Monday, August 20, 2012

Getting Organized - Children's Toys

I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!

So as I might have mentioned once or twice before, I'm a slob. And not a happy one either. I hate my house being such a disorganized mess. It drives me crazy! I said I was going to take this summer to get my act together now that I wasn't working and had more time. Didn't happen. I got sidetracked will a million other things and quit before I even got started. But on my trip a few weeks ago to visit family in Miami, I had an inspiration... my sister in law. She has two kids, two jobs, and the nicest most organized home I've ever seen. No, she did not clean it up for our visit. She actually keeps it that way ALL OF THE TIME!

She admitted to me that she was a bit OCD, but unfortunately for me, that is one disease that isn't contagious so almost immediately after our arrival back in town, my house returned to its usual trashed-like state. I wanted to pull my hair out! Luckily, I had the image of my sweet sister in my mind reminding me that it is possible. My house can be clean. So now, I am a woman on a mission, and unlike my mission to lose weight this is a real mission that I will complete or die trying. (Okay. Maybe that was a bit overdramatic). I will organize my house! Who's with me?

First off, the one part of the house, I started, but never got around to finishing... the playroom.

This playroom actually started out as a home preschool that I ran for a couple years. I closed it this spring, and turned it into my kids playroom. I have a few things in here that I think were pretty cool ideas that I'd like to share.


First off, is the reading area. As you might have noticed, this "couch" is actually a toddler bed, purchased at a garage sale. I got the mattress on craigslist. I'm not typically a fan of used mattresses, but they aren't sleeping on it so I'm not so worried. It's really nice because I can cover it with a mattress pad and sheet, and wash them easily when they get dirty. Underneath the couch are book bins - labeled with pictures so my daughter knows where the books go. I'd prefer a bookcase, but simply didn't have the space for it.

Next you'll see my block area. It's actually a really old entertainment center, but works great for the blocks. Old entertainment centers are wonderful for storing kids toys. They are sturdy and have deep shelves which are usually a good fit for plastic bins. They are also low to the ground and don't pose a tipping hazard. Best of all, since no one uses big heavy TV's anymore, you can often find these for really cheap at garage sales or goodwill.

 









Beside the blocks is our easel. I purchased it for $35.00 at A.C. Moore with a half off coupon. Moving on...





On the opposite end of the room I have a ridiculous amount of dress up clothes (remember, I ran a preschool).  To avoid having to drill hooks into the wall, I just used Command wall hangers to hang the clothes on and a crate to hold the larger items in. I also have a three drawer bin, to hold all of the little things like tiaras and dress-up shoes.

 


Our art table was, if I do say so myself, as stroke or genius or maybe just common sense. Either way, it's awesome! All I did was take a wooden kitchen table I purchased on Craigslist and have the legs cut down at Home Depot (for free :) ).




Above the table, I placed thin rectangles of cork board along the wall to hang the children's art from.

Last but not least, is my wall of cubbies. I already had the wooden cases from my school, as well as a few of the boxes. Then I spent the next couple of weeks hoarding A.C. Moore coupons (see a trend here) and purchasing them one at a time to save money. I even went so far as to have my 6 year old buy a few with coupons so I wouldn't have to make multiple trips. (Hey, it says one coupon per customer. There were no stipulations about the customer's age). The challenge with these cubbies is that they are, obviously, not transparent so the kids can't see what's in them, and labels don't stick well to the canvas coverings. My solution was to make labels and hang them from the box handles with tiny climbing hooks. I got them two for a dollar at Walmart.

How do I make labels? Well, I'm so glad you asked. This is what I do:

I make them in word.

First I choose a simple font, like Veranda or Times, and make a list of all the descriptions I want to use to label my bins. These are going to be different for everyone depending on your child's interests, but just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about, here are the ones I made: Art, Coloring books, Play dough, Horses, Action Figures, Barbies, Cars, Stamps, Dress-up, Instruments, Books, Legos, Animals and Dolls. Next, I googled images to match my descriptions, and saved the pictures I liked into their own file. (You can just use clip art, but I've found much nicer images through Google). Then, I divided my document into two columns (to save paper) and inserted the pictures beneath the descriptions.  I then printed, cut and laminated all of my labels. I have have a lamination machine, but you can get yours laminated at any copy store.


Depending on the size of your bins and the kinds of bins you use, these labels will need to be printed differently. If you're using typical plastic bins, you can just size your labels to fit, print, cut and laminate them before taping them to your bins. If you have canvas bins like mine, you will want to leave extra space at the top of each label. Once you print them, you will need to cut the labels out leaving that extra room at the top for you to punch a hole into. After you laminate and cut out the final labels, you can punch that same hole again, thread the clamps through them, and hang them on their corresponding bins. Here's how one of my final ones looked.


It was a little time consuming, but I think it will totally be worth it in the long run.  At least the kids can't claim they don't know where things go anymore, which I hope will reduce the amount of junk they leave strewn all over the house. Best of all, their playroom looks super cute!


If you have any questions or ideas to share, please leave me a message in the comments below. I will do my best to address them as quickly as possible.

33 comments:

  1. Their play room is awesome! I love the table. That IS genius. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! What I lack in cleanliness, I make up for in creativity. :) I always enjoy your comments. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  2. Love the table!! Makes me wish I didn't give ours away now when we moved!! lol Awesome idea! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I got mine for $30.00 off of craigslist so it's pretty cheap. Having one on hand would be ideal though. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  3. It's the same way here. Just as soon as I clean it it's dirty again! It's never ending and very discouraging.. But if you want to live in a clean house you gotta do it! I still don't know how.

    All I know is i want that playroom in my house! Great job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know either. This picture is the calm before the storm: right after I finished, and right after the kids destroyed it. But it is easier to clean up again so that helps. :)

      Delete
  4. Your playroom looks very organized! Great job :) Seeing how organized it is must give you hope that you can organize other areas too! Good luck working on other areas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not really. I find organizing toys and kid's stuff to be much easier than my own, but it's a good place to start, right? :)

      Delete
  5. I'm loving the table idea. What a great idea. We have a table similar to that and I was planning on using it for the kids' playroom. Now I just may be cutting the legs down as well. Thanks for sharing. New follower here!

    Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you liked the idea! Thanks for following

      Delete
  6. Definitely going to remember this when we move and the boys finally have a play room.

    New follower from Take-A-Look Tuesday.

    - Jaime
    mrsmamapanda.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow, what a lovely playroom! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow - this is such a great playroom! I LOVE the table idea! I'd love it if you would share this at my current linky party for back to school ideas and homeschool rooms!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hee hee - forgot the link: http://www.thenatureofgrace.blogspot.com/2012/07/reading-spot-and-homeschool-havens-link.html

      Delete
  9. Great job organizing everything looks so nice. I love you playroom.
    I am your newest follower

    ReplyDelete
  10. Super cute! Love this space. I'm so going to pin this. Thanks for linking up to Titus 2 Tuesday. Hope to see you again this week.

    Kathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you like it. Thanks for stopping by. :)

      Delete
  11. WOW! I love how honest you are about your homes state ( I 100% relate, and it drives me crazy too) With that said I love your post even more because I felt like even I could do it. Thank found you on True Aims mom library.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I feel like a lot of moms on blogs come off as being so together and perfect which makes all of us imperfect moms feel inadequate, so I try to be more open about things. Hopefully others can relate. Thanks for noticing. :)

      Delete
  12. I pinned this :) I keep trying to get one of our rooms to look like a clean, organized playroom like this, but I keep getting overwhelmed with the amount of stuff we have vs the space we have. None of it is "junk;" I just can't figure out how to work it all out. This is a good brain-storm photo :) Thank you! Love the little table & chairs, too! Following on GFC :)
    Daydreaming Realist

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much!! I hope it helped. Now if I could just get the rest of the house organized we'd be in good shape. :)

      Delete
  13. I love this! Thank you for linking it up to Mommy Solutions! Congrats on being the #3 most clicked link.

    Stop over and see your feature.

    Have a super week, Crystal
    http://www.crystalandcomp.com/2012/08/the-mommy-club-share-your-resources-and-solutions-59/

    ReplyDelete
  14. All I can say is jealous! We moved a month ago and now the girls have a playroom, a big sun pouch actually. However in order to move I had to sell ALL the shelves, totes and everything else I had once used to organize toys. Your playroom is what I want for my house!

    P.S. Stopping by from the Thursday Blog Hop

    ReplyDelete
  15. That is an amazing playroom! I'm impressed!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Such a sweet,lovely, awesome playroom. I like it very much. All the thing are organized perfectly.

    ReplyDelete

I love comments!

Share the love!!

Linkwithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...