You guys ready to see some more from the work/makeover we are doing in Pumpkin's room? Today, I'm going to show you a great way to maximize an awkward corner to make it a useful space that has stylish storage.
I know Pumpkin is ready to have Mommy get to work and get even more done in her room. I haven't been able to do nearly as much as either she or I would like at this point. Sometimes managing the house, homeschooling, running a business, keeping up with my kids, and attempting to take care of myself gets to be a bit much and big projects take a bit of a back burner…I'm sure you know exactly what I mean, right? I'm slowly getting her room done. The fact that it is on my editorial calendar for this blog means that progress will continue to happen. One project at a time, it will get done!
Let me start off today by showing you where the room and corner started.
Before we painted her room, this is what things looked like. (We had started moving things to the middle of the room here for painting.) Can you see how to the left of the closet is that awkward little corner? I've always thought that corner could be so much fun, but most of what we have tried has fizzled out pretty quickly. The corner can get pretty dark and it just kind of ends up being a messy place.
From the time we moved into this house, I have had the thought that putting some bookcases in this corner could really do a great job of using the space. We didn't have the money early on because of my husband getting laid off and then taking a massive pay cut initially with his current job. Now that has mostly changed, so I finally have saved up and am going ahead with my idea to turn this into a fun stylish space with great storage.
Just the new paint has lightened up the room some, but you can see above how we have added the Billy bookcases from IKEA.
The thing that is fantastic about the Billy bookcases is that they are only 11″ deep. They come in a variety of sizes with all different kinds of additional add-ons you can buy to customize them. This narrow space is only 39″ wide, so we can't take up too much space or it will become too narrow to walk through. The 11″ bookcases work perfectly.
Once I built the bookcases, it was time to figure out what to do with all the stuff. We put everything in the middle of her room and she (or she and I some days) sorted through things little bit by little bit. It probably took us a week or two to get through everything. We had a good amount that left the space and was donated or given away. We have a few things to sell.
For the actual organizing, I started by grouping like things together. That meant we had a huge pile of American Girl Doll things, a pile of Shopkins, a pile of Legos, etc.
It makes it so much easier to see what you have and organize things in a way that will make sense if you group like things together.
After that, it was just a matter of working to figure out what would go where and in what type of container it would be on the shelves.
I usually do that by just starting with something. In this case, I started with the AG clothing as well as the bigger or heavier things that I knew needed to go at the bottom of the shelves so Pumpkin could easily access them. Then it is just trial and error to figure out what fits and makes sense and where I think she will need things. There was also some making sure it was going to look pretty. 🙂
Here is a little bit more of a close-up. It is really hard to photograph this tiny corner because I can't quite get at the right angle because walls are in the way and such. I'm sure if I had the right lens, it would be a breeze, but I'm also sure that right lens would be a few thousand dollars…so these are the pics we have to deal with. 🙂
Let me show you some close-up pictures to give you a better idea of what we did with the organizing and storage.
On the top shelf, we put things that don't get used as often. They will be harder for her to reach. We do have a small stool in this corner now, but I still wanted lighter things that don't get used as often here.
The shelf below that became her Shopkins shelf. Those little things… ::sigh:: Anyway, we were able to fit them all in one storage bin, so that worked out well.
I use chalkboard labels on our storage bins. That way as the bins are used for different things over time, I just wipe them off and start again. I love the chalkboard pens (affiliate link). They do need to be erased with a wet cloth, but that is part of what makes them great for things like this. The kids don't easily erase them in their play and use of the bins. Perfect.
Labeling the bins makes it really obvious to both the kids and the adults where things should get put away. No excuses that we don't know where things go. If you have a young child or non-reader, just use pictures or symbols instead. It accomplishes the same thing.
Below the Shopkins, we made a shelf of all her AG pets. Sometimes, I'm embarrassed to show you guys this stuff. I feel like we have so much stuff. It looks a little obnoxious. It is one of those things where you give them one for Valentine's day or the Easter Bunny brings one and before you know it, you have this many pets. Pumpkin has also saved up her money to buy some of these. She LOVES animals.
Pumpkin is loving having all her animals on display. I must admit, it is super cute!
It has also enticed Pumpkin to keep her room a bit more tidy. Yay! She tends to have a messy room, so that has been fun to see her suddenly care about how it looks and take pride in how cute her room looks.
The next shelf down has all her AG clothes. Again, how did it get to be this much? I know I am part of the problem with all the things I have sewn for our dolls, but anyway, please don't judge. Just enjoy the fun I created for her dolls giant walk in closet. Hehe!
For this shelf, I bought a simple tension rod. The AG hangers fit on a round tension rod (affiliate link) perfectly. There was a flat tension rod that kind of worked, but the round was much better. You may remember that cool shelf I made to both hold our dolls as well as hang up clothes (we originally used the shelf for all our Build-A-Bears). It worked, but I don't think we are going to use it in this new room. The fun part about doing the clothes this new way is that there is a shelf below, so we can display the doll shoes as well. You may have seen me talking about that on Periscope.
The first thing Pumpkin did after we finished this was to give all of her dolls makeovers and get them all dressed up. Cuteness! I think she likes this idea.
Below the clothes I placed more AG stuff. I put them there trying to keep like things together. Pumpkin saved up for the spa chair as well as the violin set. She doesn't play with them that often, but she isn't getting rid of them anytime soon.
A simple storage bin holds the rest of the little things that the dolls have accumulated.
On the bottom shelf, we have located all the food. We have tons of wood food and stuff like that. Pumpkin still likes to use it for parties with the dolls and such. It does get heavy, which is why it is on the bottom shelf.
Cuteness! I made this little display of food, I doubt it will stay this way for long, so take a look and enjoy. It probably no longer looks like this at my house. 😉
In the smaller set of shelves, we placed some of the narrower items for storage. That pretty box holds all of Pumpkin's spa things. She has a spa business at our house and gives great services. I love her foot massages and back rubs!
The bottom shelf is her craft shelf. She had a bin that we were keeping things in before the makeover in her room. It was a disaster! I told her we were going to set up this shelf and this is her crafty project space. When it is full that is it. No more. She loves to make things, but often gets halfway through something and moves on or just ends up throwing things in there when we clean up and it becomes a disaster. I'm hoping this shelf won't get to be quite like that.
We made one shelf a hair station. I showed this a little bit more on Periscope, but the green bin on the right has the little squirt bottle and brush for her dolls hair. It has some other hair accessories as well.
Trying to group things together makes it easier to find what she needs as well as put them away a bit more easily because it is obvious where they go.
Now, I told you that the corner gets a bit dark. I REALLY want Pumpkin to use this space, so we added these fun flower lights to the top of the shelves to add a bit more light. I just used my handy pop-up tape dispenser (affiliate link) to tape the lights in place. I'm totally addicted to pop-up tape…it is so stinkin' handy!
We also have a lamp near this corner. I switched the shade on the lamp to white so it will give off more light. So far, it has worked and she likes the corner both during the day and at night. I sure hope that trend continues and this corner doesn't fizzle like the other ideas we have tried.
Now, to update you on her room. We are making progress! You can see she has space to play now and ALL her horses have tons of space as well.
We got a new rug for her room. I loved the old rug, but it had gotten pretty dirty and I couldn't' get it clean, so we opted for a new rug from Target (affiliate link). She needed a rug of some sort or the Legos get totally lost in our main (ugly) carpet.
As you know, I keep things real. So, this is what is left to deal with. We ‘hid' it in this corner before Pumpkin's 9th birthday party. It made the room look much better, but we still need to figure these things out.
I probably won't get to them until I take on her closet. Her closet was re-done when we made this room the playroom long ago. I need to reconfigure the shelving and turn it back into a real closet. I also need to put the doors back on her closet and paint them or invest in new sliding doors. I really want sliding doors because the doors that are there are full-size doors and they constantly bang into her room door. That is why we took them down in the first place, but I doubt that the sliding doors are in the budget right now. 🙁
Now, if you have been around my blog much, you may remember how my kids are always photo bombing me when I photograph my Stitch Fixes. Well, the animals have learned from the kids. The dog and the cat both decided that right in the middle of where I was photographing was the best place to be. Ginger thought this was her best light. Lol!
Pepper just wanted to check out what was outside right in the middle of my trying to photograph the new bookshelves. Cuteness…get out of the shot! 😉
Next up in Pumpkin's room, I will be making the desk that will go in this corner and finish it off. Above, ou can see where the desk chair is and that open space. I'm going to need to make a template and cut out and paint the wood. Then I plan to add some IKEA desk legs to the wood to make it a somewhat easy project. Or so I hope.
What are your ideas for stylish storage in awkward spaces? Leave a comment below…new ideas are always great!
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