Today’s post is less about what I have done and more about what I wish I could do. Instead of having an entire room dedicated to toys and play, I have a play area in part of our “great room” and each kid has toy storage in their closets. I’ve never been 100% happy with the storage system I have going on. The looks, the ease of use, and amount of space all leave something to be desired. Also, I am a toy nazi… there I said it. It’s not that I think toys have no value to children (many do), it’s that I really hate accumulating stuff. When I was pregnant with my first born I told everyone to not buy this baby any toys, under no circumstances would toys be OK. I said, “My child will only have books!”. Well, you can imagine how fast that changed! So here I am with a thousand race tracks, a million cars, a cagillion dinos, one billion stuffed animals, two billion legos, five million lalaloopsies and the list goes on and on and on with every Christmas and every birthday. My children are so blessed to have such generous family and friends. Meanwhile I’m left trying to organize it all. I will post a Part 2 to this post someday with my fab play space, whenever that will happen….
How to Create and Organize a Playroom
Clean and Edit before you Create
Pull out all the toys, puzzles, etc that you have. Now, EDIT! I like to have my kids help with this, but not all kids can part as easily with toys.
- Throw away anything broken or that has been missing pieces for, like, ever.
- Look for anything your children have outgrown. Put those in a pile to donate or for resale (based on the condition) or in a separate pile to save in a remote storage area for future children. Either way get that out of your playroom.
- Remove multiples. No child needs five of the exact same book/stuffed animal/puzzle etc.
Once you have gone through everything, (I mean everything – even what’s in storage, even what’s in the garage, even what’s up high in the closet), check out your donate and re-sale piles.
- Resale – try online. There are many online groups for selling kid stuff in your area. Be sure you price to sell, don’t try to hawk a $10 toy for $8. Are you trying to get rid of this or what? Knock it down to $5 and you’ll have tons of buyers.
- Donate – Instead of Goodwill, try donating to a children’s hospital or hospice thrift. Goodwill is a great option, I have done this several times because it’s just more convenient. You just really need to work on getting rid of this stuff, one way or another.
There, that feels so much better right? Now, when new items come in (via you or gifts) you have somewhere to put things.
Create your Dream
My dream playroom needs to have the same design and style esthetic as the rest of the house. I would not want it to look like it’s for “kids only”. I apply this same concept to my kid’s rooms as well. I believe they need to match the rest of the house. Spoiler alert: these little kids won’t be little kids forever, they will grow into teenagers and have different needs for their “play room”. Can we say – media room….game room….sleep over room…homework room. Here are some pics of what I’m talking about:
You can tell these rooms are for kids, but it’s not screaming at you. From the furniture to the rugs and paint color I would imagine that it is a cohesive esthetic to the rest of the house.
I like this concept because it is closed storage. If you follow the link you’ll see that she has tupperware with toys in the lower cabinets. It looks nice and clean when you want it to. And, the shelving unit makes it look more grown up.
Love this concept of the bench doubling as storage. You can buy something like this at Ikea and customize it. I also like the fact that there is a chalk paint coffee table in the space.
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Again, this is closed storage. However, I’m not a fan of the different color bins. I would have them all the same or make it a gradual ombre-ish effect with the lightest shade on one side ending with the dark on the other. Plus, I love the wall decor. Super cute. I have a friend that did this in her nursery. Adorbz.
This is clearly not in a playroom, but I love the idea of the kids art gallery. I do this in my daughter’s room. She has four frames that we change out seasonally with all her art work. I think it’s a great idea to work a chalkboard into the space. When they get older that chalkboard can be a place where they keep score, write down homework, or where you write notes to them.
Behind the door storage is an excellent way to store small items, especially art supplies. We have these all over our house. Like, seriously, coming out of our ears! My daughter and hubby love to create art together, so this idea works great for us.
A different view of the same playroom, but this time with clip boards painted with chalkboard to hang art. LOVE that. Easy to change out and it doesn’t look empty when it’s between an “art installation”.
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Here are a few options for storage. There are some storage ideas here that don’t jive with my concept. NO OPEN STORAGE! Open storage never looks clean unless it’s strictly decorative or books.
Love the chalkboard labels here. That’s how I prefer to label my kids bins. I buy mine at Cost Plus World Market.
This is genius. Since it will be a while before my 3yo can read, pictures will help him clean up and keep the space organized. Now… to put the chalkboard and the picture concept together would be perfection. You write the name on the front and put the picture on the back. Kids need to see words frequently, this will help them learn to read.
I have a special place of disdain for stuffed animals. I’m kinda afraid of them, they accumulate dust no matter what, and they are bulky. But the kids love them. Like really love them. Ugh, from pillow pets and glow pets to their favorite lovies…I can’t escape them. Seriously, locking them up in
jail the zoo inside a closet sounds divine.
Imaginary play is so important to developing minds. Having dress up clothes and super hero costumes readily available is awesome. I love the idea of the curtain because it provides privacy to friends and can double as a stage.
I think each playroom needs a couch that turns into a bed or a bed in addition to a couch. This is helpful for movies in the playroom or out of town guests. This train table under a bed with additional storage under that is awesome! You can put it away when not in use or when your kids are not train crazy.
I added this because these teepees are so darn cute. And look at the color coded books in the bookshelf. I love it!
OK, for all of you lucky enough to have some extra space, I hope this helps. Now, I’m feeling inspired to tackle some of my own storage issues. Stay tuned for Part 2…maybe not next week, but hopefully not never. You know what I mean…….