There are certain toys that can really explode all over your house, like Legos, Shopkins, LOL Dolls – and Barbies. If there isn’t some sort of system, they really end up all over the place and driving you, as a mom, completely nuts.
My two youngest girls are 8 and 5 and they are in that magical age where they still like dolls and like to play with them together. It melts my heart to hear them pretend-playing with Barbies in their sweet little voices. They’ll create all sorts of cute scenes and situations together and it’s just the best.
The messes they leave behind, though?? Not so much.
Their Barbies (and the Barbie Dreamhouse) are in a little corner in our upstairs loft area . I like it there because it’s a little tucked away so when they have Barbies all over the place as they are playing, they are not in the way with foot traffic.
To organize them, I had been keeping them in a stack of clear bins that had smaller white dividers. The bins worked for a while, but as their collection grew it began to loose its system, and I needed to figure out if we would keep going with more bins, or try to find a different solution. I didn’t like how the bins all ended up on the floor as they played, so I started to think about how I could use the vertical space in this area.
– and Solution!
I scoured Pinterest for ideas, searching for “barbie organization ideas” but really coming up short with inspo. A lot of the suggestions used clear drawer towers (which I don’t like) or over-the-door shoe organizers with pockets (which organized the Barbies themselves fine, but not so much the accessories and parts.) Plus, we didn’t have a door to hang something like that over. I wanted something neutral that blended in with the decor of our home and had good functionality.
My A-HA! moment came as I was watching an episode of the Home Edit on Netflix. They were organizing Khloe Kardashian’s garage, and used a rolling craft cart for her paint supplies. A light went off and I realized it would be PERFECT for what I needed in our little Barbie corner! It takes advantage of vertical space without a large footprint like a shelving unit would. Plus, it moves around – which is great for when the girls want to play with their Barbies somewhere else.
How I Put Together The “Barbie Cart”
- I found this cart at Target and picked it up via Drive Up. WHAT WOULD I DO WITHOUT TARGET DRIVE UP.
- Putting it together was easy! I always feel so accomplished when I built something lol.
- I repurposed the white bin divider inserts that I had previously used and used them to divide up each “shelf” of the cart. (PS. These dividers work great in drawers, too. I use the deep ones for the girls’ hair supplies in their bathroom drawer.) It took a little bit of moving them around and figuring out a good configuration, kind of like piecing together a puzzle.
- I laid out ALL their Barbies and accessories and parts on the floor and started to divide them up by categories. I do this every time I organize anything, whether it’s a kitchen or a bathroom or a playroom. This gave me a sense of how I can group the items by type, like “school,” ‘food,” “shoes,” “dresses,” etc.
- Once I figured that out, I placed the items into the dividers.
- I decided that the top shelf would be the Barbies themselves and their personal accessories. The middle shelf would be all their “toys” and parts that go along with playing. The bottom shelf would be designated for all their larger Barbie sets, like school, carnival, or beach sets; all those big bulkier parts. Since they are big, I didn’t use any dividers on this shelf. It would just be a landing spot.
- I labeled the shelves using these clip labels I already had. I used a chalk marker to write on them directly.
- For the final step, I labeled each divider container by the appropriate category using a label maker (click here for the one I love.) Labeling is an important step because it designates the sections for a specific purpose. Otherwise, you would just have a bunch of little containers to dump whatever in. It also makes clean-up easier, too, because you know where to put something away. And yes, I categorized the Barbies by hair color!
The cart works for so much more than Barbies
The rolling cart idea can be used for so much more than Barbies! Like…
- arts and crafts supplies (like crayons, markers, scissors, construction paper, paint, and stickers)
- cleaning and laundry supplies (like detergent bottles, spray bottles, sponges, and cloths)
- sports or workout equipment (like bands, weights, balls, and shoes)
- office supplies (like pens, staplers, paper, clips, files and notebook)
- bathroom supplies (like hair accessories. brushes, lotions, sprays, and towels)
- Legos (ugh, Legos. Right?)
- And more!
S H O P T H E P O S T