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.

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.

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.

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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!

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.

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.

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.

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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.

It’s also really spacious inside…

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” 😉

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.

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.

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.

* 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.

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 😉

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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

  • Full Organization Project Gallery
  • Living Room Reveal
  • PB Sofa Comparison
  • Adoption Announcement
  • Nursery Design Plan
  • Organized Game Cabinet
  • 11 Ways to Use Baskets in Your Home


Paint: Versatile Gray by Sherwin Williams | Flooring: Nottaway Hickory in Weathered Saddle

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