Our playroom downstairs has mostly looked like this for the past 5 years:
Our office was converted to contain (I use that word loosely) all the toy ridiculousness that happens with 3 kids.
It became a hodge-podge storage area with shelves stuffed to the brim and things piled as high as they would go to the ceiling. We’ve had various efforts over the years to get organized, but with no success.
Several weeks ago – I’d had it. Time to get rid of what we can’t fit. I need storage that works for our family and storage that allows my kids to be able to help clean and put things back. I couldn’t blame them for the way they would “clean” in the past. The toys didn’t have true homes so they would stuff their stuff wherever it would fit. What can I say? They learned from the best stuffer of them all. Me.
So, we spent one Saturday as a family and ALLLLL of the toys came out from everywhere. Our gathering spot was the front living/dining room.
Isn’t that how you like to spend your Saturdays?? Our kids were less than thrilled. But I was excited – and everyone had to help. For the first time ever we were pulling it all out and sorting like items. Immediately, I knew there were things that needed to go.
First, I went for big toy items that just can’t sit on a shelf and automatically end up on the floor. The sit and spin, the babydoll carriage, the babydoll crib, the rocking horse, etc.
If you have kids, you know these items. They are great toys, but just HORRIBLE to store. We loaded up my trunk and took almost everything to our church nursery. We have an abundance of little toddler kids right now and new toys keep them busy!
We also got rid of a lot of our big bulky Barbie items. We just didn’t have room to keep them and our girls have never really played with the house stuff.
That took up a TON of space. We had our fun, now time for another family to enjoy.
Fast forward to today. This is how my dining room table has looked for 2+ weeks.
No, I don’t enjoy walking in every day and looking at this mess. It’s been rather frustrating, actually. I wish I just had a month to lock myself up in our home and organize our clutter. Wouldn’t that be amazing???
Here’s the thing – I was bound and determined not to let the toys go back into the playroom until we had a system to be organized and everything had a spot.
Tonight was the night. I went around the house and gathered any kind of storage bin or basket I could find.
Oooops, Ken is losing his shorts in that basket right there…hahah!
I would love to go out and buy all new fun pretty bins, but that just doesn’t make sense. We have plenty in our garage. I just need to paint them to match my decor. I can do that after I figure out what we need to use in our room.
Then it was time to bring all the toys back in.
Holy moly. Woah. It didn’t look like that many toys back on the dining room table.
One by one, I found spots for everything – spots that would be easy for our kids to put back and I paid close attention to the items that needed to be stored higher out of reach from Brock. We’ve learned that the hard way – too many items were previously stored in his reach that created DISASTERS! No more. No more.
Brian held the kids hostage from coming in and destroying the toys while I figured out what to keep and what to put where.
Are you ready for this???
Why yes!! That is a cabinet with EMPTY shelves and an empty top. I can’t even believe this beautifulness.
We only have those two items beside the couch that won’t fit on a shelf. I’m still thinking about them because I don’t want anything on the floor space.
And look at this:
All of the little character cars and buses even have their own double-decker parking garage!!! And there is a door to hide them when not in use!!
Now that all of the toys have a home, I can focus on the design of this room and really bring it together to my vision.
My plans include:
- painting the massive dark storage cabinet to a lighter color
- adding artwork above the couch including a large mirror to enhance the stage
- create one additional seating area for the audience when our kiddos perform
- paint the baskets and bins to blend in more with the black/white/red color scheme
Stay tuned! This room is far from finished. We’re making SO much progress and can’t wait to make this space more efficient and useful for our family.
Daily inspiration for starting right where you are – The Daily Starr – delivered via 1 daily text message: subscribe here.