If you are sharing living and play spaces with your children, read on for some tips and tricks to declutter play rooms and make your shared spaces more fun for kids and less stressful for parents!
Begin with a purge:
Starting with a purge of anything that is not currently being played with is the easiest way to begin. Our advice is to take EVERYTHING out of all the nooks and cubbies and sort it into piles: keep, donate or trash. That way you have a good idea of how much you have to make storage space for before you begin the organization process.
Take inventory on what can be repurposed, and what should be donated or sold:
In this space, the tall cabinet was useful, but took up valuable real estate in the small room. The narrow desk was not deep enough for study materials and the floating shelves were not a practical storage or display solution for lego creations. The under window Ikea unit had worn out bins that needed sorting and labelling and craft materials were not kept centrally.
Look at how the room is actually being used:
This playroom was being used for a lot of different purposes. The three girls had bedrooms upstairs, but they enjoyed being together as a family and shared supplies, like crafts and lego. A priority in this room was to make a usable study area that more than one child could sit at. Additionally, a centralized crafting area was desired and a functional lego storage system was requested. The girls attend a Montessori school and geography plays a large role in their education. Coupled with a curiosity about the world and their travels as a family, a large dry erase wall map was a natural addition to the room!
Prioritize Function and Efficiency:
Crafts: Your kids may not care if the room is Pinterest worthy, but they will appreciate knowing exactly where to find what they are looking for just when they need it! In this makeover, we re-purposed a mobile cart as the new crafts supplies cart. It is stored easily under the desk, but handy and mobile as needed. Under the map are the everyday materials kids use: glue, markers, scissors and dry erase markers for recording their trips on the map! The three clip boards provide an instant artist studio of current imaginings and the white magnetic board can be used as a white board for lists or drawing or hanging inspirational ideas!
Study space: To the immediate left of the study space is a kitchen bar. We matched the height of the desk to the bar so it was ergonomically comfortable for standing at, or the stools could be pulled over to sit at the work station. The desk area is wide enough for two children to sit side by side, if required. School documents and workbooks are now kept in the magazine folders above the desk. And how awesome is it that those bulletin boards ft exactly between the hardware of the study station!?
Toy storage: The toys that were in the tall cabinet originally were absorbed into the new window seat storage. We repurposed the original unit and added a second one from Ikea. A custom cushion on top makes it easy on the eyes and creates a space for the girls and their friends to play together. We then found labels that complimented the existing throw and new custom cushions as well as the area rug for less visual noise.
Lego play space: The original desk was repurposed as a lego display table and storage unit. We were able to find compartmentalized trays that fit exactly in the drawers to keep the bits and pieces organized and easier to play with. The girls can now reach their sets and play with them without having to climb up on the desk to get them down from the floating shelves! When the drawers are closed, the room is tidy and clutter free.
This article previously published at Roomtoplay.ca