“My little one’s Nursery/ Play area/ Room is always clean” said NO MOM EVER!
I, at my place, have chosen to embrace ‘a certain level of mess’ because i feel ‘clutter’ is a by-product of children making memories!
On the flip side, we moms know how a toddler possesses the ability to put their play space topsy-turvy in literally no time, which is not a very pretty sight either.
With all the horror ‘messy-house’ stories that i had heard of how a house becomes after baby’s arrival & not a lot of help at my side, i decided to create strategies early on to keep the house in general and my girl’s room in specific “clutter free”. My FIRST STRATEGY was to ‘create a separate play place for my little one from the VERY FIRST DAY’. I was taken aback to find out how many desi folks still think it’s just a waste of time, money and efforts. ‘Itney chotey bachey ko alag jaga ki kiya zaroorat hai?’ (Such a little baby doesn’t need a special separate place to play). With little one almost completing her second year, i now can conslude it was the bestest decision i made. It may sound weird to some, but being a very private person, i probably like my space JUST TO MYSELF and vice versa 😀 Yes, i am that scary mom who can’t stand bits n’ pieces of toys, blocks & colors spread all over the house. Baby’s own play space also allows baby safety as you can ensure their play area is baby friendly. Consequently, they won’t be interested in being ‘all over’ your stuff :p
MOST IMPORTANTLY, now that the girl is old enough to be disciplined i realize seeing ‘organized’ around her will help her ‘stay organized’. I feel it’s sooo much more important for their ‘learning, focus and self-discipline’.
So, over time, i have managed to keep her playroom quite organized, by using a few essential space saving items & some easy low budget tricks. They helped me create a LOTS of space, manage that ton of toddler’s stuff & keep things at their right place, with or WITHOUT ANY MAID. Those teeny weeny pieces of layers of clothing, toiletries, a stash of diapers & wipes, literally a zillion balls, countless books, TOYS,TOYS & TOYS…….are not that difficult to manage & keep organized after all, and i am going to share with you stuff that helped me achieve that.
STORAGE IDEAS THAT HELPED US KEEP THE PLAY ROOM CLUTTER-FREE
1. A Toy Shelf
Honestly, i hadn’t felt the necessity of it till about the first whole year, and then one day i realized how it was being soooo difficult to clean with the toys and play stuff all over the playroom. We were losing parts n’ pieces, breaking toys, and couldn’t locate which thing was where. That’s when i decided EVERYTHING needed a home. TOY SHELF was a MUST! No ifs & buts.
While there are soooo many types of plastic toy shelves available in the stores, i knew from the day one what i wanted. My personal preference was to have something ‘easily accessible’ by the little one. WHY? So she can take out what she wants to play with & put it back. Yes,i want to train her that way. Also when they can see what they want, they don’t have to throw all other stuff in order to take out ‘that one special thing’.
I wanted to get one custom made, since i couldn’t find anything like what i wanted….loads of cubby holes, white color, easy access etc. I felt heart broken for not having an IKEA store around. Why don’t we have all those best stores here which rest of the world shops from? :/ Right amidst all these whiny feelings, one fine lucky day i spotted EXACTLY what i was looking for at a place called Marvello in Beverly Center Islamabad, and did you moms know, they stock a limited collection of IKEA? I found most of the stuff for my girl’s room from there. A few of their stuff is stocked at daraz.pk too. Warning! Their prices are three times higher than the original prices, but moms, don’t forget doing a business like this have HUGE FIXED COSTS of shipping, handling, paying custom & rentals etc. We should be aware of these before we complain over the prices, and this comes from a first hands on experience of running a branded shoes/ accessories outlet myself.
OK, So here is our TOY SHELF! I plan to create labels to paste in order to help categorize different toys e.g things that move, puzzles, blocks, Activity centers/ cubes, Miscellaneous, Shapes & Stacking toys etc.
2. A Hanging Organizer
Hanging organizers are great for saving space. Hang them in some corner and feel safe and organized. or you may even hide some stuff in them. I hide crayons in the top compartment of my hanging organizer, as crayons are strictly meant to be used under supervision by a toddler for all the right reasons 😉
If you happen to get lucky finding something like this sooper budget friendly one i have from Ikea (Marvello), you can stash in a lots of stuff in these compartments like colors, small toys, blocks, puzzles, soft toys & puppets etc. Another plus is they look cute in different colors, and are baby friendly & safe.
3. Rods to hang toys with Velcro strap
I made use of these window rods in my girl’s playroom, and these toys with Velcro straps found a permanent place here. Not only is it a space saver, but it pops some yummy toy colors to the room which i totally love. The little one can easily spot where that hungry caterpillar is or that bunny rabbit is. Helps me connect the toys with the animals in her books.
You can get a rod by Ikea like this one to hang toys.
4. A Wall Shelf for Books (or Toys)
No play room can be called complete without a ‘Book corner’. The sleekest way to display your little one’s book collection is to put them on a wall floating shelf. This way they are able to tell which ones they want to pick, and at the same time creating a sooper cool book corner in the playroom. Saves MAJOR CLUTTER! Books are a sensitive issue especially if they belong to a toddler, wall shelves also ensures they stay away from damage.
You can find them at sooo many places/ gift/ stationary stores now, or have this Ikea one delivered online from this link.
5. Storage bins/ Baskets/ Caddies
The more of them you have, the better. The best thing is you can get them in all shapes,sizes & colors, so you can pop some funk into your play room with the help of these bins.
I got these funky fold-able, weighing like air storage bins completely by chance from Babies rUs US, for average $5-8 each. Before i had got that toy shelf # 1, i kept these bins haphazardly on the floor in the playroom. You can get massive variety of such storage bins available if you live abroad but if you are in Pakistan, you can get creative with the type of baskets available. For example,you can totally go for the cane ones and spray paint them. I got this small colored dots organizer from a stationary store for Rs 150 and i think its good enough for small tidbits.
Ikea storage bins are available at Marvello, Beverly Center, or you can order some soooper cool storage bins/ baskets/ caddies by 3 Sprouts & Skip Hop at Baby Inc Pakistan.
6. Ball pit for those zillion balls
Where do all those different sized balls go? Of course a ball pit!
And you don’t need a fancy one, use your little one’s old tub or jacuzzi to make a ball pit like we did 😀 We also put them in the ‘Tent house’ sometimes.Both work EXCELLENT to keep the ‘ball clutter’ away.
7. A Separate Laundry Basket
Apart from keeping those diaper leaked, dirt filled, food and milk splattered clothes away from yours, this can help keep things soooo much organized. We usually do a laundry round for little one’s clothes separately, so naturally her clothes go straight from her laundry basket. I don’t have to look around the whole house to do a clothes treasure hunt. And u don’t necessarily need a fancy basket for that, guess this one costed not more than Rs 300/-
At her age (2 months shy of 2) i ask her to pick her clothes wherever in the house they are, and put them in her laundry basket. And on a laundry day, i ask her to transfer her dirty clothes from the laundry basket into the machine.
8. Bathing/ Laundry/ Dressing space
Yes, this corner is where EVERYTHING that comes inside the bracket of bathing/ laundry/ dressing up accessories can fall. Many people (like me) like to keep a separate place assigned as a changing place for their newborns. You can either use changing pads or changing tables. Some changing tables come with a bathing option too like the one i had. But after a few months, especially after they turn one, your babies might not fit into those tables. I use the tub now for activities.
So what do you do with ‘already used changing table’?
I turned mine into a corner where everything related to little one’s laundry like basket, clothespins, hangers, bathing accessories like towels, toiletries (i don’t use cream, lotions or powders so none of those), swimming costumes, jackets etc, nail clippers, comb, bush, wipes, diapers etc. All this stuff is found EXACTLY HERE. And it pretty much gives me a peace of mind when looking for any of these things.
Changing tables usually have a lots of compartments which i have utilized. On top end of the changing table i have hung a few long ribbons displaying my girl’s hair accessories (image below)
9. A box full of Hangers for Closet Organization
Folded clothes are NOT my thing. I need to be able to SEE the dress hanging in the closet. They say ‘out of sight, out of mind’. That sums it all. To be able to get used, a dress has to be hanging.
Also, I feel hanging clothes is the easiest way of keeping your closet clutter free. And for that, you need an unlimited supply of THESE:
Some branded clothes like Carter’s come with Hangers like these. These are great to hang 3-4 shirts together. Saves space like a pro. NEVER EVER throw hangers. Kids closet needs faaaaar more of them than we do in our modest closets.
If you want, you can totally create some DIY Dividers to create divisions of different type of clothes. I never did because i pack and label clothes after every few months and put them in the store. Also, i am one of those lucky few who have ample storing space and huuuuge closets in each room in a rented space, so i have kept little one’s FORMALS in a different closet than the routine clothes. And for the other smaller pieces of clothing, check what i do in # 10.
10. Shoe Boxes for Closet organization
Yesss, i don’t think drawer and closet organizers are that common in our part of the world. So How can one keep things neat and organized?
USE THE SHOE BOXES, or any other boxes you get your hands on.
I have made use of these boxes for about everything. They are inside my personal dressing’s drawer to create sections. Little one’s art, crat supplies are in them, bibs, hats etc They are soooper easy to label, and great size for each category of items.
Have a look!
THAT’S IT FOR NOE!
Let us know in the comment section below which playroom organization idea did you find the most useful. Don’t forget to add on your valuable ideas to this list.