Back to my own little “one-room challenge”… If you follow any of the design bloggers that have participated in the very-popular ORC (founded and organized by Calling It Home), you will know to what I am referring. Twice a year, in the spring and fall, a group of bloggers choose a space to transform and post weekly updates of the progress, along with design and source information. It’s a fun time and I like to follow along here and there.
I am not a participant of this formal event, but I do have my own personal challenge going on when it comes to the front room in our home. I am in the process of creating a space that will serve several functions, including my office, the kids’ arts and crafts room, and a storage space for books, supplies, files, and a host of other things. I am working on a super-tight budget and trying to use what I have. Necessary, but not easy.
You can view part one of the project here.
So, when the room was cleaned and everything that had a place was in its place, it looked like this:
Except for that far wall, it wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t great either. Eight months here and I finally figured out that, among its many functions, this can’t be a playroom.
Because, unless it was freshly organized – it looked like this:
For the sake of my sanity, something had to change. Out with the toys.
At the same time, I came to terms with the fact that our coat closet was not pulling it’s storage weight and could work for us a lot more efficiently if organized. It housed my big art bins and crafting supplies, the vacuum cleaner and our little fireproof safe, blankets, small exercise equipment, and yes, coats.
We spent the better part of a Saturday transforming the closet.
I decided that using our coat closet for coats is not necessary where we live in South Georgia, as those bulky coats are rarely worn. The art/craft stuff should be in the office with the rest of those supplies. The blankets were better stored on the mostly-empty shelf in Joseph’s closet. And the rest of the things could be stored elsewhere and out of the way.
I did not want to permanently alter the closet for resale purposes. We don’t plan on staying in this house but for a few years, so tailor-making a closet system with built-ins was not the wise thing to do in this situation. Again, I defaulted to using what we had…
While I was out on a run that day, Joe moved the little toy shelf out of the front room and into the closet.
The kids and I moved all toys out of the front room and separated them into piles: keep, donate/maybe sell, and trash. As it usually happens, things got way messier, before they got tidy. It was chaotic.
…But we had boxes of things to go. Yay for me – I love getting rid of things. Kids really don’t need that many toys. After going through everything and organizing what stayed, they still had plenty to play with anyway.
I moved all of the dress-up stuff from the front room, too. Hannah had all her costumes hanging in that closet and an overflowing drawer of accessories in that peacock chest.
And…here is the result!
Legos are organized in plastic bins and all the train collection sits on the top shelf (out of sight, on the right). This was on purpose: lots and lots of pieces so they have to ask me to get something down. No longer will there be all the train parts and Legos strewn around the room at one time.
All dress-up stuff is hanging or in one of the baskets.
Games, puzzles, Nerf guns and bullets, remote-controlled things, our much-loved Schleich animals, cars, little instruments, and their daddy’s old Adventure People collection are all stored in the white shelving unit.
The only toy-related things not in this closet are a few of Joseph’s construction vehicles (now in his room) and Hannah’s doll things (already in her room).
I admit, the way I felt with the toy conundrum solved was quite a relief. I love how, when the toys are put away, I can shut that closet door and it’s out of sight.
My women’s small group meets on Tuesday mornings and a couple of the moms bring their preschool-aged children. All I do is open the closet and they are good to go. Since everything has a place, it’s easy to clean up.
The multi-purpose front room now serves one less purpose. Playroom, it is not.
Now, moving on to the next task…