Sep 20, 2017

The New & Improved Playroom

A few weeks ago I shared the plans we received from the professional toy organizer who has helped save my sanity. We went to IKEA and bought the necessary shelving and bins from our shopping list. While I hate spending money on things we don’t really "need" when our budget is tight these days, this really became something that we needed. For my sanity. For the kids to be able to play. And the best part is that this room can grow with them now through different phases.

A cozy place to read? Check. A place for books and puzzles? Check. Art supplies? Check. Hooks for superhero capes? Check. Enough of the right kind of bins that the kids can actually find their toys? Check. Storage for toys for two boys at totally different ages? Check. A room that’s easy to clean up? CHECK!

It ended up working out that the room looked great with cube shelves 8 across and 3 high, even though it blocked a little bit of the windows, it doesn’t feel too tall. And it’s totally worth the extra storage space, especially for the oversized toys. The saying that kids will only play with toys that they can see is so true - the boys play with SO many more of their toys now that they can easily see them out or in the shallow bins.

We moved one of the living room bookshelves in here to hold books, puzzles and games. It also keeps the choking hazard toys like legos out of reach. Even with the new chair there the kids still pull everything out easily.

I also managed to squeeze in a small metal shelf from the basement for more toys and smaller bins under the windows. We’ve been keeping a lot of Matthew’s smaller favorites in there, easily within his reach. In the corner we have the sword collection all together. I had been searching for a good way to store them and it turns out we already had the perfect container in the room - one of the red stools we’d been using as a table. It’s the perfect size, height and the bars hold everything in while still allowing the kids to look inside and see what they want. Putting things away is a cinch and the stool fits perfectly in that spot.

One thing that didn’t work out the way we expected was the shoe bin on the wall for at supplies. It turns out that between the light switch, thick door molding and radiator cover, the shoe bins didn’t fit on the wall within a reasonable height. However, the space on the floor ended up being just right for one of the old Trofast toy units (the ones we were replacing). So we converted it to hold just art supplies with 4 small green bins for crayons/markers/paint and 1 medium white bin for paper and coloring books. It’s worked quite well actually. The other 3 Trofast pieces have new lives elsewhere in the house - one in the dining room by the back door (with 3 medium-sized white bins to hold sunscreen, dog towels, bug spray, gardening stuff, etc.) and then one in each of the boy’s closets upstairs to hold outgrown clothes (each with two large blue bins). It’s worked out quite well! And the shoe organizers are working out elsewhere in the house to organize papers, school work and supplies.

This room has become a much more livable space. It feels larger, brighter. I love how it’s so easy to clean up and declutter. The boys have more room to play. We love curling up together and reading in the chair (and the chair is really comfortable!). We’re all so much happier - especially me because I no longer have to look at masses of toy clutter when I look in the direction of the playroom! The boys can clean things up themselves too with this design. (Well Oliver can… Matthew isn’t quite there yet.)

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