12.06.2013

Playroom Organization Inspiration

    

     I'm pretty sure my playroom is in a constant state of some sort of chaos. Whether it's that the toy bins have "mysteriously" emptied themselves on to the floor (kind of like in Mary Poppins, but in reverse)... or it's dress up clothes strewn about, or the construction paper and scotch tape project that didn't get cleaned up. Whatever the mess is... it's always there. 

     One of my MAJOR goals with the new year is to do a complete overhaul of our toys, kid craft supplies, educational supplies, books, and dress up clothes. With any good organizing project, the first step is to sort through everything and throw away or donate items that just don't work for you anymore. In this case it's maybe thinning down the bazillion hot wheels cars. Donating duplicate toys that my kids were gifted. Getting rid of the crafting supplies that are dried out or scrap pieces of paper. Packing up dress up clothes that are too small for the younger kids to grow into. Etc. 

     But here's the thing... once I get to that step, I find it hard to figure out the best way to organize what is left. I have a very tricky layout to our playroom which doesn't leave a lot of room for storage... so I have to get creative. I have put together this inspiration post in the hopes that I can really use some of these ideas next year to get things in order! Hopefully something will help to inspire you too! 


TOYS:

     Seriously... my arch nemesis! I really have a love hate relationship when it comes to the toys in my house. Toys help to foster creativity and imagination in my kids and that part I absolutely adore. With so much technology available at our fingertips I think a growing imagination is a dying art for the younger generation. That being said, I try to provide toys for my kids that will allow them a chance to be kids! To make up story lines, to create their own games, and to just have fun!

     Let's be real... I try to encourage the kids to keep their toys in the playroom, but they always end up in our shoe bins, under the dining table, in their bedrooms, the laundry basket, and even sometimes in the refrigerator (a sign that a "trade" was made).

Here are a couple solutions I found that I think will work for me in my limited space... 

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I love this entire space... but it won't all work for me. What I LOVE are these bookcase room dividers. The playroom and my office/crafting space share one BIG room. I love that these provide storage for toys/games as well as divide the room into designated spaces. 


This awesome idea comes from Make It and Love It. Ashley shares an easy tutorial on how to make these cute toy storage bags. These would be perfect for corralling all of our stray blocks (legos). We have a mixture of two different sets that don't all fit in the one bag we have for them. I can create my own large storage bag that will hold them all. PLUS, the kids will love that they can see the blocks through the bag and I can jazz it up with whatever fun fabric I want to go with my room's decor! 
Win-Win!


This awesome set up comes from Land of Nod. The storage table is awesome for storing either art supplies -- if you have bigger kids -- or for stuffed animals or baby toys for the little ones. I LOVE the bookshelf storage behind the table too. The baskets keep smaller toys looking neat and tidy. 

Here is another view of that awesome bookshelf! Just because we all love some organizing eye candy... right!?! 


BOOKS:

     My big kids love to read... my little one loves to eat books. Yup... she chews on the spine, rips pages and tries to munch on the paper... it's a lot of fun to try and chase her down while shes gnawing on a book page. (Oh the joys of parenthood... ) We have TONS of books... like ... so many books we could start our own children's library! Okay, not really... but we are close, I swear! The kids get books for birthdays and holidays, I collected children's books from scholastic book orders when I used to teach, my parents and grandparents have given us books that I used to read when I was a kid... and so on! I have the most special ones packed up in a box in the garage until my kids are all old enough to take care of them -- especially the book eater!!

     I routinely go through our bookshelves and toss books that are missing pages. I also donate good condition books that my kids don't read that much. Like any kids they have their go-to books that they would read all day long! But... how to store them... well, here's what I have found...


This mommy used a plastic basket from Ikea to store all of her kids coloring books. This would totally work for school workbooks as well. What an awesome idea! Now they are within reach and view! Ours are stored in drawers and very rarely make an appearance. Not because the kids don't like to color, but because they forget they exist! When items are displayed they are more likely to be played with and used. 


I know you have seen these on Pinterest and blogs all over. They are a popular idea for books. The great thing about wall storage like this (whether it's made of rain gutters, pallets, spice racks, etc.} is that the storage not only looks great, but it can take up odd wall space that you may not otherwise be able to use. I have a weird wall that is only 30" wide. It is too small to put any substantial storage there. I can't use it for a bookshelf because there is a light switch in the way. BUT, this would absolutely work in the space. I would still have access to the light. Plus, it would create a small reading area for some cushions to lounge on. LOVE IT! 


Kate from Censational Girl shows how fun a bookshelf can be! If you have to space for tall wall storage, a set of bookshelves is definitely the way to go. You have the freedom to arrange your books however you want to make them accessible (or not) to your kids. You can also use it as additional storage for toys and other supplies. I love the little table and chairs too. It creates a fun little work or reading station right next to the books! 

ARTWORK:

    Every child is a budding Picasso. Whether it is artwork from school or preschool, or their homemade art projects, kids love to create! But more than loving to create is the joy they have in sharing their artwork. Placing their work on the wall or on display gives it value. It is a great self esteem building tool for children. There are some really great ideas out there on how to do this. Here are just a couple ...


I'm pretty sure this picture comes from a family that fixed up their playroom. To display their child's artwork they strung a simple wire curtain rod on the wall and used clips to attach the art. This is an especially great idea when you have lots of wall space... because there will be lots of artwork to display!!  

{source unknown}

Another great way to display artwork is to frame it.  You can slip the artwork into frames (if it's too big for the frame scan it and print it smaller). You can fill a picture frame with cork board and pin artwork to it so that it can be changed out more easily. You could put up a HUGE frame and string a couple wires across and use clips to hold up the art. This way you can hang several rows of artwork all together in one big frame. So many options!!! 



EXTRAS:

     I am talking here about the little things that help to just add an extra touch to your playroom... or any room for that matter. The seating, the rug, the tv (because you know you have one in your playroom too!), any photos or decorations on the walls, etc..


A nice rug not only helps to "ground" the room, but it can be a place for your kiddos to sit, to play, and to learn. Especially a fun rug like this one! You can use it to play alphabet games, to go on a letter hunt, or to practice spelling words! Wouldn't that make learning a little more fun. 


This mama from Oven Lovin' shares an awesome tutorial on how to make your own large floor pillows. For someone like me who lacks wall space to put real seating in my playroom, these are a great alternative. They can be stored in a corner (maybe under my vertical bookshelves) and when ready to be used can be taken anywhere! They don't have to be limited to the playroom either. Wouldn't these be fun for a movie night!? 


This playroom from Adella and Co. is totally drool worthy!! Seriously. 
That being said... this cute wall art is a great addition to any playroom. It is colorful, educational, and fun. 

Wall art isn't limited to just photos, alphabets, and your child's artwork. What about using a large map? I love this idea that comes again from Kate at Centsational Girl. She used a large map of the world with some moulding to frame it. Giving it a built-in kind of look rather than that of a piece of framed art. 



     I hope that something in this post will work for you and your playroom space... however big or small it may be. Once the new year starts and my "operation playroom" begins I will be posting about the makeover. Until then I will continue to pin ideas and more inspiration so be sure to follow on Pinterest so you can be inspired too! 




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