ManDIY: Easy Storage Boxes

book 1

Does this look familiar to anyone? 2-3 year-old monkey child who climbs up bookshelves, removes shelves, and loves to swim in a sea books?  I can handle toys on the floor. I can handle clothes on the floor. I CANNOT handle books on the floor. And I didn’t know what to do because our friends and family have provided us with an incredible library of children’s literature and I hated ripped pages and not being able to enjoy the wide selection of books we are fortunate to have. So, we bought the bookshelf, anchored it to the wall, and hoped it would help us store and use the books more effectively. It did not. Time to think outside the box……or perhaps in it!

I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. Even on sale, I can easily spend $30 on a few storage tubs and this wasn’t a $30 project.  I looked around the house for materials and had an idea. I’m proud of this because I didn’t see it on Pinterest. I actually used my own brain….it rarely happens. 🙂 At this stage in the game we have a plethora of diaper and wipe boxes sitting around at any given moment. I also had a roll of contact paper leftover from last summer.

I cut out the handles .

book 3

I also cut off the flaps from the top and stopped to make them into tickets for the Express Train running through our living room.

book 4

So here’s what I was starting with….

book 5

I wish I had discovered some easy way to cover the boxes to share with you. I did not. But the pattern of the contact paper was very forgiving and I wasn’t too concerned as I’m putting them in the trenches of the 3 year-old’s room.

book 10     book 9 book 8        book 7

I did need to patch up some corners which was pretty easy to do with a little strip of scrap contact paper.

book 13

And I cut holes where the handles were to make for easy transport.

book 14 book 15

I worked at trying to get all those bubbles and bumps out….for a while….. and then I let it go.

book 11

It’s not the most glamorous storage bin, but it serves a purpose and it looks better than the original diaper box. Plus I didn’t spend money and I recycled! After making my bins, I took our books and sorted them into categories that worked for us: food, school, Curious George, bedtime, classics, Mercer Mayer, love, dogs, etc. I wrote the theme on a either a gallon (Mercer Mayer sized) or 2 gallon plastic bag.  At story time we pick a theme, grab a bag and read away!

book 17

Does anyone have any other tips for organizing your children’s library? I know we’ll outgrow this system eventually!

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Posted in DIY

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