One of my biggest pet peeves is when things are strung all over the house...especially the kitchen. With kids, this is going to be inevitable with toys and games, but it's just so...constant. Especially in a two story home. Things from upstairs migrate downstairs and toys from our downstairs playroom end up in the kids' rooms with no where to put them "away".
I finally have a solution!
These great totes are on clearance through Tastefully Simple for $8.95 (originally $27.95) and they fit perfectly shoved up against the wall of our staircase. Three might be a bit excessive...I've found that every time I head upstairs I grab one and empty it right away. The idea was to have one for kids' stuff, one for schoolroom stuff and one for office stuff/bills to file. I have one at the top of the staircase, too, for items that belong downstairs.
The reason this is working is because when I can't put something away because it belongs upstairs, instead of putting it helplessly on the counter, I stick it in a staircase bin. It now HAS a place! My counters are clearer, the kids rooms have less piles of "I don't know where to put this" and I'm less cranky about random stuff being everywhere.
These totes are a great neutral color with chocolate brown (faux?) leather trim on the bottom and handles. They're lightweight and durable and the perfect size! (12.5" x 11" x 10")
(Are you feeling a sales pitch coming on? Brace yourself...)
They also have an awesome oblong tote that matches perfectly and is a little longer at 17.75" x 8" x 10". It was $39.95 but is now only $9.95! I bought several to corral my office supplies near my desk.
Both of these totes would also be great for holding mittens/hats/scarves, magazines, mail/paper clutter, it could be a Wii/Playstation accessories holder or a movie bin near the DVD player...the possibilities are endless.
You all know I sell this stuff, so feel free to go online and order; click on the 80% off picture right under my big blonde head on the main page of my website. You'll see what I mean. There's also some other cool stuff on clearance: a great tote bag ($50 off - only $9.95), an adorable set of 4 ramekins (I use these almost every day for my oatmeal) for only $8.95 and some hearty draw-string, taffeta gift bags for only a buck.
PS - the shipping is a flat rate up to $60, so whether you buy one $10 item or six, the shipping is the same, so definitely peek around the site to snag some other fun deals. You know where to find me if you have questions!