Baby Wonder: my adorable little wrecking ball
First, we have downstairs. We have an antique cedar chest we inherited from a friend. the Mr. refinished it and we use it for our coffee table. The concept of furniture with no storage is foreign to me, since we have very little built into our townhouse. Inside the chest, I have two canvas covered diaper boxes for smaller toys (like the Little People train set, and his cars), then a series of larger toys take up the rest of the space. Baby Wonder can see each toy, thus avoiding the need to empty the chest to get to something (though this happens anyway. Whatever.)
Second, we have his bedroom. There is a smaller selection of toys here, all divided by theme (cars, balls, Mega Blocks, music, learning... and of course, safety cones. My son loves those safety cones). Each canvas box is labeled (mostly for me, as the 20 month old can't read), and he knows where to go for each activity. None of these bins are filled to the brim (except the Mega Blocks). In fact, most are just as sparse as the chest in the living room. He also has in his room a rocking horse, a train, and an obnoxious Toy Story punching bag that my mother thought was fabulous, and Baby Wonder rides like a horse. He has plenty of books in the canvas boxes above his toy storage, as well as within reach on the bookshelf downstairs.
Lastly, the REST. I use a large, clear plastic bucket to store the rest of the toys that are not currently in use. I rotate these toys every couple of months. That way, when Baby Wonder's interest is waning in the toys he currently has out, I have backups ready to go. The "old" toys get packed away, then brought back out and are treated as brand new and exciting. If a toy misses a rotation or two, I know it's time to donate it. This helps me keep the potentially hazardous amount of toys to a manageable level. This bucket stays in his closet, out of sight, under my sewing machine (like I said, not a ton of storage!) Sorry about the weird quality of this one, but you get the idea.
I've heard several friends comment on the maddening amount of toys that somehow automatically come with children. This is my method, hopefully it works with two kids!
Now, I've spent enough time on the internet. I have a date with Benson and Stabler.