Operation: Organization 2014 ~ Playroom Organization from Simply Organized

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Welcome to Day #3 of Operation: Organization!   Today we’re welcoming Samantha from Simply Organized,  She’s got a tremendous knack for making spaces both organized and beautiful, and she is sharing her kids’ gorgeous playroom with us today.  Here’s Samantha:

Happy Monday and Happy New Year!  I’m Samantha from Simply Organized. I’m so grateful to have been invited to join this amazing, sweet group of bloggers to kick of the new year right = organized!

When it comes to organization, we all know the biggest kick off tends to come around the New Year. And what better time to organize those toys then right after receiving a sleigh-load of toys over the holidays? Right?!  Playrooms and kid spaces tend to be out of control as it is, but add in a holiday break with your kids at home and a new onslaught of toys coming into your home…??? Ugh!

Today I’m going to share with you how I recently organized the playroom in our new California home and how I helped to clear out the clutter in this space…and more importantly, keep it clutter free ever since!

We recently moved back home to San Francisco after having lived in Arkansas for the last 6 years. Our Arkansas playroom was a spacious 1,200 square feet and looked like this…

I know, I know…fun while it lasted. They had to drag *me* out of this space when we moved. Forget about the kids. It was me kicking and screaming as we moved out.

I had a great storage closet in the playroom where I could hide away a fair amount of toys. They were organized in mesh bins (from the Container Store) and I created the labels for free (found the template on the Better Homes & Gardens website)…

The playroom in our new home is located on the main level of the house, in the main thoroughfare between the garage and kitchen, and is on a much smaller scale. I knew that with 3 kids, at various ages and stages, it would be tough to narrow down what would stay and what would go. However, I also knew that Christmas was coming and more toys were on the horizon.

Those mesh bins were great for toy storage hidden away behind a closet door, but the eye clutter, along with everything else “toy”, was overwhelming to me in this new play space…

 

 

While this space may look organized to many of you, this is not how I prefer to see it. It screamed “PLAYROOM!” to me. The more I can hide behind doors or in bins the better. And if I can see it, my 3 little ones see it too…which means those toys were out dumped all the time…and driving this organized mommy crazy! :-)

After living in the space for a month or two, I was able to figure out what the organization problems were. Our issues were…

1. Too many toys

2. Too many misc toys that didn’t have a designated place to land

3. Toys that weren’t being played with anymore, but were being kept because of an emotional attachment

4. Not enough hidden storage

5. Inefficient storage solutions

Once I figured out the issues and why the kids were able to create such a mess, I put together a plan and implemented in phases.

First thing was making better use of the space on this wall…

This much wall space was screaming for a system that was more efficient! My dream was a wall system that would accommodate the TV, Wii gadgets and games, incorporate some hidden toy storage, and also give me the option to add photos and decor. I also wanted to warm up the space.

I found this great wall system to answer that dream from Pottery Barn. It fills the wall and vertical space and makes it appear like a built-in that was here all along…

I waited with as much patience as I could muster for it to be delivered….

 

Once it was installed, I spent a full weekend (with kids included to help) picking and choosing which toys would stay. The mess was definitely a beast before it was a beauty…

 

 

I set up a sorting area to help us purge and sort…

Once we had our “keep” toy categories, I located baskets for the wall system…

And created my own DIY chalkboard labels on the cheap. I purchased and cut down hobby wood from Home Depot…

Drilled the holes at home…

 

Sprayed with chalkboard paint…

 

 

Wrote in each toy category with a chalk pen…

And added some rustic twine…

Boom – chalkboard labels on the cheap…

Now as the kids’ toy interests change, we can swap out the contents as well as change the label! Easy!!

Here’s the same wall before…

And after…

Muuuuuch better, right?? The space is not only warmer but the toys are hidden away beautifully, yet simply. These bins alone are one of the main reasons our playroom is no longer a world of chaos with toys dumped everywhere. The new bins give us a place for everything. The kids can have one bin at a time. Before another bin is taken down, everything else needs to be picked up and put away. And it’s working! And on the occasions there are a mess (it happens!), clean-up is super quick and easy!

The wall system offers great cabinets to store items completely out of sight, while still allowing easy toy access for the kids….

 

 

TV components and a little charging station shelf just below the tv…

With the main wall completed, I was able to clear up the clutter quite a bit with the 2 built-in’s flanking the large window…and even created enough new space to add some family photos…

 

 

Just one play table remains under the window and I added a comfy rug to the space…

On the third and final wall, I created a little wall art gallery to display the kids artwork…

The cork boards are from Ballard Designs. I added each of the kids first name initials to the boards. Love these!…

Looking so much better than move-in a few short months ago…

 

I have discovered that the biggest huddles to jump in keeping a playroom tidy are…
1. Removing the overflow of toys. If there are too many toys, there will always be a mess. Take the time once or twice a year (even more!) to clear out the toys that your kiddos aren’t playing with anymore. Remember, if there are less toys you will be picking up a whole lot less too.
2. Everything needs a place to land. If there isn’t a designated home for each item, it will end up everywhere. And then it’s a downhill spiral from there. Figure out what storage system works best for your kids or your general pick-up process. For us, it’s all about baskets.
3. Try your best to not label anything “misc”. Everything needs to be categorized into a home. Misc is just a word for the statement “I can’t figure out what this is and where it goes!”. Know what it is and where it goes and there won’t be a need for Misc to live in your space.
I hope my playroom organization has helped inspire you to jump into your own play space and get it organized. One of the biggest benefits to a clean and organized playroom, besides how nice it looks, is that kids are more apt to play in a space when everything is organized. Anyone else out there notice how fabulous your kids play when they discover that long lost toy that was shoved under other toys or under the couch? It’s so fun to watch them fall in love with their toys all over again…while also teaching them good clean-up habits. We teach kiddos by example!
Thank you again for reading and thank you for to the 11 Magnolia Lane ladies for inviting me to join this fun series!
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Here’s the rest of the all-star lineup for Operation: Organization:

Thanks for stopping by!

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Comments

  1. dona cardenas says:

    Love it. Gives me vision for my playroom/exercise room. But, Am I to understand you spent $500 on the cork boards?

    • Ballard Designs offers 15% off all the time – if you have a catalog the coupon code is on the back. Each board, when I purchased them on sale was $100 each +the 15% off discount + free shipping. I never buy anything full price – ever! But I do like to purchase good quality items, so I don’t mind spending a little more up front. The better the quality, the longer your item will last. Hope that helps!

  2. Samantha, What a transformation! Thanks for all your great tips and inspiration!
    Debbie

  3. Oh wow! What an amazing transformation! I so appreciate your tips, since I don’t have the organizing skills, but want all my stuff in a place. Adore those chalkboard labels too! LOVE!

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