Lillie Foulé’s bedroom doubles as her play space (and at times as a play space for her baby brother too). Her mama reached out to me because she was feeling overwhelmed by the space, which had become cluttered and wasn’t fostering independent deep play. After an initial consultation it was evident that the main issue was LF had too much stuff.
Being her bedroom, the room needed to have a bed and a space to store all her clothes. It is also the access for her parent’s bedroom door, which is in the finished attic. Being her play space, there was a lot of toys, stuffies, art supplies, and lot of miscellaneous. Lillie Foulé is a vivacious creative four year-old, so finding a way to create a calming sleep space as well as an inviting play space was the challenge.
BEFORE and AFTER
- The first step was purging. Working with her mama, we sat down and pulled out every single plastic tote, basket, and storage container that had become a place to dump toys. We were brutal! Broken things were tossed. Tchotchkes were purged and tossed or donated. Toys were sorted and then sorted again. Stuffies were seriously downsized to fit in one basket (and only one basket). Books were sorted to remove ones that weren’t being read or enjoyed.
- Next we rearranged furniture. The cube shelf was pulled out of the wardrobe and the ‘toy organizer’ shelf was moved there in its place. This meant clothes could be hung again, and it freed up space to add in an arm chair (a desire by LF’s mama for bedtime reading and snuggles).
- The cube shelf was left on its end, with books up high, and toys with lots of big pieces (like train tracks and dress up clothes) were added to the lower totes. This way things wouldn’t get lost in there.
- We bought a new tiny cube shelf and turned it into the base for a mini kitchen. The kitchen was a hand-me-down from a friend which just needed a faucet added (I glued/screwed PVC piping to it to DIY one). The kitchen sits on a non slip mat so it doesn’t slip when opened and closed. Then we added fun repurposed kitchen pieces and storage items underneath.
- Under LF’s loft bed, we added better storage for her stuffies and dolls, re-centered the large room carpet to cover this entire space, and added some DUPLO for her and her brother to play with together.
- We moved Lillie Foulé’s easel to the end of her bed and created an art cart to hold all her art supplies. Like so many kids, LF had about a million random broken and cheap crayons. I consolidated these to only Crayola brand (cheap crayons do not mark well and are very unsatisfying to draw with – read more here), which I then melted down to fun gem shapes to be more usable and visually appealing.
- The final step was rehanging artwork that had to be moved because of the furniture shift, and removing everything that needed to be thrown away or donated. I always offer to take and donate clients purged items, because the temptation to look back through and reclaim items can be strong.
Ultimately we didn’t need to purchase much at all for Lillie Foulé’s space. I ended up bringing in a couple of baskets, a few new open-ended toys and art materials, the tiny cube shelf, the play kitchen, and kitchen accessories. Nearly all were free or thrifted. This is good example of a space where folks have everything they need and it’s just a matter of cleaning, organizing, and reworking the space.