This play space makeover was all about organizing and cleaning. Eddie and Walter have some amazing toys and other resources, but everything was lost in deep baskets, out of place, spread around the house, and in total chaos. Their mum was overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start, so I came in and helped get her on the right track. They had everything I needed there, so I came armed with cleaning supplies, time, and my mini sidekicks to help get it turned around. I focused on four main areas in the end…
- The space was crowded with too many toys and the deep baskets on the Kallax shelves meant that things were thrown in and lost in the ether.
- The foam mat on the floor was working primarily as a dust/dirt collector.
- The room also doubled as the kids’ clothing storage space, but the large dresser took up too much valuable play room.
- The same went for the large armchair, which didn’t serve much purpose in the space except to house a watchful adult.
- The artwork on the walls was years old and there were other things to mount that no one had had time to get up.
- I removed some of the unneeded furniture and then shifted around the furniture that was left to create more floor and counter space.
- I sorted through all the toys and removed ones that were broken, gimmicky (think McDonalds toys), or not age appropriate (i.e. baby toys).
- The newly sorted toys went back into baskets and were organized in the room by type to help create play areas and inspire play arcs.
- Art supplies were placed out in the open near the newly introduced easel + work table to encourage art to happen.
- An area on top of the shelves was created for Eddie’s STEM toys + Legos, out of the reach of baby brother Walter.
- The foam tiles were removed and small rugs I sourced around the house were added.
- Old artwork was taken down and new organizational pieces put up – hooks for ukuleles, a hat rack, and a height chart (all things that were waiting to be mounted).
THE LIVING ROOM (unplanned but I couldn’t help myself)
Although not technically a play space, this is an area the boys use and I wanted to help this family reclaim their home. Because it was unplanned there are no before photos, but in a nutshell:
- I rearranged furniture to make space for a chair from the playroom and to give the room a better flow.
- I moved a Kallax shelf from the upstairs bedroom down and reclaimed four baskets from the playroom to make a “mudroom” of sorts for the family. Every member of the house had their own basket for shoes and hats etc, and a hook on the wall for their bag.
- I added a rug under the coffee table.
- I sorted and organized games into one place.
- I cleaned.
The kids have one corner of the room, but the area is shared with a desk that the parents used + part of an open plan space that is primarily for adults. This was a similar organizational situation to the playroom…
- Lots of sorting and weeding out unwanted toys + toys that needed to move up to the playroom.
- Reworking the play furniture to create more space + better flow.
- Hanging a large wall map that needed to find a home.
The boys’ mum wanted a mud kitchen for the boys after seeing one from a previous space we worked on. :) There was a fun little patch of garden surrounded by trees right by their patio area. I suggested we turn this into a little hideout zone for the kids.
- I spent most of my allotted time inside, so to help get them started reworking this space I created a small mud kitchen using cinderblocks and some repurposed wood.
- I gathered unused pots and crates from the backyard and set them up as storage and a cooking pot for the kitchen.
- From the basement play kitchen I pulled some materials that would work for outside.
- I then left them with a list of how to continue to improve the space. I may go back in to build a sandbox for them at some point too.