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Week three of my organizing frenzy is finally here. If you’ll remember, week one I went crazy with my hall closet switching out my pull out drawers for a spice rack to organize my medicines. Week two I went nuts organizing our small kitchen pantry exchanging the spice rack for jelly jars and adding a snack bin. And today, we finally get to the playroom. For some reason I decided to tackle all of these rooms at once which was both crazy but beneficial as I was able to switch organizing tools not working in one room with other organization tools in another room to create a much better fit. So without further ado, let’s get onto the playroom.
If you will recall, last fall I shared how we transformed our sun room into a playroom–one of our first stages in making the transition for homeschooling.
Sun Room Before
How the play room looked last fall with Peanut enjoying her breakfast.
While it had the beginnings of enjoyment there was a lot more I wanted to do before complete satisfaction. For instance…
1. The tile floor was very cold to play on, especially for my little Teacup.
2. The books, placed on end, kept creating a mess as Peanut found it hard to put the books back or find the books she wanted to “read.”
3. I needed to add labels, for my own sanity if no one else’s.
4. We needed a place to display Peanut’s artwork.
I set out to see what we could do to remedy these issues. The result is what you see below. We now thoroughly enjoy playing in here every day. In fact this is quickly becoming more of hangout room for the entire family than the family room.
The finished playroom with Teacup showing off.
To begin we found a cheap alphabet interlocking foam mat at Ross to cover the play area floor. It’s soft, easy to vacuum or sweep, and so much warmer than the tile floor.
Teacup demonstrating the warm alphabet foam floor mat.
Next I moved Peanut’s books closer to our reading area (a large recliner, which is not visible in these pictures but to the left of the above children’s table). I found these baskets at the Dollar Tree that were just the right size.
Book baskets found at the Dollar Tree
I liked the idea of basket book organization as presented by Troy Hill but knew I needed to pair down my basket labels to just a few basics. We choose the categories of animals, music, classic children’s fiction, Winnie the Pooh (Peanut’s favorite character), Level 1 readers, Bible stories, flap and finds, fairy tales and nursery rhymes, and ABC, 123, and color books as our beginning categories.
Our book baskets complete with category labels.
This has quickly become Peanut’s favorite area to hang out. She loves being able to easily find any book she is looking for, read it, and put it back on her own. For the first few days after the book baskets were in place this is all Peanut would do. We didn’t even touch the rest of her toys. Needless to say I can’t wait until she can really read by herself. She’s going to fly!
Next I took Goose’s old protein powder containers from the kitchen and used them for extra storage of smaller items and craft supplies.
My husband drilled a small whole in the tops so I could add some ribbon handles. Peanut can carry them so much easier this way. To complete the ribbon handles I threaded the ribbon through the small whole and then tied a knot on either side of the whole to hold it in place.
Protein containers for storage w/ ribbon handles.
Third, I added labels to our other storage baskets that we had previously purchased from the Dollar Tree.
Toy baskets with added labels.
The labels have a description with a photo background of the item to be included for easy recognition.
The labels are adhered with clear zip ties.
Fourth, I took a Rubbermaid drawer that was previously in our medicine hall closet and added it to our art storage area to hold construction paper, art paper, old magazines for collages, etc.
Teacup staring at our art paper drawers.
Lastly, I hot glued a few clothes pins on our brick wall, strung ribbon between them and then added loose clothes pins to create an art line. Peanut now enjoys coloring and painting so much more because she knows it will now go on her art wall for all to see.
Clothes pin line for Peanut’s artwork.
And that’s it. Now we have a play room we thoroughly enjoy. Believe it or not, it stays pretty clean now due to the fact Peanut can easily put things away for herself. The next project will be to create some form of window treatment to help regulate the light and temperature better (as it is a SUN room)–that sounds like a future post in the making so stay tuned.
On a totally random note, I just had to include this next picture…
Teacup at 6 months.
Isn’t she just adorable? Teacup’s now 6 months and loves to sit up on her own. She reaches for everything and is going to take off crawling any day. She wanted to be in my playroom pictures so badly I figured I’d just end on the cutest note of all. Enjoy!
How about you? What have you found as successful storage for your children’s toys and books? — Update August 12, 2012
We still love our sun room turned play room, but we had a disappointing turn of events that I wanted to share with you so you don’t have the same problem we did. While most dollar store purchases are well worth the money saved, I cannot say the same for these book baskets….
Yes, all but two baskets cracked and broke under the weight of the books within a matter of months. As a result, I ended up going to Walmart to purchase some Main Stay (aka imitation Sterilite) baskets which have held up much better.
Main Stay baskets
While I was at it, I updated the labels and created a reading corner which we now use to read in every day.
New reading corner
All that to say, sometimes quality is more important than the price tag which was definitely true in this case. So, make sure if you do decide to use book baskets (which has still been very effective for us), make sure you find a sturdy enough and large enough basket to hold up against the book abuse.
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