This is a guest post from regular contributor, Natalie LeBlanc-Dawson, who blogs at www.becominggranola.com .
Our first official playroom!
We’ve been living in our home now for more than 7 years. We definitely bought a bigger home than we needed at the time, knowing that we would, one day, fill it with children. And here we are, present day, expecting our third child in a matter of weeks.
There is one room in our home that has never really been used for its real intended purpose until now – a designated PLAYROOM.
Since our home has 3 floors, everything is pretty spread out. 3 bedrooms upstairs, the living room and kitchen are on the main floor, and then there’s the basement. My husband has his “Man Room” that is all decorated with New York Giants gear. There is a laundry room as well. But there is also a 4th bedroom. For years, it’s been used only as storage.
For years, it was so full of furniture and boxes that we just kept the door closed. The only reason we ever went in there was to access a freezer.
Then there were kids.
A couple years ago, we attempted to clear a small play area so that we could reclaim our living room from all the toys. But even then, there was still TONS OF JUNK pushed off to the sides of the room. The play area was barely used since the kids did not really enjoy being surrounded by all our stuff.
Now we have puzzles, games, Legos, train sets, cars… Tons of toys that will be fairly inappropriate for an adventurous new baby to have access to. And it would be great if the kids could play freely and not worry about being too loud. So over the holidays, we finally decided to seriously transform our basement bedroom into a room they would love to play in.
We cleared everything out and started from scratch. We were ruthless. We made many trips to drop off donations. We cleaned out old binders from work and university for recycling. We got rid of CDs, books, textbooks, DVDs. There are still a few things that need to go but they will be tackled during the next couple weeks of pregnancy nesting.
We organized the multitude of Lego that my husband has kept from his childhood. Our children are still too young for the complicated sets so out first organizing task was to separate the “specific to a set” pieces from the standard building blocks. It took quite some time but now I can rest assured that I will no longer go downstairs to find the whole room covered in small pieces.
Since the playroom is relatively small, it was important to us to keep as much up off the floor as possible in order to give them enough room to play. I also wanted something up high enough that the kids could not take bins down by themselves.
So new wall-mounted shelves were in order. This way, I am hoping to never have all the bins emptied on the floor at once.
The room is now clearly divided in two. On one side, we have the play kitchen and accessories. It’s not used nearly as often as it once was so I see us possibly getting rid of it soon. There’s also a small table they can use for colouring.
I have my large rocking chair in the corner. It was my favourite chair to sit in growing up. I use it now for crocheting when the kids are playing. I see myself very soon nursing a new baby in that chair, so it will be staying for a while.
On the other side of the room, we have the Lego bins and their large play mat. Both kids are huge into playing with trains and cars so this has been the popular side lately.
We originally only had 2 shelves but decided that a 3rd would be useful (we were right!). The top shelf has adult board games and baby toys since we will not be needing those for a while. The bottom shelves contain toys that they can pick and choose from. We are trying to get in the habit of enforcing that if they want something to come down, then other toys have to be picked up and put away in thheir places. I’m really liking the clear bins for storage.
An ongoing task
Since this is THEIR room, I’m trying to not worry about how messy it gets, but I do ask for it to be all cleaned up once a week so I can vacuum. There is still a lot of work to do. We’d eventually like to paint the room and we are still in the process of clearing out more binders and workbooks.
Purging and decluttering items from our home is a task that I believe will never truly end for us. As the kids get older, items will come and go and our needs for specific spaces will change. But I am glad that although it has taken us over 7 years to finally do something about it, this room will be greatly enjoyed for the near future.
Hi! I’m Natalie.
I’m a navy wife and mother to 2 wonderful kids with another on the way. When I’m not running or crocheting, I’m trying to figure out the best way to organize our crazy life all while trying to remain calm and feeding everyone real food. I blog atBecoming Granola, and you can find me on Facebook too.
[…] there were a few things that had to be done here as well. Most of the kids’ toys were sent down to their new playroom. All that remains in the living room now can fit in the storage bin. Limiting what’s up there […]
Great transformation! I love how you kept things organized but easily accessible. My poor basement needs a ton of help so this was inspiring! 🙂