Friday, June 27, 2008

Playroom Storage Solutions

Each month at my favorite organizing site, Laura puts out a challenge to organize a specific room in your house. I've always been a lurker and never taken part in her challenges because I didn't have a blog of my own to post my pics or link to in the challenge. Well, I don't have that excuse anymore so I'm planning on getting my house clutter-free and organized with her monthly challenges. So this month her challenge is the playroom and I've got pictures to share.

We keep the bulk of our kids' toys in the basement where we have a great room the length of our house and half its width, which encompasses our family room and my crop area/office space. It's convenient for us to have this arrangement as I am usually downstairs working and the kids are right there playing in the room. This first picture shows two bookcases which contain the girls' toys on the first three lower shelves, and DVDs on the top two. I chose these bookcases because I wanted to have some furniture that we wouldn't grow out of as the girls get older. Thing 1 and Thing 2 helped me decide what to put in each bin and how to label them. I really like these canvas bins because you can take the frames out and wash the canvas if they get dirty. I use them in practically every room in my house.

This shelf is actually on the cropping end of the space, which I planned for two reasons 1) I needed the top surface to put my open stock paper on so that it was at a good height for people to access and 2) I wanted to be able to monitor the kids using the markers, glue and scissors, especially when we have younger friends visiting. The black leather bin in the bottom holds coloring books with overflow standing upright next to the bin. A few games are next to that. On the top shelf, I have plastic bins with drawers that I found at Wal Mart. There is a drawer for pencils, erasers and sharpeners, one for markers and pens, one for paper, etc. When the girls want to use the markers, they just pull the whole drawer out and take it with them. These drawer units come in multiple sizes and I use them throughout the house, expecially in my closets. I buy a few at a time so it's not financially overwhelming. It takes time to organize, so why buy everything you think you need at once when you're not going to get it all organized at once?

I agree with Laura, that we should have different play "zones" for different types of activities in order to set boundaries for those activities. This bookcase is a perfect example, it is upstairs in our living room. It's the perfect room for reading because there is no t.v. The girls' books are on the bottom four shelves and my husband's and my books are on the top two.

This table is downstairs in the play area. My old laptop has been repurposed for the kids' computer games and it gets a fair amount of use now. The doll house is right next to it, with all the doll house furniture and people in a canvas bin on the bookcase shown above.

Finally, this colorful set of storage bins and its rack came from Target. It was on sale for $40 and it has been a great set-up. Thing 1 and Thing 2 helped me go through the toys in it last night and we got rid of a lot of stuff, so that's why the bins are a little empty. We had lots of Happy Meal toys which I cannot stand. They are just annoying and they have a way of multiplying the clutter. The less attractive bin set right next to the Target set is really a workhorse. We have the bottom bin filled with blocks and the top bin is filled, to the top, with Little People and all their trappings. We love Little People in this house. The bin on top of that is balls, and the two on the floor next to it are Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys. Having a place for everything has been invaluable for me because the girls know where everything goes and they can pick up pretty quickly. Mind you, they still complain about it, but they do it.


  1. Great organizing Jill!
    It looks like you have got all the toys under control. I love all your bins! I have the rack with the color bins- aren't they are great for holding a bunch of different things?
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Looks great!
    We have the Target bins in each of the kids' rooms and we love them. We got our first set 7 years ago when my first daughter was born.


  3. it looks great! love the colourful bins!

  4. I so agree with you regarding those happy meal toys. I stopped buying the happy meals because it so annoyed me to step on those toys all the time. I also gave away the little people toys (donated) because my kids never played with them and they were all over the house as well. The lincoln logs my son loves to play with. He just recently got a set for being good. I need to check out those tinker toys. We don't have any yet. Great job on your play area decluttering.

  5. This looks great. Good job on your first time!!

  6. Woo hoo!! Way to go. Your room looks fantastic!

  7. It looks awesome!!! You have room to play now! I found your blog and you do a nice job. Karol

  8. Everythings looks so great! My 4 year old still loves her Little People too, only now the Little People are best friends with Polly Pocket & Barbie!

  9. Great containerizing, I'm in heaven :)

    Thanks for sharing your ideas, really great and I'm sure very helpful for others!

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