I’m so excited to share a little space of our home that we recently made over: the girls’ playroom! Our kids are ages two and four right now and it seems like all they are playing with is a random assortment of toys stuffed in ziplock bags … can anyone relate? #why
There is too much stuff, zero order, and it’s leading to less play and more chaos.
Time for a change.
But first, how about some crazy, drab before photos?
The room felt small, dark, and wasn’t being well used. It was turning into a catch-all for storage. We were so excited to transform this space into somewhere fun for the girls. I want to provide some context about the priorities and limitations we were working with: if you’re thinking you don’t have the resources to do this type of makeover, keep reading!
- Downsize amount of toys
- Less clutter
- Create a bright, fun space
- We don’t have a big budget!
- Has to be a multi-use space
- Our DIY skills are limited 😉
The Make Over
Toys: what stays, what goes?
The most important thing I’ve learned when it comes to toys is less is more– a hard concept to follow when your kids are gifted a lot of things. Too much stuff just turns into “dump and leave” kind of play. We have been overwhelmed with stuff for a long time, and are slowly finding our way out of it.
We overhauled our toy box and kept toys meeting 2/3 criteria:
- Played with often
- Encourage imaginative play
- Good quality
Toys we kept include: little people, Disney figurines, musical toys, blocks, puzzles/games, and dolls. So, we didn’t just get rid of everything, we removed the noise so they could enjoy the toys they love.
We love supporting small shops and one of our favourite is Smiling Tree Toys. This family-run business creates beautiful and safe keepsake toys. At Christmas I got the girls these spell well name puzzles, which are beautiful and well-loved. Smiling Tree Toys sent us these wooden alphabet blocks with lower and upper case letters; Vienna has really loved these since she has been working on writing at preschool. And, the girls are obsessed with this fun camera, especially every time I pull out my big camera!
Organization: finding a system that works
I have been dreaming of this toy storage for a long time! When we only had Vienna I started rotating bins of toys in our living room, which worked pretty well for a while. Now that we have two girls, and we often have friends over for play-dates, they needed a space to play in and keep their things that was not our living room. Once we filtered out all of the toys we don’t need, we created labeled bins: the labels help the girls put stuff away– most importantly so that they can find it when they want to play with it again.
Decor: function & simplicity
You can tell from the before pictures that this space was pretty dark. Our goal was to create a bright and fun space. We painted the walls white and added decals for a little bit of pop. Vienna and I did a DIY art piece for the wall, which was so fun and she is so proud of! The picture of her below is when I pointed out her art work on the wall– she was beaming with joy to see it hung! We loved doing this project together.
Blackout curtains are amazing– this room gets cool in the winter and hot in the summer, so they will help keep the space comfortable for play year-round. Adding a cozy play rug (that is machine washable!) started as only for decor, but has ended up being the place where the girls want to sit and play! We also moved the tee-pee from Vienna’s room into this space for a reading nook. The girls ask for story time in the tee-pee most nights. I love seeing all these decor items become so functional!
Function: creating a flexible, multi-purpose space
Given the size of our house, this room had to be multi-purpose. We don’t have a guest room, so we had to ensure that everything can be tucked away easily to transform it into a space for guests. We have a hide-a-bed on order which will take up some of the open space, but with the sleek storage system there will still be plenty of place to play. This room also has our only direct access to our back yard, so we wanted to have a place for boots, hats, etc. so the girls can go in and out during the summer.
And there you have it– our easy DIY playroom makeover! Do you have any tried and true tips to organizing toys and playrooms for kids? I’d love to hear what works for you, please share below!