I’m excited to finally share photos of our completed playroom as well as some of the playroom organization ideas I’ve incorporated! I’ve shared bits and pieces in the past but have really taken my time to create storage systems for toys, books, games, stuffed animals, etc.! Our playroom is central to our first floor and is a space we walk through dozens of times each day since it’s easily accessible from both our mudroom and our family room. So it was important to me to get the toys organized and get things looking tidy but still functional for two little boys two and under!
Ikea Ektorp sofa (discontinued, this new style is most similar)
In terms of decorating the space, I splurged on a custom colorway of one of my favorite wallpaper patterns, Quadrille Lyford Trellis, ordered through Lynn Chalk. (My dad put up inexpensive beadboard and chair rail painted my go-to shade of white on the lower part of the wall — my favorite trick for giving a room some architectural interest and having to spend way less on pricey wallpaper!) I decided to leave the wall space clear given all the toy clutter elsewhere in the space and I love getting to see as much of the wallpaper as possible! All the furniture in the room is something we already owned (with the exception of the kids’ table and chairs!) and most of it comes from Ikea so it’s not too precious. The slipcovered sofa works particularly well for a playroom — it’s been washed and bleached more times than I can count!
I thought I’d share my playroom organization tips and playroom storage ideas for anyone else whose playroom is centrally located within their home (or part of another space like the family room!). I’m admittedly a little envious of families with finished basements or third floor playrooms. But this is still a great space and I was determined to make the most of it!
SIX PLAYROOM ORGANIZATION IDEAS & TIPS
1. Display the best and hide the rest.
There are plenty of attractive or at least cute and colorful toys that I’m happy to have on display even though our playroom is open to our living room on one side and our mudroom on the other. The wooden toy sets from Lovevery are a good example — they’re attractive enough to warrant leaving out on top of our console or shelving unit instead of trying to find closed storage for them.
2. An Ikea hack for organizing toy cars.
I learned this trick from my friend Meredith who runs a professional organizing business called Prim Living. If you have the Ikea Kallax shelving unit (I recommend the high gloss white!), they make a Kallax wine bottle insert that’s actually the perfect size for organizing toy cars! I ordered these wooden vehicles here, here, and here to make for a more attractive display.
3. Adjustable shelving is key.
My observation has been that our kids’ favorite toys have gotten smaller as they’ve gotten older. So having storage pieces with adjustable shelving is hugely helpful for creating storage systems that can adapt with your children’s changing interests. This affordable Ikea Besta console has shelves that can be adjusted to fit tall books, tiny cars, and everything in between.
4. Use baskets for the big stuff.
I love a cuddly stuffed animal as much as the next mom. But I don’t need to stare at two dozen of them in a space that’s open to the rest of our first floor! These stacking baskets are great for larger collections, dress-up costumes, and oversized toys like these cleaning supplies or this golf set. These water hyacinth cube baskets in the large size fit perfectly in the Ikea Kallax shelving unit (ours are a little worse for the wear thanks to our dog Rory, but you get the idea!).
5. Use pouches for the small stuff.
These zipper pouches come in a ten-pack on Amazon (I got the “A4” size) and are also perfect for creating tiny collections of like toys. For instance, I have a pouch that contains all kinds of small puzzles, one for magnetic tiles, another for wooden blocks, etc. It’s a great system because kids get in the habit of taking out one or two pouches at a time and it prevents pieces from one activity getting mixed in with pieces from another.
6. Use clear storage for easy sorting.
I love acrylic bins and brought in this acrylic lazy susan to corral crayons and markers. We haven’t had any problems with Teddy drawing anywhere besides paper yet (knock on wood!) but it’s something we could always place out of reach if the need arises! I like it because he can easily put back colored pencils in the colored pencil section, crayons in the crayon section, etc.
I’ll link the remaining items I can below but feel free to leave a comment with any questions!
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*photos by Julia Dags