Recently I travelled down to visit Claire from Penrith NSW, who was the first winner of the Kia Australia ‘Win The Organised Housewife for a day’ competition. Kia Australia are helping my dream of being able to help a few of my readers to organise an area in their home which they are finding very overwhelming. I am truly grateful for this opportunity and had so much fun meeting Claire and creating a wonderful new space for her kids to enjoy.
Toy Room Makeover
Claire is an amazing mum to two beautiful girls who are 6 and 4, they both love to play together and to avoid fights they each have their own toys, so that means two dolls high chairs, two barbie cars, an abundance of barbie dolls and so much more. Slowly over the years the girls have been given and handed down toys from family, friends and neighbours, always grateful Claire has appreciated the gestures from her friends and family. But there has come a point now that these two precious girls have too many toys, so much so that they are struggling to find toys, puzzle pieces and have a place to create due to the excess of toys. It’s become such a mess that it is overwhelming for Claire to know where to start to tidy it up and for the girls to put their things away. Claire wants to get her home back under control so she is not embarrassed when guests visit.
As you can see this toy room has become a place of chaos rather than an area where the girls can play and lie down to watch TV.
The action plan:
- Tidy up the floor so we can easily walk around
- Determine what furniture needs moving and replacing to make the area more functional
- Sort through all the toys, puzzles and craft items and store together in new storage systems
- Tidy up bookshelves
- Create a new craft area
View the video to show you how we made over this spectacular room
I used some flexible storage tubs to help us sort through all the items on the floor. Having a rubbish, sell and donate tub means we only need to pick up and touch an item once, labels available here.
Once we finished we used the tubs in the room to store dolls and larger toys.
This toy room had a great little TV cabinet, however there was another really large bookshelf that was sitting unused in the middle of the room. We decided to purge the old TV cabinet and use the larger bookshelf as it would help to store more items and make them look tidier. By also having this bookshelf, we were able to purge the DVD stand and stack them into one shelf on the bookshelf.
Now all the teddies, dolls and barbie heads have a home, all in one shelf which will be easy for the girls to grab who they want to play with. The yellow boxes on the bottom shelf hold all the girls puzzles. I chose boxes with a lid as I want to keep the puzzles contained so no little pieces can get lost.
These canvas totes fit perfectly on the bookshelf, organising and storing headphones, dolls clothes etc. The idea with the totes is when the girls want to dress their dolls they can take the basket onto the mat, tip it out rummage through it and then when finished pack back into the tote and easily put back on the shelf.
Claire had this beautiful chest hiding in the back of the room with a blanket over the top stacked with Lego pieces. Inside the box is all the girls dress up clothes. Having the lego on top then made it hard for the girls to get into.
I moved the chest into an empty space between the couches which then made some free space to rearrange some of the other items in the room.
Tidying the bookshelf
Kids and books, I remember when my kids were little they just enjoyed pulling them off the shelf. In the effort of tidying up quickly it’s easy to just pick up the books and pile them on the shelf. However, by simply standing and lining them up neatly makes it look tidier and provides more room on the shelf.
Reducing the toy clutter
As Claire’s girls have way too many toys we put together a ‘toy rotation system’. The rotation system is basically putting away few toys for a period of time, in this case I suggested 3 months, this will then result in less clutter in the room and give the girls a chance to easily find the toys that they have. In 3 months time Claire can bring the toys out from storage, then put another box full of different toys back into storage. As the toys have been ‘gone’ for 3 months they have a renewed fun element like it’s a new toy!!
Claire’s husband Dave was very kind to help us move some of the furniture around, but when he moved the dollhouse away from the window we found a stack of old and very dusty VCR tapes. Not been used for so many years Dave very graciously said yes to purging most of them, he has kept one or two favourites… great work Dave so impressed!!!
Moving the doll house to the other side of the room gave us some great space for new storage
Better storage solutions
There are always so many little pieces that come with all the different play sets. I’m using the super cheap Algot System from Ikea. This system is great giving you the choice of the size baskets you want in the frame. I chose 2 deep drawers and the rest smaller to keep all like toys together.
The girls couldn’t part with any of their barbies, but having this system gave them enough room to be able to keep them all.
Ample size basket allow them to easily find what they are looking for
A place to be creative
The girls did have a round table that they could sit at and be creative, but it wasn’t big enough for the both of them to spread out. We got them each a desk to sit at which has a great little tray underneath for them to keep all their paper, scissors stamps etc.
Mum and Dad look so relaxed!
Hiding bulky items
All the dolls cots, prams and highchairs are stored away under the lego table
The end result
This room has transformed into something remarkable. Claire was able to put some toys away into the rotation system and donated a few items to her local charity. With simply improving some storage solutions and moving some of the furniture around, it has made this room function so much better and look so much tidier!
I must add how fantastic is this lego table. Dad put a piece of board over an old coffee table and has created a little Lego city for the girls.