical instruments, one holds puzzles, two hold books, one holds smaller toys (which I strongly dislike, so she doesn’t have a lot of these), one holds all her play food, one has games…what I want to do is take pictures of the types of toys that go into each one and attach them to the bins so that she’ll know exactly what goes in each one (although she knows most of them, that will make it easier for her during clean-up time).

Melissa D., this next one’s for you, so pay attention!


I call this area of our house the launching pad because it houses everything that we need to get out of the house in the mornings. You know, to “launch” us out of the house…ready to go, with all the stuff we need…yeah.

The picture quality is terrible ~ sorry.  Just a general overview of what the area looks like.

The top part of the system.  There are three shelves, one for each of us in the family.  The one on the left is my daughter’s, the one in the middle is mine, and the one on the right is DH’s.  Three hooks are below each shelf.  I put keys on the first one, and then the second and third hooks hold coats/jackets during the winter, and bags that I need to take out to my car.  To the left of the system is a Post-It pocket.  That serves as our paper outbox, so papers that I need to take somewhere or mail that needs to be, well, mailed, go into that.

The bottom half of the launching pad.  The brown cube on the left is where all of my daughter’s Mother’s Day Out stuff goes when she gets home on the three days she goes (her nap mat, bag, and extra stuff that may need to go out with her the next time she attends).  The basket on top of the bench is an outbox for things that don’t fit into the Post-It pocket, like stuff that needs to go to someone, returns that need to be made, and things to go out to the garage.  And, on the inside of those cabinets…

…are these items.  The left cabinet stores bags that I’m not currently using, but that I use very often.  The big bag is my diaper bag that I use when I’m out and about with my sweet daughter, and the smaller one holds all of my coupon materials.  The other cabinet holds stuff for Charlotte.  Right now, there are swim diapers and our beach/swimming bag for when we go to the pool. With the weather getting considerably warmer, we’ve already started going to some pools, and this bag holds everything we need to go ~ snacks, towels, floaties, swim shirt, hat, sunglasses, diapers, etc…


Kinda hard to see because the space is so narrow, but this is what I call my cleaning closet.  It’s the hall closet right off of the entryway, and it stores all of our main cleaning stuff ~ vacuum, Swiffer mop, dry mop, steam mop (yes, I know, it’s a lot of mops), and then all of the other cleaning supplies that we use often are stored in the cube system.  The cubes are two ClosetMaid three-shelved units stacked on top of each other, with those same fabric bins that I love.  On the wall next to the system (that silver thing) is one of those Simple Human plastic bag holders so that I can reuse the ones I get at the store.

The top shelf of the cleaning closet.  We keep coolers up here, our instruction manual binder, a fire extinguisher, and the plastic bin holds paper bags that I like to reuse.

That’s enough for today’s home tour; join me next week when I continue the organization of the rest of our downstairs…

2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Stephanie said,

    Wish my house was this clean your playroom makes me want to throw toys away Your closet is amazing

  2. 2

    Melissa said,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

    We don’t have room for an additional “launching pad” in our house… but it’s given me some ideas of how to structure one in the spaces we have (not all in one place, but it’ll be spread throughout, to save space… hard to explain exactly).

    I love, love, love the toy organization ideas. Especially her books. I might be in love. I need that stuff. Yes, need.

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