Organized Playroom

organized playroom storage
Oh my word.  Our playroom is organized.  Plus I finally got the place clean enough to take pictures.  Miracles DO happen!  ;)
entry to playroom
Taking you on a picture tour today!  When you get to the top of our stairs you turn right to head into the kids’ laundry room
playroom door
Then past the laundry room you walk down a few steps into the playroom.
yellow playroom hutch
Now.  While I show you around the room remember that today’s post is all about organization.  NOT decor.  I haven’t done much of anything to decorate this space because we’ve obviously had bigger priorities.   The furniture in this room is all from our old house – stuff we’ve had for years.  That being said, I kind of like it for two reasons.  One – my kids can trash this stuff and I could care less!  It’s already hammered so it’s great furniture for a kids’ space.  Two – my yellow hutch (still love it!) and red couch add some fun color to the room.  I’m not sure they are the colors I will eventually go with in this space, but for now, they are working great.  This room is a happy room to be in!  Which is good because the kids are in here a lot.  :)
organized playroom toysorganized toys
This playroom is over our garages.  Remember back when we were framing the house?  I was walking around this room and noticed that there was some empty space in the wall under the window because of our steep roofline.  I was trying to think of a way to tap into that space and use it and later that night I woke up at 2:00 in the morning with a vision of large, deep pull out drawers for toys!
pull out toy organizers
Here is what that vision currently looks like today.  Clearly I do my best thinking in the middle of the night.

That explains a few things.  :)
drawers for toys
I asked my cabinet guy if he could build really deep pull out drawers that would look flush with the wall and tap into that extra space.  Then when my carpenter was doing our wood work and trim I had him make them look like part of the wainscot.  Here they are closed.
drawers for kids toys
And open.  Are angels singing?

Funny.  I thought I heard them…  :)
toy labels
I was on a hunt to find the perfect hardware for these drawers.  I knew I wanted something that included a handle and a label.  I finally found these on a random website and it said they were from Pottery Barn.  I checked, but Pottery Barn’s website said they were sold out and out of stock.  I was bummed and kept searching.  Then a month later I was in a Pottery Barn in another area of town and they had fifteen left in their store!  I was so excited and bought them all.  We used them in Kole’s room too.
toy storage
First drawer is for Barbies.  And of course the occasional Spider man and Transformer.  (I still smile when I see boy toys – we thought for sure Kole would be a girl and I feel so lucky every day to have that little guy as the caboose of our family!)
toy storage in playroom
The next two drawers hold all of our stuffed animals…
organized stuffed animalsorganized playroom drawerslabels for toys
The last drawer holds all of the girls’ dolls.  Which I’m sad to say they are playing with less and less these days.  At some point we need to clean them out and give some away, but I don’t know if mom is quite ready for that yet.
organized dolls
organized toys for boys
What is getting played with these days?  Pretty much everything else.  Racetracks..
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and blocks..
play kitchen
and the fact that the kitchen is pink doesn’t seem to stop Kole from using it to mix up a mean plate of cookies.
land of nod tepee
This fun tepee was what Santa brought Kole for Christmas this year.  I can’t be sure, but I think he might have found it at Land of Nod.  Or had the elves make one just like theirs.  :)  I adore the black and white stripes.  I think I have something with stripes in every room of this house!
tepee from land of nod
My little buddy loves to play in this thing.  Plus it’s such a safe place to hide from “bad guys” of course.
playroom closet
Ready for more organization?  Let’s open these fabulous folding doors!
open playroom storage
What?  Angels again!?  ;)
playroom shelves
With three kids (who love their toys and truly play with all of them) I knew I needed a place in this room to store everything.  I try to clean out our toys often and aside from the dolls (that I just can’t part with yet!) I’m pretty good at donating toys the kids’ have outgrown.  But if you’re a mom you know that year after year with Christmas and birthdays and special events the toys add up quick!  Keeping them organized is not only sanity for moms, but also the best way to make them accessible and easy for the kids to play with.
organized toys and games
A closet with open shelves seemed like the best solution to me.  The kids have easy access to everything and I can close the door to hide it all if needed.
organized gamesplayroom closet toy storage
I keep all of our board games on the right.  This door actually slides open a bit closer to the wall to access them.
toy organization in closet
The left is for puzzles, the girls’ little doll houses and other random toys that Kole plays with daily.
labeled toy bins
The bins in the middle were cheap dollar bins from Target.  I think these are the best for organizing toys!  I organize them by categories that will be easy for the kids during clean-up.  Chalkboard labels are the Martha Stewart line at Staples and I just wrote on them with a chalk pen.  Easy to erase and change if we mix things up in the future!
container store striped rigby bins
Kole has a lot of bigger toys, so I hunted for some bins that were large and would be easy for him to hold.
striped bins container store
These Rugby Stripe bins from The Container Store were perfect!  Love how big they are, love the nice handles on the sides of them (easy to pick up and move to other rooms) and hello!  More stripes!
organized toys and dolls
Container Store?  Stripes?  Perfectly organized toys?  Angels are harmonizing like no one’s business!

K.  Sorry.  I’ll stop now.

The angels won’t.  But I will.  :)
organized cars and trains
These chalkboard labels are some I’ve had for a few years.  From World Market maybe?  I just attached them with a safety pin.  Wouldn’t recommend that if you have really little ones, but my kids don’t play with them.  Aside from keep things organized, labels are great for working on pre-reading skills.  Kole finds his toys by sounding out the first letter of the word.  Added bonus.  :)
organized pretend foodorganized blockstoys in baskets
Here are a few other ways we are keeping the toys organized.  The baskets in this old coffee table pull out.
toys in bins
Beanie’s on the right (all from Kenny’s mom – she loves to give them a new one each time she visits).  The other basket is used to hold Kole’s pretend stuff.  Superhero capes, swords and shields, fireman hat, etc.
movies on hutch
My hutch is currently holding our DVD’s which makes me laugh.  I stuck them all here when we moved in thinking I’d find a better place for them and there they have stayed!  For over a year!  I’m actually organizing them soon though.  I found a system I’m excited to try!  Coming soon to a blog near you.  :)
organized game directions
The drawers hold extra things like game instructions and the cupboards below hold a few future birthday presents for friends.   (I pick fun toys up for birthdays when they are on sale.)
organized toys
So that’s it!  Our organized playroom.  It NEVER looks this clean.  There are usually toys all over the floor.  But that’s what a playroom is for.  A place to mess up and enjoy.  The nice part for me is that after the messing up and enjoying is over, everything has a home and clean up is simple.
playroom red couch
Even for this little trouble maker.  :)
Now that I’ve tackled the attic, holiday decor and bonus room, the playroom wraps up my January spaces!  February spaces are almost done too!  Have you made your list for the year?  You can see mine here.  So happy to have this year plan to keep me on track!
organized playroom storage
Also beyond happy to have the toys organized!

The angels can rest.  And so can I.


Daily Design Tip

pottery barn thatcher wingback chair
Do you want your home decor to stand out?

pottery barn chair
Do you need that special piece?  That unexpected item that gives life and personality to your home?

pottery barn thatcher chair
Then I highly recommend hanging a string of orange monkeys from your lamp.  They come in a barrel.  I know after posting this I’m going to be flooded with comments and e-mails asking for a source so I’ll give it to you now.  You can buy them here.  But I wouldn’t wait if I were you.  These are the next hottest design trend.  They are going to be bigger than sunburst mirrors.  Just you wait.

Who is giving us all this highly valuable information?

That would be my little monkey.

pottery barn lamp
Or should I say Tiger?

pottery barn thatcher striped chair
Thanks for the tip buddy.  We owe you one.

Happy Monday friends!

And you’re welcome.


Organized attic, bonus room and holiday decor

Sharing my organized attic today! Along with our extra room above the garage.  Remember back in January when I came up with a one year plan to organize my home?  You can see what area of my home I’m organizing each month here.  (It’s not too late to start a plan for your home!)  I’m personally loving my well laid out plan because it’s just so doable.  A couple of spaces each month.  My list really is keeping me on track!  These were my January organizing goals:


-Holiday decorations/ski clothes

-Donate old toys and organize playroom closet and pull-out drawers

Sounds simple, right?  I think I gave myself the hardest rooms first!  You might remember what our extra room looked like after we moved in:
organized attic organized holiday decor_0040
Yikes.  So I cleaned things up last April and then the room looked like this:
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Much better!  But then Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas happened.
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(I had so much help with the decorating and un-decorating.)
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And because I didn’t have a place/system set up in our new home for holiday decor (it was all still in boxes in the garage before I decorated) I just kept taking things to the extra room.  Add a few toys and random items the kids threw in and before long this room was down right scary again.  Every time I walked in this room it made me shudder!  I wanted it clean again so badly.
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There was another thing motivating me to clean that room.  For Christmas my budding gymnasts got a gymnastic mat and balance beam and I knew the extra room would be a perfect place for them to practice.  As long as we could find an empty spot on the floor.  :)
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So after many hours – and a bit of blood, sweat and tears – our extra room finally looked like this!  What a transformation.  I mean – we can walk in here again!  :)
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I should probably get rid of the crib but I just can’t.  Too many memories of waking up to my babies holding on to that side rail.  There are little teeth marks on some of the slats from when they were teething.  {tear}  I convinced my husband we needed to hang on to it for company – in case anyone stays with a baby.  But really it’s there because I just can’t part with it.  A lot of the other stuff in this room?  I could easily part with.  :)

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So now we have a place for the girls to do gymnastics!
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And a place for their parents to squeeze in a quick workout on days there isn’t time for the gym.

Where did all that holiday decor go?
organized attic organized holiday decor_0036
Remember my new console table in our front entry?
organized attic organized holiday decor_0039
It opens up to fabulous storage!  During December I had my Christmas village displayed on this table and another table I set up across from it (never got around to taking pics of it all so I’ll have to next year!).  It was such a pain to haul all the village boxes downstairs and unpack everything.
organized attic organized holiday decor_0035
So I had an ah-ha moment and decided to not put each village piece back in its box and to just store it all in this console.  THRILLED about this!  I was amazed that everything fit so well.  Setting up the village in my entry next December will be a breeze!
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I even had extra room on the right for all of my cords and fake snow.  :)
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The rest of the decor went in my attic.  (Sorry btw that this post is turning into a book!  Feel  free to grab a sandwich at this point if needed.)  :)

Our extra room has a door…
organized attic organized holiday decor_0018
that opens into our attic.  My builder teased me constantly about this so called “attic” space.  It was going to just be the frames but then I decided I wanted him to drywall it.  And then I said if we’re going to drywall it, we might as well paint it.  And if we’re going to paint it, we might as well add carpet.  Right?  (I’m starting to sound like the book If you Give a Mouse a Cookie…)  Ha!  Pretty soon it just looked like a mini bedroom!  I couldn’t help it!  I knew I’d be the one using this space and I wanted it to be as cozy as possible.  :)
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Because of the exterior of our house we ended up with this strange gap before the attic starts.  It was empty space on the sides of the door and my builder was going to fill it in but I stopped him.  Precious storage!  I use it to hold frames/pictures that I still might hang.
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So here is my attic after hours of organizing everything!  (Excuse the terrible lighting!)  It might not look that amazing, but I now know where everything is and I only have things I absolutely use/want to save in this space.  Plus I have room for more!  Amazing to me.  :)
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On the right is all of our Christmas decorations.  I saved the pesky village boxes just in case.
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I used bins and trunks and ornament boxes that I already had and packed everything in nice and tight!
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There are random things along the back wall.  Outside Christmas decor, furniture we use in the playroom but aren’t using right now…
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and Halloween/Fall decor in that back left corner.
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Eventually I’m going to add these beautiful family trunks to my decor downstairs, but for now they are helping with storage until I get more bins.  One holds all of our ski clothes.
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The other one is full of our Easter things.
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Next to the trunks are all of my extra small bins/organizers.  Yes!  This is the one thing I hoard and don’t get rid of!  :)  I love having lots of options when I’m organizing a new space.  It’s like a mini Container Store in my house.  ;)
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Random baby items I’m saving, a box of old clothes/prom dresses from High School, and pics of the kids I still need to hang – and that completes the organized attic tour!

Wanna see what I’d eventually LOVE this space to look like?  (But with paint and carpet of course.)  ;)
organized attic organized holiday decor_0042{via}

I’d love to have some shelves like this built to maximize vertical storage space.  And then of course have rows of matching bins with labels!

organized attic organized holiday decor_0005
But for now I’m happy just to have everything in its place!
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And to be able to walk in our extra room again.

It’s the little things.  :)
So there you go!  Attic, extra room and holiday decor are all organized and checked off my list!  Playroom is next!  That will be a long post too so I’ll give you the weekend for a breather.  After this post I know I need one…


Clean spaces and a work in progress

Happy Wednesday everyone!  So I’ve been organizing.  A lot.  And I was going to share an organizing post with you today but two hours later I’m STILL editing the pictures.  I took too many.  And I may have gotten a bit distracted somewhere along the way watching Fixer Upper.  Two episodes.  Oops.  :)
So instead I’ll share a few simple pictures of my console table in its current state.  Aren’t these flowers beautiful!?  So colorful and happy.
This time of year I always crave fresh flowers around the house.  Spring isn’t officially here, but it’s right around the corner and fresh flowers are a lovely reminder of that!
I also crave simplicity.  Christmas/Valentine decor is down and I just want my house to feel clean and fresh.  I added a couple of pictures of our family and the kids to the table.  These three monkeys truly are my “happy when skies are gray” so that felt appropriate.  :)
Speaking of craving clean and fresh, like I said I’ve been on an organizing frenzy.  So excited!  I’m on such a roll and I’m knocking things off my list right and left!  I even decided to tackle my garage today.  Which wasn’t on my list.
Yikes!  And this was AFTER three hours of work and there was more junk behind me.  I wore out and will have to finish tomorrow.  This is phase one of my ‘organize the garage plan’.  I’m going through everything and getting rid of half of our stuff.  There is so much I’ve been hanging on to that we just don’t need/use.  After I’ve headed to Goodwill and cleaned things up a bit I’m going to start sketching a plan for some storage or built-ins to hold what we are keeping.  I’ll keep you posted!
For now though, let’s stick to the pretty pictures.  A nice escape from all the “in progress” that is going on around here at the moment.


Happy Love Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  Just wanted to wish you all a lovely weekend and share this picture of Ad I posted on Instagram last Thursday night.  I took it right after she finished her masterpiece – a Cupcake Valentine box to go with her cupcake valentines.  I nudged her in the right direction but she pretty much made the whole thing by herself and was so proud.  So was her mom.  :)  I’ll share how she made it at some point.  SO so easy with stuff we already had around the house.

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