My clients had a very large room which had been set up as playroom for their 3 children. The room was ideal for when his children were toddlers and the infant years at school. However, as their children aged they found that they were no longer playing with their toys in the same way and the room was sitting unused becoming a very large storage room for his children’s excess of toys. As the room was on a different level to the main living areas of the home, it was easy to close the door and ignore the mess and therefore wasn’t tidied nearly as frequently as it should have been. The family wanted to convert the room into a space that was suited the current needs of their primary school age children who had started doing homework and were frequently drawing, colouring-in or playing with Lego or Barbies in their spare time.
To suit their children’s more grown-up activities, I supported the family to convert the room into a combined play space and study zone. I worked with the children through the process of sorting and decluttering the toys. It was important to me that the children were involved in the process, so that they could have input on what toys which they currently played with and wanted to keep in the area, those they wished to keep for sentimental reasons and those they no longer used. The toys they wanted to keep for sentimental reasons were boxed up and placed in the top of each child’s wardrobe, whilst the toys they no longer wanted were donated to their local primary school’s fete. Once it was clear how many toys that the family needed to store in the space, I determined what furniture items in the existing playroom that we could repurpose and if any purchases were needed. It was important for the family for their children to have their own study space, so I supported the purchase 3 identical desks with reading lamps and a larger shelving unit which could be used to display Lego or craft creations, as well as store the children’s toys. I converted a narrow shelving unit that had previously been used as a seat into a Lego play bench. The toys were stored in baskets in the new shelving unit and under the Lego bench in a way which made sense to the children so they were more likely ownership of the space and therefore more likely to keep it clean. By rearranging the furniture, I created two very distinct zones in the room.
The whole family was elated with the results of the organisation project. The children commented that it was much easier to find the exact toys that they wanted to play with and as a result the room was kept tidier for longer. Although after a big day of playing, the room does get out of control, it is much easier for the children to bring it back into order themselves without their parents help. The addition of the desks has allowed the dining table to be freed up and the children’s colouring-in books and pencils stay neatly in their desk.
* Permission has been granted by the client to share their story. Names have not been used to respect their privacy. The Organising Bee will never share photos or client information without permission from the client.