Friday, July 13, 2012

Organizing This House - The Downstairs Playroom & Closet

As I am sure most of you can imagine,
being a stay at home/homeschooling mom
of four kids
means LOTS of STUFF!!!

I have always had a hard time managing 
their toys.

In our house in NC, 
we had an AWESOME playroom.
It was HUGE!
We had a lot of toys up there,
but somehow the kids spent more time
downstairs with us.
So again,
I tried to manage it.

We went through a couple of different ideas
and settled on two small 3 shelf book cases from Wal-Mart.
We actually bought one, then bought another later
because it worked so well.

They made the move to Texas with us.
We have a loft/game room
here bout 1/3 of the size of the one in NC.
As expected,
there are more toys downstairs
than there are upstairs.
That is really fine with me 
because we still have a little one
and I like to be able to keep an eye (and ear) on the littles.

We added a large 5 shelf bookshelf to the two little ones.
But there was just NO order to the toys.
No place for them to live except literally thrown on the shelves.

I needed something to put the toys in on the shelf.
So I was on the hunt...
and have been randomly looking for years.
But on a small budget.
I have mentioned this before,
but I have all these great ideas for organizing our space
and if I had an unlimited supply of funds,
I could do SOOOOO much!
unlimited fund are not our reality...
and I walk a fine line of 
making what I have work
for as long as I can.
And like many others,
I get this overwhelming NEED to bring 
order to this house
I am sure my husband 
would prefer that this was an 
"all the time" feeling
instead of an "occasional" one!
Except for the fact that it usually
requires assistance from him...

And our kids have so much stuff all over the place
they rarely play with it because they 
can't really tell what they have.

The thought is to bring more order to the space,
put bigger toys away in a closet.
Out of sight, out of mind, 
then they become new again
when they are brought out!

And nothing is ever easy!
I wanted to clean out the rather large closet under the stairs.
It is a great space but was just used as storage.
So first we had to come up with somewhere to put 
all the stuff that was cleaned out of this closet...
The boys closet took half of the stuff from this closet.
The closets in this house run the length of the rooms
down one wall,
with sliding doors to access them.

Cleaning out the boys closet was almost an 
entire day project itself!

I started on a Friday by clearing out the
downstairs closet
under the stairs and putting all the stuff in the 
middle of living room.
Best way to get it done quicker!

That Sunday we tackled the boys closet.
Then shoved all the Christmas stuff from the 
under the stairs closet onto one of the 
side areas of their closet.

So repurposing the downstairs closet,
led to organizing the boys closet,
then organizing Ms. Priss' closet...

And I am just getting started!

After putting the larger toys
and toy sets into bins:
Wooden Trains & Tracks
Marble Run
They were moved into the now
empty closet under the stairs.

Then we were left with the smaller toys.
What to do with those?

Again the hunt started.
I needed some sort of basket or bin
to go on the shelves to hold the smaller toys.

I was at the point that I really didn't care what
they looked long as long as they did the job.
I found some that I thought were perfect at
The Family Dollar.
The price was right
so I figured I would give them a try.
I love the color it added to the shelves,
but I could get a total of 4 on each bookshelf.
And there was too much leftover room.

Then meandering for the umteenth time
down the storage aisles in Wal-Mart
I finally stumbled upon 
something that might actually work.
Similar bins as the ones above,
but the dimensions were a little different.
And they were black.
Wasn't crazy about the black
and wasn't sure if they were going to work.

Then I got them home and realized they were 
MADE for these shelving units!!
Why had I not seen these before???

I only bought one set because I was skeptical
they were not going to work.

Within 24 hours I was back at Wal-Mart buying 3 more sets.

And those bad boys held a LOT!

I was able to fit 3 on each shelf and fill them UP!

It didn't take long to figure out that I was going 
to have to label these bins somehow.

But HOW??

This is what I came up with,
they are super cute,
but they are not secure at ALL.

The pictures aren't the best - sorry.

I was able to grab pictures off of Amazon with white background
and found this cute black and white polka dot border.

They are laminated and secured with velcro dots,
but the adhesive on the dots,
doesn't adhere to the bins well.

So within mere minutes of taking the picture
of them all perfect and centered...

Here is what they looked like.

I straightened them back out and this was the 
final product.

This lasted about a week before we rearranged again!
We added a second large bookshelf,
but it is still a work in progress,
so no pictures of the update yet.

I am pleased with how the shelves look 
and the amount of toys that are hidden!!

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