Secret Baby Storage in the Living Room
Back before I had Rory, I vowed to be the kind of person who didn’t let baby stuff overrun her house. I mean, how much stuff could a little one need? Babies don’t even really play with toys until they’re older, right? Hmmm, I was definitely wrong. Ha! For being such a tiny person, Rory certainly comes with a lot of “stuff”. And she has go-to toys that she loves! But I will say, we have been really good about keeping our house as tidy and organized as possible, even with more toys and diapers than ever!
Today, I thought it would be fun to give you a tour of our living room. This is the main hangout room in our house. We play in here, Rory eats in here, and we do lots of diaper changes on the floor. It’s a very hardworking room!
We’ve come up with a good system for secret baby storage, mostly due to Finn’s efforts. Things have shifted and changed as we’ve come up with this system, but as of now, this is what has been working well for us and it hasn’t been too difficult to maintain.
Our Secret Baby Storage
Okay, before we dive into the details of the space, here are some things that help us. Note, Finn and I are both neat freaks (Finn even more than me). We like things in their place and having a messy house gives us both anxiety. So we realize we may be a teeeeny bit over the top, but this works for us!
- Nap Time Tidy Up: When Rory is awake, this room can quickly become a disaster zone. Whenever we get her down for a nap, we do a super quick tidy of the room. Usually, that means grabbing her dirty bottle, tossing wet bibs in the laundry, and throwing dirty diapers and wipes away. This prevents the room from getting too out of control and the mess piling up!
- End of the Day Clean: Rory is in bed by 7 pm and we usually eat dinner and hang in the living room or out on the deck until I head to bed. That’s when we’ll really get this room back in order. Toys go back in the TV console (more on that below), and we restock the bib and diaper area if it needs it.
- Constant Purging: It’s crazy how quickly Rory outgrows things! For example, we had this large Mamaroo bouncer that we borrowed from my brother in the living room for a while and she liked it. Now, she prefers bouncing herself in her Baby Bjorn. So instead of having the large Momaroo taking up valuable real estate, it goes downstairs to our “baby graveyard.” Yes, that’s what Finn calls it. I was like…” Hmmm, I think we need a new name for the section of the storage room for the baby items we no longer need. That sounds a tad creepy!” Our baby graveyard is growing and we’re planning to donate some items and keep others for (maybe someday!) another baby.
- Re-Evaluating: This little system we’ve created works for now. However, Rory changes so much week by week! Will this system work for us in a month? Will it work when she is crawling? Or walking? Probably not. We’re constantly re-evaluating how to keep the items we need in the most organized way possible.
Hidden in the TV Console
Our TV console is the real workhorse of this room. I found this large piece at Restoration Hardware Outlet for a steal. RH’s stuff is usually wayyyy outside of our budget, but I ended up finding this for 75% off. Before Rory, it was pretty empty! Now, here’s a look inside.
In here, we keep extra diapers, wipes, pee pads, diaper cream, bibs, burp cloths, toys, books, etc. Soooo much stuff!
I showed you this caddy when I gave you a tour of Rory’s nursery last month. We realized that we do four of Rory’s five daily feedings downstairs in the living room, so it made sense to move it down here. When we feed Rory we grab a bib, burp cloth for the shoulder, and a rag to wipe-up any excess drool or spit-up. Finn calls it a kit. (i.e. “Do you need a kit ready for the next feed?”) If we sit in the leather chair to feed Rory, we have everything right there, ready to go!
Another caddy holds Rory’s diaper essentials. In the beginning, we were doing a lot of changes in Rory’s nursery. We quickly realized that the girl likes to poop while eating (ha!), so instead of heading back upstairs, we do lots of diaper changes on the floor in the living room. You can just grab this caddy right out of the console and you have everything you need.
Funny story, my sister asked why there were so many pictures of Rory laying on pee pads in the living room. She thought they should only be for dogs! We like to let Rory air dry after changes to prevent diaper rash, so we put her on a pee pad to play. Those pee pads come in handy, I tell ya!
Our Play Gym & Toy Storage
We also keep all of our toys in the console in a little organized bin. When it’s play time, we get the bin out and Rory has her pick of toys!
In terms of toys, Finn’s mom got us two kits from Lovevery for 0-12 weeks and then 3-4 months. These toys are great because they’re age-appropriate and the Lovevery kit comes with tips on how to use each item when you play with your baby. Each one is designed to help with your child’s development and we’ve really enjoyed them.
We also have this toy piano (it actually comes with a playmat, but we just use the piano) that is Rory’s current obsession. Playing with this is the only way she tolerates tummy time these days and I swear we can thank this toy for her rolling over!
We keep the playmat out 24/7 and it doesn’t bother us much. We wash the mat once a week or so and it’s a great place for her to play and wiggle all around.
Hiding in the Ottoman
The other spot where we have secret baby storage is in our ottoman behind the couch area. Honestly, I kind of forgot that this was even a storage ottoman because before Rory we never ever used it! Now, it holds some bigger items that we like to have on hand.
My boppy pillow that I used for breastfeeding is in here. It’s a great tool for modified tummy time, so we grab that just about every day. We also keep Rory’s DockaTot and our Baby Bjorn carrier in here. The DockaTot will probably be heading to the “baby graveyard” soon because she doesn’t nap or hang out in it anymore (but it worked wonders for us during those early days). I love that this secret spot has lots of baby storage and you wouldn’t even know it!
Things in our house always seem to be changing, but as of now, this is the setup that works well for our little family of three. The adults get a spot to relax at the end of the day, while Rory has a nice little play area in between nap times. Eventually, I would like to create a designated playroom downstairs, but I think that will be a 2021 project…
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.