I've been spending a lot of time on the floor lately. Silas can really scoot around now and so I'm not only down there playing with him, I'm also on the endless quest to stay one arms-reach ahead of his little searching hands. In all honesty, beyond some outlet plugs and the removal of a few key pieces of not-too-stable furniture, I really haven't done too much in the way of baby-proofing.
I read somewhere about creating an "Environment of Yes" and it really resonated with me. The whole idea is to prevent having to say "no" all the time by making everything within baby's reach appropriate for him to explore. The default answer for whether or not baby can get into something should be "yes." Instead of putting locks on the cabinets, you would only keep things in low cabinets that it would be okay for baby to play with, for example. So, this is slowly what we're trying to do. As Silas approaches each developmental milestone I move things just a little bit further out of his reach.
I really like the idea of reserving "no" for only those things that are truly dangerous for him to touch. I want "yes" to be my default answer so that "no" retains some meaning. My hope is that when he hears "no" he will really stop and listen because it's not something that I'm constantly saying. My substitute for when he picks up something that I would rather he didn't have, but isn't immediately dangerous, is "Thank you." As in, "Why thank you, honey, for finding that carpet lint for me! I'll just put that in the trash!"