If you are a mom and have a playroom I have a feeling you read this title and shuttered a little. Here’s the thing…it’s a never ending battle, no one seems to appreciate it and there always seems to be more toys! When we moved into our current home about 4 years ago our oldest was 2.5 and baby boy was cooking in the oven so it seemed like we had TONS of room. Fast forward many holidays and birthdays later, toddler years of dumping everything out and I had to get a system that worked.
Today I’m going to talk just about our Pottery Barn bookcase and how we manage to keep it looking somewhat in order…most of the time. We have the Cameron Art Storage System with open bases, which they now make with chalkboard doors but I loved the all white look. We did end up taking our one side of the art shelves because we were not using them and needed more puzzle space.
First we grouped items- Barbie, Dinosaurs, etc this way it makes it VERY easy to just throw things into a bin when the kids are done playing with a certain item. I love using chalkboard labels because as the kids grow and their interests change just wipe off one title and put in another. These from Avery are a good size and don’t peel like some I have purchased from Michaels, our circle ones were from Target but they no longer carry them (guess how annoyed I was the last time I went to find them!)
Draw pictures to go with the words, they don’t have to be perfect (I am NOT the artist in our family) but his way even little ones who can’t read can identify what goes in each box and they learn to put their stuff back. The lids of these have 2 easy to flip open snaps but the Snapware Smart Store sometimes can be hard to find, I bought ours on Amazon but it looks like the 11 x 8 (tall one) is out of stock but this style looks very similar in the larger size. We got the shorter ones for inside the cabinet because I didn’t even know the taller ones existed and I didn’t feel like changing them out.
Next group books by color, trust me I thought what the heck I want theme or size but there is something that makes your space appear orderly and kiddos can figure out color MUCH faster than they will understand that Danny and the Dinosaur goes with Dinosaur ABCs.
This works well in the playroom where these books are switched out seasonally to the kids rooms where they have bookshelves that they pull from daily. Keeping up with the color order in my son’s room is a losing battle!
Last we got Sterilite big boxes for the bottom shelves that have easy latches and are as deep as the entire unit so we keep bigger things like Wood Blocks, Playmags, Doll Clothes and Barbie stuff in there. These measure 18.13 x 12.25 x 7 and you can grab a pack of 6 on Amazon.
The polka dot bins are left over from my daughter’s baby room and they help hide the junk, you know the stuff that doesn’t match the randoms it all goes in there. After this picture we ended up switching them out for a more neutral grey with a more heavy duty handle from The Container Store.
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