Busy Cabinet

I may geek out over throw pillows and coffee table trays, but make no mistake, I’m obsessive when it comes to functionality. I want spaces organized to my liking so that I can make sure we are seeing items, using items, and not wasting items. As my dear friend, the creator of GLAMboxes says, “If you don’t see it, you won’t use it.” And I don’t like to waste anything from restaurant leftovers to craft supplies. 😉 So let’s chat furniture functionality with toddlers.

You may have noticed that next to the TV console, I have a little cabinet. A console next to a cabinet? Storage next to storage? Is that odd placement? Sure, sure. I probably agree. But it is functional! Let me explain! Our mirrored TV console has thin drawers, where we store movies, books, puzzles, and games to play as a family. But I wanted a piece that Maxi could get into whenever she wanted and the console has drawers that can be tricky. Maxi’s bedroom is down the hallway, as is our playroom, and where our IKEA toy storage is. Enter the idea of the busy cabinet.

The busy cabinet is a cabinet she can easily open and grab items to keep her busy. If I’m feeding baby brother, making dinner, or taking a call for work she knows she can get into these items and play. I keep a mix of sensory bins, educational toys, Highlights magazines, and mess-free crafts in the cabinet. The idea is for each item or “station” to keep her attention for at least 15 minutes. The sensory bins keep her attention for a solid 30-45!

Here’s what is in the cabinet from left to right:

  • MISC. CRAFT ITEMS– This white plastic bin {you can get from At Home or Target} houses mess-free crafts. I throw in everything from pipe cleaners and beads to paper dolls. I have a craft closet down the hall the stores Play-Doh, paint, and things she needs my hands to help with.

  • MAGNETIC DOLLS– Next to the crafts, we’ve got magnetic dolls. She loves these little sets, which act like paper dolls, but easier since they are magnets.

  • ALPHABET GAMES– She loves this alphabet game from Amazon. We keep that and some flashcards here.

  • SENSORY BINS– These are her Young, Wild, and Friedman kits I always rave about. She knows she takes these to the kitchen table and our living room is right off the kitchen, so it is easy for her.

  • MAGAZINE BIN– My Nana gets her a Highlights subscription and she loves them! I keep her Highlights and any fun workbooks or coloring books I find in this bin. We also have a Kiwi Co. subscription for her and I’ll save the little pamphlets from those in here, as they have more activity ideas!

  • COLORING SHEETS/CONSTRUCTION PAPER- I use a letter tray to keep Color Wonder coloring sheets and construction paper sorted for her to grab.

  • CRAYONS/MARKERS– This lazy susan sorts all of her markers and crayons, for her to easily sift through. I preach that this is one of the BEST organizational items you can buy for art supplies.

If you’ve got little ones, try and find a cabinet or piece of furniture that can serve as a “busy space.” You can make separate stations like I have on the shelves, or simply fill it with plastic bins that serve as different sensory bins. You can really make this idea work for ages 2-8, just depending on the items you use. My cabinet is from Horchow, but you could find something so similar from a buy/sell/trade page. I think it would be quite fun to refinish it or paint it to your liking. I mean, if you’ve got a piece of furniture dedicated to toddler items, you might as well have it look the way you want, right?! 😉

Let me know if you try this busy cabinet idea and what your little ones think!

My cabinet is Horchow here but it is sold out. I’ll link others!

 

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5 Comments

  1. Dee wrote:

    Great idea!

    Published 14 Sep 20Reply
  2. So well organised! Thanks for sharing! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Published 14 Sep 20Reply
  3. Shealyn wrote:

    Love this idea! All of our similar items are in an upper cabinet in our office. I’ve thought about moving them down to a more toddler accessible spot. My little guy is 2 and has never been wild or one to get into mess making. We have a new babe just a few weeks older than Harry! I can already tell his personality is a total 180° and for that reason I am going to keep things up high! I’m anticipating a total tornado child LOL Love the magnet dolls, I’m going to order some!!

    Published 14 Sep 20Reply
  4. Sarah wrote:

    Katey! Between this busy cabinet and the handheld Shark vacuum, I swear you are doing the Lord’s work for this currently working from home mama of two toddlers. THANK YOU!

    Published 15 Sep 20Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      This comment cracked me up and I want to give you a hug for it!! Bless you mama! Idk how you work from home with 2 toddlers! My photographer came over to shoot today, H wouldn’t nap, so we basically sat for two hours and she watched me clean up spit up! haha. xx, K

      Published 15 Sep 20Reply