Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Project: Playroom - Completed!

So, I focused!  I completed a project!  A big project!  I finished ON TIME and ON BUDGET!  WooHoo!  I'm linking up to the challenge home page - go check out the other entries.

Warning: this post is very long!  Feel free to just look at the pictures! ;)

Let's look at the over all's first.  Can I just say that the room looks better just because it's cleaned up?  If only that was all it had needed! ;)  I only rearranged the room a little by switching the recliner and the easel.  It was actually a "switching back" since the recliner was in this same position about 3 months ago.  We prefer it in this corner looking into the rest of the house.  This portion of the playroom didn't need much "organizing", but I did move our school calendar to the other wall to allow more room when we have school.

Now, the other side of the room...was calling for help!

One of the first things I did was purge/clean out.  It was a little difficult because there are things that Mackenzie doesn't play with, but I know Meredith will play with as she gets older.  I did throw out fast food toys and any other non-meaningful toys. 

This left side of the shelves was one of my least favorite areas.  The stack of papers from Mackenzie's artwork for the last 18 months was driving me crazy.  I wanted to keep it all, but finally realized if I kept all of it now, by the time she got to fifth grade, I would need the entire bookshelf for just her schoolwork!  So I took pictures of every single item and threw it all away.  I only kept things that had her hand or foot prints.  These then went to the office to be scrapbooked and/or put in a box.  The books on the second shelf are part of the book rotation and I moved them to boxes that I put above the cabinets.  I really struggled with removing books from the book shelf, but it was just to much visual clutter for me and I felt I needed a couple of free shelves to use for "decoration" so that I didn't feel the shelves were jam packed.
One of the goals I had was keeping the small items out of Meredith's reach and nothing has more small pieces than Mackenzie's doll house stuff.  I bought small baskets for these items as well as her paper/magnet dolls which have teeny, tiny shoes!  I told Mackenzie where and why they were up on the upper shelf and she understands.  For now, she can still play with them even if Meredith is in the room because she's not crawling, but our new rule is that they get picked up every night and put back on the shelf.

Larger items, like coloring books and the robot are in the larger basket.  She can reach these just barely, but she knows they are there and will ask me when she wants to play with them.
The other side of the upper shelves was just as annoying.  Let's face it, almost all of the shelves annoy me, otherwise I wouldn't have picked this room!  Because I just started teaching Mackenzie this year, I didn't realize how much school stuff I would acquire.  I had imagined keeping all of the school books/admin kind of stuff in the office, but it makes more sense for it to be in the same room we do school.  Because the binders are Mackenzie's school stuff, I wanted her to have access to them, so I put them on the lower shelves along with a bin that holds many of our school activities.
Look at that - an empty shelf! ;)
The center shelves... 
I cleaned out the movies, moved the tea set to Mackenzie's room and moved the wooden backgammon game to our game closet since the girls won't be playing that any time soon.  One of my happiest moment was when I saw the owl bookends in Meredith's room and realized they would go perfect in the playroom!  I also like my small baskets on the middle shelf.  The are perfect for school, because I can easily reach up and grab the crayons, markers, glue, what ever sort of general craft supply we need.  I also put the small games (ie: barrel of monkeys) and other items that we don't want Meredith chewing on in these baskets.  They are the perfect size!
The bottom cabinets needed organization too, but I wasn't as concerned with those because let's face it, you don't see them unless the doors are open! ;)  We had an overload of dress up stuff, so I pulled another box from Mackenzie's room which helped to keep it all confined.

The middle bottom shelves were a little difficult to deal with.  They are only 8" tall, so it's a little difficult to find containers to hold some of the toys.  In the end I found 2 open containers and 2 lidded containers.  The real problem here is keeping it this way.  I'm really having to remind Mackenzie to put everything back in the tub when she's done, but we'll get there.  What I really love is having most of Meredith's toys in one of the red baskets.

So, that's my completed, better organized room!  I'm loving it!

Below are the questions and answers required for the challenge.
  1. What space did you decide to organize and why?  
    • I organized my daughters' playroom with 3 goals in mind.
      • A place where the girls can play, read and watch TV, but that is also nicely decorated since it is visible from most of the house. 
      • A safe place for Meredith (6 months) to crawl around in and not choke on small toys.
      • A place for Mackenzie (3 years) and I to do school. 
  2. What steps did you take to ensure you completed the space within the 29 day timeline?
    • I made a "Plan of Attack" and re-evaluated my goals and room every week to see what it still needed. 
  3. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and how did you overcome it?
    • Purging - getting rid of the clutter.  I put the books in a rotation and took some of the books off of the shelf and into a box so that they wouldn't be visual clutter (to me) on the shelves.  I also took pictures of my daughters artwork from the last 18 months and threw it all away with the exception of a few keepsake pieces.
  4. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?
    • Some went into the trash, some went to the girls' rooms and some items went to other parts of the house.
  5. Tell me one of your proudest moments during this challenge?
    • Getting the school stuff organized into easily accessible bins.  It makes school go so much smoother when I'm organized and have most everything right there in arms reach.  I don't have to walk halfway across the house to find what I'm looking for.  And it's all easily cleaned up!
  6. Explain any organizing “tools” you used to help you create additional space and to establish some limits and boundaries?
    • The book rotation was a big way to create more space.  I put half of our books (or maybe more) into bins on the top shelves and will rotate the books out as needed.  I also separated the holiday books so that they could easily be found with each holiday.  This created a couple of free shelves.  The open and lidded bins on the shelves also help create boundaries for what you can store because either the lid will not close or the open baskets won't fit on the shelves.
  7. What is ONE piece of advice you’d give to someone else to encourage them on their organizational journey?
    • Definitely make the plan of attack.  It was very helpful to write out my goals, problems, suggestions, BUDGET and anything I could think of about the room.  I will be using this method for all of my future projects!
So, yay - I finished a project/room in the house.  Which one should I tackle next? ;)


  1. what a nice space you've created. I like the red and blue bins. Great job!

  2. See what moving things around and adding some more storage solutions does. Your room looks very good. And I bet your girls are very proud.


Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know you were here!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...