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product reviews

Great Crates

A Cubist Solution to Storage, of Toys and All Kinds of Stuff

Another kid birthday, another dozen toy gifts I need to find places to store.   I tried decorative baskets.  They broke, frayed and generally couldn’t withstand the test of kid abuse.  I tried cute toy chests that match cute kid furniture, but they only fit a fraction of the average kid’s toy collection – a couple Tonka trucks and one Rex dinosaur plush toy and it’s full.  And I tried stacking plastic tubs.  I had to constantly lift and unstack them to get to the contents below – too much work.   Finally, Crates came along.

Designed by the collaborate creative minds of the Quirky social product development community, Crates resemble the milk crates I used to “borrow” from behind the college dining hall to use for book shelves.  These Crates are decidedly more sturdy, and stylish, with smooth molded sides and edges.  The sides and bottom feature holes that you can use to insert connectors, shelves, legs and other accessories to suit your storage needs.

The set I got featured wooden legs for stability, and fashion, and pegs that could be used to stack the Crates together.  I also got multi-purpose hangers for the side, corkboard and white board side panels, and a clip that organizes electrical cords.  I also got drawers, though I wouldn’t recommend putting anything heavy in them, as it takes some practice to pull them out without them falling out and dumping the contents.  Casters were also an option, though for my stay-put purposes, the legs worked best.

The Crates can be arranged so that they face open like shelves, or they can be set with the bottom down, like a bin.  For toy storage, I arranged the Crates in just about every formation to hold little toys in the drawers, medium-size toys on the shelves and larger toys and rolly balls in a the bins.   For the largest toys, i.e., the not-quite-age-appropriate three-foot long keyboard my son got for his 5th birthday, you may have to be more creative.  But heck, you could even use the Crate cushion for a seat and use a couple Crates for a keyboard stand.

Available at Staples and select Target stores.  $19.99.  Accessories sold separately.