BEFORE: Living Room Bookshelf/Play Area
AFTER: Kids are more likely to enjoy their toys when they are not overwhelmed by them. Plus, this is one of the first things you see when you walk in the front door. I want it to be easy to maintain for all of us.
BEFORE: Kids' Room. Ainsley's bed on the left, Thaddeus' crib on right.
AFTER: Swapped the kids' beds to create more play space. Ainsley rejoices.
BEFORE: The kids' closet/storage space. Since we did not put the doors on this built-in cabinet, it's necessary to keep it neat and organized. I needed more specific storage for the toys. I also strongly disliked keeping that green box on the top shelf (it's filled with Ainsley's baby keepsakes and belongs elsewhere).
AFTER: VOILA! Tidied the clothes, rearranged the baskets.
AFTER: Added simple construction paper labels to the baskets. (I had never removed the original tags, so I just glued them over the existing tags.) They'll fade and rip, but they are easy enough to replace or change as needed. Clementine boxes were put to use storing doll clothes and musical instruments.
BEFORE: Art supplies and misc. stuff stored by back door. Makes us crazy every time we go to the basement, and discourages me every time the kids ask to do art work. Ugh.
BEFORE: I stored additional toys in this cart in the basement. They are the toys that we take out less often than the toys in their room (challenging puzzles, Ainsley's Cinderella doll and her accessories, lacing cards and beads).
AFTER: *sigh of relief* Isn't this soooo much better? Top shelf: Art supplies organized with coffee mugs we no longer use - one for each set of small crayons, big crayons, markers, small markers, etc. Basket for letter magnets, basket for coloring/sticker/painting books. Basket for extra library books. I like to rotate the collection we keep on the main floor. Lower shelf: Bin with wooden blocks (bucket of cleaning rags on top). The rolling cart is cleaned up and more accessible. Giant easel paper on the right.
- I also cleaned up the basement and all the giveaway and miscellaneous toy and stuff storage down there.
- Reduced Ainsley’s baby clothing by half. Down to one bin for each kid, which also includes our cloth diapers and a few maternity pieces.
- Discovered that while we have a lot of toys, we have a lot of high-quality, well-loved toys. When properly put away and organized, it is not as overwhelming.
- The kids have done art work every day since it was cleaned up.
- The kids and I have had fantastic play time in their room with specific bins they’ve requested — dress up clothes, musical instruments, and stuffed animals.
AFTER: Thaddeus' crib (need to move Ainsley's photos/name plate to her side now). The play kitchen used to be in front of radiator, but fits much better under the window.
AFTER: Ainsley's bed by the door.