A Playroom Reveal & FIVE Organization Tips for Small Play Spaces
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We've been in our new house almost three months now and would you believe me if I said that we're still not unpacked? Of course you would! But, I can now officially proclaim that the playroom is DONE and we all know how much of a huge win that is! So, let's take a look at what we've done and I'll include a few tips and tricks for playroom organization along the way (particularly for small play spaces). Because an organized playroom makes cleanup easier and it just makes Mama happy. 😊
1) Minimize your storage solutions.
This room is smaller than our previous playroom and smaller rooms need less stuff. So I had to get rid of a lot (small furniture pieces, bookshelves, storage bins, baskets, extra chairs, etc). We needed a more streamlined storage approach to make this room work and to maximize every single inch of floor space. So, I replaced all that with what really is most effective here: cubbies and hooks. These cubbies protrude just over a foot from the wall and hold so much stuff. Yes, they're large pieces, but they take up far less space than all of the smaller pieces we had before. You'll be hard-pressed to find a storage solution that offers more without losing valuable floor space. And yes, the cubbies (and every other piece of furniture in this room) are anchored to the wall to prevent tipping accidents.
2) Create Zones.
I used to work in childcare once upon a time and one of the things that I loved about it was how all of the rooms were designed in zones. This allows the kids to roam, as they feel like it, from station to station. They're doing what they want to do, having fun, and learning as they go. And it creates an environment where "there's a place for everything and everything in its place"...which makes clean up so much easier. In this room we have: general toy storage (cubbies) with an open play area in front of it, reading nook, kitchen area, and dress-up area. We also have hooks for the kids' actual jackets/backpacks/hats/etc since the door we use to get to our cars is in this room.
3) Use the vertical space, but keep things within reach (or not).
It is so, so important in smaller rooms to use all the vertical space you can. We've done that with our full wall of vertical cubbies; magnet board; stuffed animal storage; book storage in the reading nook, and wall hooks. But with using the vertical space, you also have to keep things within reach for the littles. We store anything that's okay for Baby to play with down low in the cubbies and supervised activities/more fragile items live in the top two rows. We keep a small step stool handy so the bigger kids can reach what they want.
4) Leave some open floor space.
Because what good is a playroom if there's no room to play? And leaving some floor space will make a room of any size instantly feel larger and more enjoyable.
5) Make room for the mementos.
Sure, in a small space you want to minimize the clutter. But that doesn't mean tossing out things that are important to you on a sentimental level! The Prosperity String, growth chart, and the stuffed animals that survived the "Great Stuffed Animal Purge of 2017" are all special to our family for different reasons...so we make room for them wherever we go.
Putting together a playroom can be tricky because there's just so much stuff! And it's even trickier with a small space. If you like a storage solution that I've used in this room, you can shop it here:
- Cubbies: tall Ikea KALLAX Shelf Unit; short Ikea KALLAX Shelf Unit
- Bins: Ikea SAMLA Box
- Step stool: Graco Transitions Step Stool
- Colors, shapes, and alphabet charts: Dr. Seuss Bulletin Board Set, 5 panels
- Magnet board (3 shown): Ikea SPONTAN Magnetic Board
- Curtains: A discontinued Ikea item, but you can find them on Amazon HERE
- Stuffed animal chains: Toy Chain with Clips
- Reading nook chair: Oversized Solid Navy Blue Kids Chair
- Reading nook bookshelves: Wall Mount Acrylic Greeting Card Display Rack
- Table: Adjustable Rectangular Green Plastic Activity Table
- Chairs: Plastic Stackable School Chair
- Hooks: Ikea KUBBIS Rack with 7 Hooks
So there you have it: our playroom in a nutshell. The most important factors in a playroom (to me) are that there's a designated place for everything to belong; that the items you want to be reachable are reachable and those that you don't are not; that there's floor space to actually play; and that it's safe. Basically, I want it to FUNCTION in a way that makes the kids want to play there and so that it's easy to clean up! What are your priorities for your kids' play space? Have I missed any must-have items or storage hacks? Tell us in the comments!
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