(Realistic) Tips for A Pinterest-Worthy Playroom
When you have a new baby, all of their toys and stuff can quite frankly take over your house. One of the best ways to get your sanity back is to tackle the nursery or playroom.
Wish you had one of those gorgeous Pinterest playrooms but dealing with a minimal budget and even less time? Here are some of the tricks of the trade that experienced moms have discovered over the years:
Cube storage is your best friend
I’ve had these storage shelves (usually from IKEA) in various shapes and sizes since my daughter was born. And millions of other parents agree – there’s no better way to store toys, baby clothes, and a multitude of other kid accessories. A general rule of thumb is “the younger the child, the larger the box”. (Think large plastic toddler toys vs. teeny tiny LEGOs.)
Group like items with like
Store toys in categories by type, theme, size, or purpose. (If labels are your thing, you can even go to town labeling each storage bin, cubby and box.) When my daughter was younger, some of our categories were puzzles, stuffed animals, toy cars, musical toys, learning toys, blocks, and coloring books. Now that she is older, her bins house things like board games, craft supplies, Barbies, and LEGOs. It’s amazing how much storage a cube organizer can provide, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how many toys you can stuff into each box. Best of all, cleanup is easy when you know where everything goes!
Try out toy rotation
Toy rotation is a well-kept secret of many moms. The idea is that toys you don’t have room for, your child is not quite ready for, you want to save for a rainy day, or you simply need a break from can be stored away out of sight and out of mind. It works especially well when your children are too little to remember all the toys they have in their inventory. By the time you pull them out – they’ll be like new again!
Essentialism over minimalism
Never heard of essentialism? You aren’t alone. But chances are it’s the realistic alternative to minimalism you’ve been hoping for! We all wish we could cut down on the clutter, but for most of us – a home where all the cups match and the kids only own 10 outfits apiece just doesn’t seem realistic. Essentialism is about keeping only what you actually need, use, and enjoy. Basically, it’s about quality over quantity. If your child swears up and down that they will enjoy and play with every.single.one of their 2 dozen stuffed animals – essentialism gives you permission to keep them. But if your family finds that puzzles aren’t really something you enjoy as much as you thought you would, essentialism also gives you permission to clean out the puzzle storage box in order to make room for something you enjoy more. Like a dozen more stuffed animals.
Just as grouping your toy bins by category can be very helpful, so can grouping together different areas of the room. This becomes even more important if you have older children who need to use the same space for virtual school or homework. Other zones could include an arts & crafts corner, a reading nook, and a pretend play area for those large kitchen or supermarket toys.
Find opportunities for hidden storage
Look for extra places to tuck away treasures such as ottomans that double as both storage and seating, cute fabric baskets that can house the never-ending stream of stuffed animals, and underbed storage boxes perfect for folded blankets. The bottom line is that the more items you can put away in storage, the cleaner your playroom will look – and the less overwhelming the room will feel.
Leave floor space open
Push larger toys and furniture to the edges of the room to leave plenty of room for tumbling and playing! Accentuating the open space with a kid-friendly accent rug will make the room look put together and inviting.
When you don’t have much floor space, sometimes you have to think creatively in order to make room. For example, you may have seen the trend in recent years of taking off the closet doors to house a dresser and display those adorable baby clothes without taking up extra floor space in the room itself. This is a great solution for finding more room for toys when your playroom is also the bedroom.
If you’re short on space or your play area is a corner of the nursery, look for items that can pull double or even triple duty. A simple play tent in the corner can be a fort, a reading nook, and even a pretend play store with a little bit of imagination. Not everything needs to be limited to just one function.
Think long term
Remember that this room will need to grow and change along with your child and their siblings for many years to come. You don’t want to sink thousands of dollars into a certain style or theme for your newborn only to have to change it again in 2 years into something that works better for a toddler. The more you can invest in versatile pieces (hello, Nugget couch!) that will grow with your child – the more your future self will thank you!
We all know what it’s like to lack the time, energy, resources and motivation to create the home we want. But with a little bit of extra creativity, you can have more peace in your home – and find a place for all those toys. Apply these secrets and you’ll be well on your way to a functional and organized nursery or playroom that brings you joy without breaking the budget. And if all else fails? At least you can always just shut the door. 😉