Figuring out toy storage and organizing our kids playroom is something I actually enjoy doing. Yep, there you have it, I actually enjoy it. I like seeing if I can figure out a new way of doing things that will work better or fit better or that the kids can actually keep up with better. It has become an annual event in our house. The kids know it and have even started looking forward to it as well.
Here is a look at the before and after of our reorganization this year. You may notice the before and afters aren't that dramatic. They mostly show how I moved things around. If you are interested, you can see how the room looked last year when we reorganized. Real Organization – Our Playroom
Our playroom does get used and it does get quite messy, but overall things have a home and usually once or twice a week they get put back in their home. For us, this yearly reorganization is a good chance to purge and make space for new things.
We usually do our reorganization in the late summer. It is perfect timing as Pumpkin has a birthday in October, then we have Christmas, and in January is Snowflake's birthday. This is our time of the year to get rid of the old to make room for the new. Let me show you what we did this year.
The closet was the biggest problem for us this year. It had gotten too full. There were other little ‘hot spots' that had become a problem as well. It was nothing dramatic, but we were ready to fix the problems.
This was another problem area – the funky corner of our playroom. It just looks overrun and too full to me.
I always start by purging. To me, the best way to purge is to literally touch every thing in the room(and from all over the house) and pull it out of its current home. That is what we did.
Now I know that parents vary greatly in how they handle this with their kids. A lot of parents I know just go in and do this, they don't involve their kids. I don't do this process that way. I involve my kids. They have a say in what we keep and what goes. They also know that we have to get rid of things that we don't love and that aren't being used. They know we do that in order to make room for new things we love. I personally think it is important to involve them because that way they have a say in what we keep and they also learn how to do this. I think it is a good skill for them to know and have to take with them to adulthood.
We break this process up because they are kids. We can't sit there for 6 hours and purge, etc. I usually try to work for an hour, maybe two. We usually try to work quickly and get it done in a couple of days. This year we had a bunch of other things going on, so it ended up taking longer.
This is the picture where I ask you not to judge me and the amount of toys we have. It looks like so much. This is our pile of toys after our purge. These are all the toys that are staying. We did have a pile probably about 1/4 this size that we either gave away or threw away if it was really broken. The kids did really good.
This is the beginning of putting the room back together. I decided to rearrange the room. I think I might have a disease that involves frequent furniture rearrangement. I love rearranging. It always make the room feel fresh and new. This year we were adding the Trofast organizing system that you see on the wall above. I love it.
Doesn't it look lovely! You can learn about the $24 shelving storage solution we came up with that is above the Trofast. My goal with spending the money for the Trofast was to help organize our most played with toys which are also the things of which we have the most. Between it and the shelving, we are loving our new playroom. I'll show you the details below.
Our most loved and played with toys are the Build-A-Bear's, American Girl dolls, and the Lego's. By purchasing 2 Trofast systems, we were able to make adequate easy to organize space for each girl to have her own space for each of these things. Above you can see Pumpkin's side. I think the pictures explain themselves. I do just want to mention that the bin labeled “Lego Builds” is a large bin, we have one for each girl, in which a current Lego build may be stored. That way it won't get messed up but we have a space in which to store it(not the floor where I will step on it and scream in pain).
This is Snowflakes side. She has the same number of bins which are for the storage of the same type of items.
I need to go back and label all of these drawers so that
the kids and Mr. T can figure out where things go. I have the supplies and everything, I just haven't gotten to it. I'll show you once I get them labeled.
We moved my Grandma's desk to this wall. It is working fantastically. As we homeschool, Snowflake does a large part of her school work at this desk. Someday, I want to refinish this desk. I haven't figured out how to do that when we don't have a garage or even a flat driveway. Any ideas?
The magazine rack that you see to the left of the desk, we use to hold our library books. It makes it easy to keep track of the books. We rarely have trouble finding a book. Gwenie (the huge Groovy Girl) keeps the rocking chair warm.
The bookcase and puppet theater were relocated to this wall. We purged enough from the bookcase that we now have one empty square. Love that!
As you can see from this picture, we moved the wire shelving. I moved it to the long wall, made it shorter and laid it on its side.
Here is a close up of the wire shelving. In it each girl has a pink bin in which they can place things that are just theirs that they don't want their sister to play with. We have some other random toys here. A lot of these things are not frequently played with, so it works for them to be over in the corner. On top of the wire shelving we have room for our bags and backpacks as well as our groovy girl bunk beds.
Below, I'm going to give you more detail of the closet. When we moved into this house 6 years ago, the closet was awful! We pulled out everything that was in there and painted everything. Then we installed this system. Did you know that you can go to Rubbermaid and design your own closet? Here is the site: Rubbermaid Closet Designer. I used that site to design the closet and know exactly what to buy. Then we installed the whole thing. I can also easily change it if we ever use this room as a bedroom or when we are ready to sell.
I wanted to give you a closer view of the closet as it may give you some ideas in your own organization. We took the doors off the closet because they were doors on hinges and they were never closed. In addition to that the door to the room and the door to the closet always banged against each other. So, we went to curtains instead. They work well for us.
Our playroom is our 3rd bedroom. Snowflake and Pumpkin share the 2nd bedroom. It works well for us for now. The playroom is also our guest bedroom when we have guests. (We have an air mattress that gets put on the floor).
As you can see above, the top shelves are our guest room…haha. No they hold the play tents and guest pillows. On the shelf below that, I store all of our homeschool supplies that I will need at some point during this school year, but I don't currently need them. The currently used supplies are downstairs where we access them daily.
I have an art bin and another bin for each girl. More space that is just for them. Their art boxes are for them. They get to pick what goes in them. When the art box is full, it is up to them to decide what they keep and what goes. I don't try to keep all of their art. This is how I deal with it, they get to pick.
The two large baskets hold more homeschool supplies and our art supplies. They are a little over full at the moment. I was able to see that when we reorganized and didn't go crazy over buying supplies when they were in all the stores this year.
The next shelf contains Pumpkin's art box and bin. It also has the bin with all their purses or small bags. The white boxes used to be for our American Girl things, but we outgrew those. The girls are now using them for their personal purse items. They each have chapstick, mirrors, brushes, fake keys, fake credit cards, etc. They can keep whatever they want and they each have them in their white box.
On the lower shelves are the more frequently played with things. I put the jewelry on this shelf right by the dress up things. That way it makes a dress up area.
We found that it has worked well to have magazine holders to hold both their magazines and catalogs, but they also work great to hold the books that come with the Lego's that show how to put them together.
The only thing to comment about this area is that I keep the longer dresses on the left behind the box. The small items, gloves, hats, scarves, etc go in the box with the shorter things hung on the left. When I designed this closet, I designed this area specifically for dress up. I love the shoe rack and the pretty little dress up shoes waiting for someone's imagination.
There you have our reorganization of our playroom for this year. We found some new ways to deal with toy storage and we LOVE it! It also got great reviews from our recent guest as well.