Legos. Plastic animals. Wadded-up paper. Game pieces. Books. Littlest Pet Shops. Sucker sticks. Hot wheels. Legos. Puzzle pieces. Doll clothes. Balled-up socks. And more Legos.
This is what I found under, behind, and IN my son’s bed only 3 weeks after a major deep-clean of his room. This absolute madness was discovered when he crawled into bed and cried out because he kneeled on a stinkin’ Lego!
It was time to take matters into my own hands. My mommy-brain started whirling, thinking of what I could do stop the insanity! Cleaning this room was an overwhelming task for his 4-year-old self, and I was tired of having to be the helper. So I came up with a genius, never-before-thought-of plan.
I was going to create a playroom! One room that held all the toys. And the kids could play with them IN THAT ROOM. Brilliant, right?
OK, maybe it wasn’t a completely unique idea, but it never dawned on me before to have a room for playing and a separate room for … wait for it … sleeping! A whole new definition of the word bed-room. A toy-free zone whose sole purpose was to be a relaxing, calming space that encouraged rest. Peaceful slumber. No distractions. Sounds like bliss, right? The noisy, colorful, tempting toys were definitely not helping to create that kind of environment.
You may be thinking, “Nice plan, genius, but I have no extra space to give over to toys!” Hey, I get it! I think most of us are in that boat. We’ve all got different housing setups, and maybe you think there isn’t room to spare! Keep your mind open; I know there is a way to make it happen for you if you really want it!
Combine the kids
Maybe you need to have kids share bedrooms (that contain no toys) so you can have one playroom for all your kids. We had 3 kids sharing one small bedroom by using a bunk bed and a toddler bed at one point. All the clothes were kept in the closet – and there were no toys to be seen. It was a snap to clean – blankets on beds, clothes in the hamper, and done! I’ve heard of families with wall-to-wall mattresses on the floor for their kids to sleep on. I personally love having all my kids in one room. The lights-out conversations and giggles are priceless memories for me, and the bonds will last a lifetime.
Maybe you can only section off a part of a main room as a toy area. There are sturdy, inexpensive shelving units that can double as dividers and toy storage. Even an area rug or tot-sized table can isolate a space intended for imaginative play. You could get a room divider if you wanted!
Next, pull out whatever you are already using (or not using) to store and organize your toys and look at it with new eyes – where can I put this shelf? How can I use this hanging basket in a different way? Or have a talented friend help you configure it. This kind of vision is not one of my gifts, but I bet you have people around you who LOVE this kind of challenge – I know I have several friends who do! You can also look on yard sale sites or in classified ads where people are selling furniture to find that perfect second-hand item inexpensively.
It’s so much easier to clean up when you have a place for everything. Use labels on bins and shelves to remind everyone where things belong. You can use a label-maker for small areas like bookshelves, you can write on tape, you can buy labels at the dollar store, or you could use adhesive vinyl labels.
Now is the fun part! You get to use your imagination and talents to make your toy room into the kind of environment that will inspire creative, imaginative play! What does this mean to you? For me, I like to go with a theme! Are your kids into dinosaurs or unicorns? Do they love science or Star Wars? Superheroes or princesses? Some cute figurines or stuffed animals, framed pictures, or vinyl wall decals are quick and easy ways to jazz up your playroom with a fun theme.
Just as importantly, what do YOU love? For my kids, I wanted a sky theme with blue-painted walls, fluffy clouds, kites and hot air balloons. Chances are, if you love it, your enthusiasm will be contagious and your kids will as well.
Maybe you want to do activity centers, or store half your toys and swap them out after a few weeks. Old toys become fresh and new when they haven’t been seen in a while!
You can make this playroom be exactly what you want it to be with some adorable personalization. In addition to customized storage bin labels to keep everything organized, you can help your kids feel ownership of their space (as well as avoid a few fights) by doing fun things like putting their name on the back of their very own chair, or using personalized wall decorations. There are so many cute quotes that work great in playrooms, too!
If you are looking for more playroom inspiration or specific themed decor, go to our website at CustomVinylDecor.com and check out all the designs we have posted! Pinterest is also chock-full of ideas to help you create your dream playroom, in any size room and within any budget.
Kids grow up fast and these early years of play are over quickly. Enjoy this time with your children!