Wednesday, July 24, 2013

DIY Under-the-Sofa Toy Blocker



If you're a parent, a nanny, a grandparent...or maybe even a pet "parent", you can benefit from this!

Ever since we've had toys in the house, we've had the problem of them getting lost deep underneath the sofa. I would have to near break my back to reach them and it was happening constantly! It seemed even worse at our last place where we had wood flooring. They just had a tendency to roll so far back!

I decided I had to come up with a solution. Clearly, taking the toys out of the room was not an option, so I started thinking of ways I could block them from getting underneath the sofa. At first, I thought I could sew a long tube of fabric and fill it with rice (kind of like a door-stopper), but I felt like there must be an easier way.

Then, a pool noodle came to mind. But, they're solid foam (may be hard to cut or manuevre), and more difficult to find in various sizes...and I think the most obvious problem is that they are bright colors, which would not camouflage well for this purpose.

Then, my many visits to Home Depot popped into my head, and I thought I remembered them having something there that would work. Sure enough, they did!

It's foam pipe insulation (from the plumbing section) and it's the perfect dark gray color that won't show underneath your sofa! Here's the one I bought. I believe it was 6 feet long which was just about the right length for my longest sofa.


Measure the length of your sofa, as well as the distance between the sofa and the floor, so you know what size foam to buy before you go to the store. If the foam offered is too long, you can easily cut it to size with a pair of scissors, so don't worry about that.


A sweet employee at Home Depot asked if he could help me find what I was looking for, and when I told him I had found it, but was just deciding on the size I needed, he asked me what I was using it for. I just laughed and said "not it's intended purpose!". 


It comes in a few different sizes, and these were $1.28 each. I ended up needing 4 total. Two for the sofa and two for the love seat. One on its own was just a little too skinny to wedge perfectly underneath, so I put one inside the other to make it a little thicker. You can just pop open the pre-cut line and put one tube inside the other.


This created the perfect thickness to wedge underneath my sofa. I just pushed it under a couple of inches so it wasn't sticking out in an obvious way.


You can't even tell it's there, thanks to the dark color!




I'm seriously so excited about this solution! I hope you will try it too if you have the same problem of toys hiding under your sofa!

I'm linking up with Sew Many Ways, Sew Darn Crafty Linky Party


42 comments:

  1. What a great and simple idea, we have that same problem and I will have to try this out!

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    1. Thanks Genevieve! I hope this helps you too!

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    2. brilliant idea, this was driving me knutz until now!

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  2. That is great! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I love this, I need to make one for the bed, the dog constantly looses his ball under there, and he will cry until I use the long handled swifter to drag it out. Boomer will be so happy, right now I think there are about 6 balls under the bed.

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    1. Thanks Nanette, hope it works out for you!!

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  4. I love it!! We have 3 standard poodles with many toys, always under the couch. Great idea. I bet it helps the dust bunnies situation on hard wood floors, too. Glad I popped in from Jennifer Rizzo's.
    Janet

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    1. Thanks! Glad you stopped by! Hope you find this idea useful!:)

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  5. So clever! Love it!!!

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  6. This is a great idea! You wouldn't believe what I have used to try to block our dachshund from constantly pushing his toys under the sofa, the secretary, the kitchen baker's stand - in other words, any piece of furniture with a space under it!

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  7. Thanks! This is exactly what I was looking for.

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  8. Perfect! I have four kids and two Golden Retrievers (and hardwood floors), so between toys, snacks, hair, etc., it is a total nightmare under our sectional. I too disliked the idea of the brightly-colored noodles, and the Couch Trapper had terrible reviews, so this is a fantastic idea. Thank you!

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  9. You are my hero.... :-)

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  10. I was trying to think of a way to do this. I was thinking pool noodles but they don't make them in black. Never thought of using pipe insulation. Great idea, my 2 cats and 1 yr old thanks you :)

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  11. I wonder if this will keep my clever cat from getting under the couch as well.

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  12. Thank You! I will have to try is out as I'm so fed up of toys and snacks getting lost under the sofa daily! In a week I found 4 snack bowls under there! I had wondered where they all went!

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  13. This is awesome. I didn't even know how to Google what I needed...so I typed in some long "how to stop stuff from going under couch" and bam! Perfect solution. I have 6 kids (2-11), a huge sectional and hard floors. I can never get everything out from under them and I'm sick of the clutter and dust that accumulates. Totally doing this today. Thanks!

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  14. Any solution for hardwood floors? I doubled the thickest insulation but it's still too loose.

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    1. I have the same issue (hardwood floors). I'm going to try to cover a pool noodle with the insulation then wedge under the couch and see if that will work.

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    2. did covering the pool noodle with insulation help for you? I have hard wood floors and my couches are kind of higher off the ground. I haven't purchased anything yet but sounds like I might have to do the pool noodle thing too.

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  15. Thank You. We are going to give this cheap and easy solution a try. Great tip!

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  16. lol such a simple but great idea which i am going to try i wont have to grovel underneath with a garden cane anymore !

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  17. Great idea!!! Thank you for sharing!!

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  18. Do you think this would work to keep a cat from hiding under the couch? Ours will hide under there and pee. Annoying to clean the carpets literally evey other day.

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  19. My puppy is currently in my family room whining at the sofa to get the toy that I had JUST crawled on the floor to retrieve for her. I can't WAIT to head to implement this solution! My aching back thanks you!!!

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  20. What a great idea. Going to give this a try. Thanks for the tip.

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  21. Brilliant! Not only for children ( I have none) but for cat toys (I have TWO of those) :)

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  22. Oh, that's brilliant! Now Hermes will never hide under the couch again! Mwahahaha!

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  23. I had this same idea but the insulation was too small. Then I found your post here and loved your idea of putting them together to make them thicker! I can't believe I didn't think of that! Now it fits perfectly snug under my couch and hopefully will prevent my jerk of a dog from purposefully shoving his tennis balls underneath. No more puppies whining about lost toys for me! Thanks!!

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  24. Genius! Dog toys, dog hair, dust.....underneath couches and bookcases and everything! This won't simply save the hassle of cleaning and retrieving stuff from the innumerable black holes - hopefully it will also stop my Golden Retriever from scratching at and shoving her (slobbery) mouth and nose under every piece of furniture "looking" for her toys! I thank you profusely!

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  25. What a brilliant idea!! I found your page by searching 'couch trapper' and this is a fantastic cheap solution thank you so much!! especially from my dog and cat! :)

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  26. I have two toddlers and 11mo twins and hardwood floors. Honestly the amount of stuff that gets lost under the couches is INsane! YOU are my hero.

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  27. Amazing! Was just searching how to keep my 2lb rescue Pomchi from under our couch. She seems to love the darkness under there when she's scared.

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  28. Wow thanx for your brilliant idea. I love it . Need this so so bad , my back is so happy no more bending to fetch lost toys x

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  29. what will work for under the bed its very high up, 5/6 inches?

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  30. Thanks for sharing this! my dog loves to play with balls and I'm his personal ball retriever. I've tried stuffing books, blocking it with a rod and taping cardboard around which helped but only temporary. This looks like it will do the trick.

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