Organize Your Play Room on a Budget: Storage Ideas
At the beginning of this year I decided to tackle organizing my house room by room.
Don’t ask what has gotten into me; perhaps an organizational virus?!
I go through periods of time when I don’t pay much attention to how things are organized: and then they quickly become so disorganized I can’t find anything I need!
The playroom is no different. We keep it tidy – we pick up toys from the floor, try to put the blocks in the bin and the crayons in the organizer – but if you have a few kids over to play, you know how quickly even the neatest of playrooms can turn into a chaotic mess.
My first order of business: to get rid of the old, unbroken and/or unused stuff my kids no longer use. I know you are probably thinking “this tip is useless” but for some reason it can be so tough to get rid of our children’s ‘things’! (Is it just me?!) Anything I’ve found in the playroom this week that’s missing an arm or head has gone into the trash; toys not used into a bag for the consignment store or another bag for our niece. If you don’t get rid of what is broken or not used you won’t be able to clean up the clutter.
My next order of business: Get creative in storing what was left. We’ve used plastic storage boxes for a long time, for items like trains, blocks and fairy houses, but now that the kids are a bit older I wanted to display more of their items.
Here is how I tackled the storage solutions without breaking the bank:
Categorized what’s left. For some reason we have a million pencils for all different holidays and half a million erasers. When I began this project, they were strewn throughout arts and crafts drawers, and, for some reason, toy bins. I made a pile for the different ‘things’ so I could figure out what we had of each and where it should go.
Picked creative minds! I spent a lot (and I mean A LOT!) of time on Pinterest searching ways to organize what was left. (Why reinvent the storage wheel?!) I also spent hours wandering the aisles of Target and Wal-Mart, our two main stores in town, to find ways to store my daughters’ things. Another great place for ideas: Pottery Barn catalogs! I use them for inspiration.
Once I got together a few ideas, I settled on the following for storage options:
Tin Pails. This was one of my very favorite ideas: Use a shower rod and cute buckets to ‘hang’ crayons, markers, pencils. (See it here: http://www.tonyastaab.com/kids-organizing-tips/). You can find the shower rods at any department store for a few dollars. I located tin pails on Amazon, but they weren’t as cheap as I thought they should be. I finally stumbled across some super cute pails at the dollar tree!
Sadly I can’t use the hanging idea, because we have wainscoting up the side of the wall too high to hang a shower rod (the kids would literally have to use a ladder to get to their supplies!), so I improvised. I purchased five pails ($5 total) and used them to hold pencils, erasers, stamps, scissors, and glue sticks.
I also got a four drawer plastic storage unit and assigned each drawer to a specific duty: drawer one for extra crayons, drawer two for a variety of arts and crafts projects the kids can do on a rainy day (beads, which I bagged; felt crafts in their original wrapper, pom poms, etc), drawer three for paper (construction, drawing, writing) and drawer four for tape, staplers and additional glue.
I swapped out plastic storage buckets, which we have used when the kids were small to hold to bigger play items, like blocks, with white storage cube shelves. I bought two on sale (around $65 total) plus four fabric bins ($6 each) at Target.
I used one of the fabric storage bins for coloring books, which is now on the bottom shelf of the cube. I used another for books we use for learning projects. A third holds puppets and a fourth contains doll toys (bottles, food, clothes).
Another great idea I found quite a few years ago: Use an over the door shoe holder for Barbies.
The girls can easily pull out the dolls they want to use and put them away when they are finished playing. I use the higher shoe spaces for items they don’t play with all the time and I get them down when they want them.
What type of unique storage ideas do you use to keep your playroom tidy?
Photos courtesy Kathy Murdock