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Our playroom doubles as our family room, and sometimes even a little home movie theatre. As our kids grow older, I expect to change the look and feel of this room quite a bit. It definitely fits us now, though, and that is what matters.
The organizing in this room is very simple and that is important, because our kids are responsible for the upkeep of this room. A few times a year I help with a declutter and a deep clean, and sometimes while I’m in here with them I’ll pass the time by poking around in all the baskets, but other than that, my kids take care of all the maintenance themselves. My three year old is asked to clean up after himself (with the help of who is playing with him), and then my older girls rotate the daily chore of checking the Playroom to make sure it is tidy. (They are always assigned a room or area to check each day.)
Sometimes I get an urge to gut it and do an extreme makeover with new furniture and all, but then I remind myself how convenient using our 12 year old leather couches is when our kids are climbing around in here and I don’t have to worry about them harming “precious new furniture”. Our youngest is three, so in a few more years I think I’ll start updating the look of the room.
This side of the room is definitely the busy side. We’ve got –
- Platform Stage built by my husband and my dad: My girls love putting on Shows for us! It is not actually attached to the floor or wall, but it is extremely heavy and isn’t going anywhere. It is covered in carpet so it doesn’t have any sharp corners.
- Track lighting on the ceiling: I had plans for the stage from the beginning, so I had track lighting installed so it could be a spotlight when the girls put on their shows. There are recess lights in the room for regular play-time.
- Pull-down Project Screen: That large horizontal bar above the window is a projector screen that pulls down when it is time to watch movies. The window has a rolling blackout shade instead of window blinds. I love how this allows us to make this room so multi-purpose. The projector is up on the opposite wall.
- Pop-up castle: I love this inexpensive toy from IKEA because as soon as my son outgrows playing with it, it will be very easy to remove.
- Car-Truck Carpet: A carpet with streets and buildings where my son drives his cars around.
- Toy shelf and dress up hooks on the right: I’ll show that in greater detail below.
Over here we have the toys. Some of these bins, especially the ones with big balls, are very full. But some of the bins are less than a quarter full. I group the bins by what makes sense, not necessarily trying to make all the groupings the same amount of toys.
I prefer non-labeled bins for kids toys. I feel like I may need to repeat that, because it may sound really unusual coming from a professional organizer – I prefer non-labeled bins for kids toys. Bins the child can see into like clear or shallow bins are better than labeled bins for a few reasons. First of all, kids toys are always changing at every holiday and birthday. It would take a very proactive parent to keep up with the labels. I want to set people up for success and self-maintaining systems are more successful. Changing out kids toys when they are getting rid of something and getting something new needs to be as easy as switching out the contents of a container!!
I have a step stool in the playroom for a few reasons. First of all, my son is going to climb up to get the higher toys one way or the other, I might as well make it a safer way! That reason is good enough, but the step stool also allows him to easily hang up his dress-ups when he is done.
This piano used to be in my husband’s office until last year when he started working from home. My girls practicing after school didn’t mesh with his afternoon conference calls, so we relocated the piano up here. Now I love it up here! One reason is because they end up playing it so often while they are just hanging out in the family room. It is kind of an awkward-looking fit, but it is really working out for us.
So there is our Playroom, our Family Room, our Movie Theatre … though around here we just call it “the Playroom”. Do you have a room that takes on multiple names or purposes like this?