One of the many things they don’t tell you in NCT classes is about the sheer amount of things that come along with small children. Sure, it starts off small – lovely tiny babygros and a couple of tasteful toys – but a few years and a couple of Christmasses and another child down the line it all escalates dramatically. Even with stealth, dead-of-night clearouts, parenting can involve an overwhelming avalanche of stuff.
So of course, you need places to store it all. But by default, lots of storage is boringly functional and it can be hard to find furniture that is practical for both parents and children and looks good too.
In a bid to solve our storage woes we’ve been testing out the Great Little Trading Company Easy Reach Storage in the grey star design (find it online here).
Who else *loves* GLTC? It’s always been one of my favourite children’s brands and I’ve spent many an hour rifling through the catalogue and checking out the toy kitchens online. So I was pretty thrilled to be picked to join the GLTC Testing Team recently which means I’ll be testing out products and all sorts of exciting things (read a little bit more about it over on the GLTC blog).
But back to storage…Following our loft conversion, Florence moved into Eliza’s old bedroom, which you can see in her toddler room tour. Although it’s a smallish room it used to have two giant useful cupboards which were great, but unfortunately, had to make way for the loft stairs. And as result F’s room was lacking in storage and we had more of a ‘free-range’ strategy for all for F’s stuff i.e. it was all lined up against the wall.
The Easy Reach Storage is a low and wide unit, with two toy shelves that children can easily access, along with three wheeled cube drawers. These have grey star pattern and chalkboard label for you to mark on the contents (*cough* if you can’t read my writing these currently say ‘secrets’, ‘F’s toys’ and ‘small things’ *cough*).
We thought it would work well for Florence as on the practical side it would store a lot of the loose toys but also make it easy for her to play as she can access everything herself – either from the low shelves or by taking out the drawers.
We’ve been using the shelves to store everything from toys to books – anything that she might want to access herself. The top shelf is also proving useful for a multitude of reasons, from being an actual shelf through to a train track ramp and Barbie ‘hotel.’
The three cubes are on wheels so very easy to take out, even when they are ever-so-slightly stuffed to the top with toys.
Assembly-wise, the unit comes in a flat pack, which is very easy to put together (so I’m told). At £229 the unit is not the cheapest, but it’s sturdy and well made, quality piece of furniture. And as an added bonus you can also reverse the drawers if you don’t want the star design on display, which means it can be completely neutral (meaning it would look good in other parts of the house at a later date).
What we like is that it allows you to proudly display the good toys within easy reach and hide all the less-than-pretty toys in the drawers – ou know the ones I mean – as well as holding all the millions of little things too. It’s also a good aid to play as it means you can rotate the toys around at different times.
It’s a practical and timeless design that’s not tied to a particular age and would be as great for a baby as is for an older child.
We were sent the Easy Reach Storage Grey Star Drawers for this post as part of the GLTC Testing Team More posts…What Kirstie and Phil don’t tell you about building work, and making a felt-ball garland.