Hiding in Plain Sight- 3 Ideas to Organize, Conceal, & Store All Those Baby Things in the Living Room

Before we even get into today’s post, I feel like I need to start with a multi-part disclaimer. Since our adoption announcement, we’ve received so much incredible support. Seriously, through some of the more difficult days, positive words from many of you have given us reasons to smile. But, I’ve also had several “can’t wait to see what happens to your living room” and “interested to see how you handle your home once the baby’s here” kinds of comments. I’m hoping these are coming from a genuine place of challenging me for ideas, rather than secretly hoping I will fail haha. Maybe there’s a little bit of both buried in there 😉 And, while I’m not a mom just yet, believe me, my wheels are already turning and today, I’m sharing a few ideas we’re planning to implement when it comes to organizing, concealing, and storing *all things baby* in the main living areas.

*This post is published in partnership with Pottery Barn, one of my favorite home retailers. As always, all opinions, concept, and creation are my own. Posts on KelleyNan.com may contain affiliate links. Click HERE for full disclosure*

NOTE: Most everything in today’s post is on sale for the One Day Premier Sale. Use code THANKYOU for 20% off orders under $1,000, 25% orders $1,000+, plus, free shipping.

How to have a nice living room with kids with these storage and organization ideas

Part two of my disclaimer — we’re already used to a totally livable home style. Truly. I try to pick things up semi-often but you aren’t going to see the messes we make regularly in photos. My vacuum isn’t used as often as it should be, we have stains on rugs and dirt on the floor, and we don’t make anything off limits to our three dogs (yes, we already have three dogs). There’s nothing in our home that’s too precious that I would be devastated about if it had to be replaced one day. We try to take care of our things and rules will become even more important soon, but we already live in our house and use our things. Hard. So, have I lived with a child? No. Do I think we will adapt a little easier than some are giving us credit for? Yes. Time will tell and this time next year, I may be back, eating my words 😉

Something we don’t have to consider as much with dogs though is all that *stuff*. Our bedrooms are on the second floor so we are planning to keep a lot of essentials available on the main floor, in the family room. I feel like it will be a while before we find our flow and I can share how we handle the gear (swing, bouncer, etc. etc.) but in terms of first floor baby essentials, I’ve already landed on a few solutions!

Living Room Storage Ideas

The last part of my disclaimer is that as always, this is a judgement free zone and there should be no shame in your baby game! You shouldn’t feel like you have to erase any evidence of your kids living in your home. It’s your (and their) home. You gotta do what works for you. But, like my other organization posts, I am taking on the challenge of coming up with workable systems for our family and am trying to think ahead so when a baby does come into the mix, we aren’t overwhelmed with all the visual clutter. It doesn’t mean we can’t and won’t have it, it will just have a dedicated home. Hiding. In Plain Sight.

How to organize your living room with a baby

Would you believe me if I told you that in this photo, there was a stack of diapers, a big packet of wipes, changing pad, children’s books, swaddles/blankets, toys and stuffed animals, burp cloths, socks, mittens, and pacifiers? And no, not in the built-ins (that space is already being used for other things). Everything listed is in fact in this photo; they’re all just hiding. It isn’t always possible (or practical) to bring in large, heavy storage furniture like consoles, dressers and cabinets, but there are ways to adapt without creating an entirely new living space.

Two story living room decor and furniture configuration ideas

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Let’s go ahead and get into it and I’ll share my favorite solutions thus far, along with all the multi-purpose storage items I’ve sourced from Pottery Barn.

1. Create a mobile changing station

This is an easy need to address; I can already foresee that I’m not always going to feel like going upstairs to the nursery to change diapers in the evenings. I’m all about convenience and know I want to make space for diapering essentials… but what if you don’t have a cabinet? What if your coffee table is open, like mine? I know most baskets that would be large enough to hold everything would become one big jumbled mess in no time. Y’all, I found the perfect mobile changing station; it’s even on wheels!

How to hide baby gear and kid toys in a living room

The Charleston Recycling Bin (there are actually several colors and weaves HERE) is sectioned into three compartments; each divider can be removed for more/less space. It’s the perfect basket to be able to use and to actually organize the contents. And a major perk- I can use the front portion to hold throws/pillows, just like my previous blanket basket, to help conceal that its purpose is anything more than to house cozies.

Portable diaper changing station and storage in the living room

It’s also deep so you can’t see anything unattractive peeking out from across the room. Here, I have one section holding a portable changing mat, 10 diapers (it could EASILY hold WAY more), and a big container of wipes. In the next compartment, I have a few large books and lightweight swaddle blankets. Again, these dividers can be removed if you want a single big compartment, big compartment and slim compartment, etc.

How to hide diapers in a pretty diaper changing station in the living room

And, if you don’t have children, this is still an awesome solution for stashing your laptop in the living room, or with older kids, coloring books and crayons… maybe you knit? Seriously, so many possibilities.

Mobile baby diaper changing station that can be concealed

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2. Use a Pretty (Large) Catchall

While some things are better organized, others just need hidden storage. This lidded tulip basket (HERE) is a longtime favorite and perfect for a casual toy dump. It’s a great shape nestle up to a side table, chair, or stand alone in a corner. It’s attractive enough to even be placed on the fireplace hearth.

Basket and baby toy storage ideas in the living room

It’s also really spacious inside…

How to hide toys in the living room

Something you’ll notice too is that I have all different basket weaves- they don’t have to match! It makes everything feel a little more collected and  I think even more disguises the fact that it’s part of the master “baby storage plan” 😉

Living room storage and organization ideas

We love our coffee table (HERE) but storage ottomans are another great option; you can even use small storage ottomans in pairs or by themselves — under a console table, in front of a chair, next to a wall, etc.

And here are a few other lidded baskets…

3. Stack small boxes

Good bookshelf/tabletop baskets aren’t easy to come by and I have an even deeper appreciation for them now. Full disclosure, until now, most of mine have remained empty! Before coming up with solutions, I first made a list of the items I *thought* I would need to come up with a solution for. There are a lot of little things I think I want to keep accessible in the family room and I found some stackable lidded baskets that are the ideal size.

How to hide baby things in plain sight in the living room

Getting the right size is important — too small and you’re spreading all the items out and stashing them all over the living room (how will you keep up?!), but too large of a basket, and it will likely never be truly organized. The lidded document tray (HERE) was perfect for what I was looking to store.

Ideas for hiding and storing baby bibs and burp cloths in the living room

Pottery Barn carries a lot of my favorite baskets but I’ve been a big fan of their bathroom lidded baskets (designed to hold toilet tissue) for years. In addition to being the perfect, stackable catch-all organizers, they are one of my bookshelf/table styling go-tos.

Hidden in plain sight- how to hide, store and organize kid toys and baby items

* BONUS * My Favorite Remote Control Storage EVER

And speaking of small baskets, this last nugget doesn’t pertain to kids but is too good not to share. I think this little desk rectangular box needs to be re-marketed as “remote control holder” because it’s seriously the best one I’ve ever found.

Coffee table styling and decor in the living room

Whether you need it for your living room, bedroom nightstand, entry landing for keys, or dresser/vanity, this dainty little hinged box (HERE) will never get old. It’s also on sale today 😉

How to hide and store remote controls in the living room

How to decorate and style a rectangular cofee table

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How to organize and store items in the living room

If you’ve landed on any favorite ways to stash baby/kid items, let me know in the comment section below! I have a lot to learn and experience and I can’t wait for it all! As always, I so appreciate your grace as I do work to figure things out 😉 I still do have an FAQ (re: our adoption journey) coming soon and there haven’t been any announcements. ;To see more organization, adoption, kid stuff, home projects, or upcoming room makeovers and entertaining ideas, subscribe to my emails at the bottom of the post!

Other Related Posts

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13 Comments

  1. 4.4.19

    I can’t imagine anyone would wish failure on you!!! It is all going to be awesome. I used a wicker tea cart in my dining room as a change table on wheels. LOL. Everything was neatly placed in baskets and it worked perfectly. I had my handy hubby change out the glass. I covered a pc of wood with foam and material that matched the decor….it was totally incognito!!!
    When that fails….as …trust me…when you’re in a hurry it will….laundry baskets are the bomb!!! Stick everything in them….including a sleeping baby….lol.
    I cannot wait to follow your journey Kelley…BEST…XO

    • 4.4.19

      I know MOST have good intentions and I seriously do have some of the BEST readers! 😉 That sounds like an awesome solution; I’m picturing it in my head! Oh and for sure haha! I have those laundry basket rushes all the time!! And thank you so much for your sweet words! xoxo

  2. 4.4.19
    Jayne Z said:

    A wise woman I worked with once told me that children will live up to whatever standards we set for them. We had white furniture and creamy carpets throughout the house and it was never a problem. Even his friends whose parents didn’t expect them to behave or respect their homes came over and were a joy to have around. There was no problem because we were all respectful of not only each other, but our home. People who allow children to just run wild and not respect anything or anyone make it very hard on their children. I’m not in any way saying we were strict or rigid — far from it and all of my son’s friends loved to cover over (and most wanted to live with us)!!!!

    • 4.4.19

      Jayne! I LOVE THIS! You are so right and this is how I was raised too. I’m not a parent so I don’t have much personal experience to speak from or advice to offer but I believe this so hard and am hopeful that this can be our reality. Thank you so much for taking the time to share!!!

  3. 4.4.19
    Jill said:

    Great ideas!! I have four kids and while we def have clutter around sometimes you’ve already figured it out. If things have a place, they’re much more likely to get there!

    • 4.4.19

      Jill, this is so encouraging! Thank you for sharing your experience!

  4. 4.4.19

    DON’T let anyone discourage you about Anything! Any new Mother will tell you.. it is a day to day joy & the toughest job you will ever have! You learn new tricks as a Mom every single day.. So will you! Sooo excited to be introduced to your new baby whenever that is.. I wish you all the happiness ! You will be a pro.. just like you are in all your posts.. Just Excited so much for you!!!

  5. 4.4.19
    Gretchen Thomas said:

    I love all of your “secret” baskets! I actually have the organizer and thanks to you, will put it to use! I am so excited about your new journey. Your sweet baby will have the best mama and daddy. ?

  6. 4.4.19
    Connie said:

    Great ideas! For those that make comments about how your home, a specific room, etc., will look, I say, don’t worry. I’ve had three children and your home does not get destroyed if you’re organized and have the kids play in a certain area and as crazy as it sounds…outside!!! My kids played in their rooms, outside, etc. They didn’t drag their toys all over and when they were old enough, participated in the clean up. Will you be tired, of course, will there be some days you don’t want to clean up, absolutely…so what!! Enjoy your bundle and have a wonderful life.

  7. 4.4.19
    Katie said:

    Pro tip: rotate the diapers in the organizer so that the folded portion is what you’ll grab. They’ll be easier to pull out of the bin, and you’ll be able to fit more. Good luck!

  8. 4.5.19
    Michele M. said:

    Kelley. I think you’ve come up with some incredibly awesome ideas to stylishly keep things tidy in your gorgeous home.

    You will find as parents you won’t care nearly as much about tidiness, too – because that bundle of love’s arrival to you will be all that matters in the world!

    I wish you every blessing, every joy and every smile- best wishes for all to go smoothly. You will be amazing parents. I am so excited for this new journey for you both! ♥

    Hugs.

  9. 4.5.19
    Dina C. said:

    Hi Kelley, this room is gorgeous! I just found you today on Pinterest. I’m wondering if you have any info on the stone fireplace? We are re-doing ours. I want the stone to go all way up like yours, although the ceilings are 10 feet tall, not quite as grand as yours. I’d love to know the manufacturer and any other info so I can look into getting this stone. Thanks!

  10. 6.19.19
    Joy said:

    Love how you decorate. Absolutely love the office ideas of hiding all cords!! Beautiful…all beautiful!

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