Client Project: Playroom Organizing

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Many of you responded on my reader survey that you’d like to see more client projects, which I’m happy to deliver on (by the way, I am so incredibly appreciative to all those of you who took the time to fill it out. If you haven’t done so yet, tell me, how are you living with yourself? You can still fill it out here).

Today on the docket we have a basement playroom. Rest assured, the quality of these photographs will help clear any lingering doubt that I may actually be a photographer, rather than an organizer.

That means that most of them are “C-R-A-P,” in the words, or letters as the case may be, of my client– you know how parent’s tend to do that whole spelling-out-a-bad-word-thing regardless of whether children are present? Sort of like how this woman in my elementary school carpool who worked with the deaf would sign everything even though everyone in the car was in full possession of their hearing. Consequently, I spent much of the fourth grade convinced her son was some version of under-the-radar-deaf.

Right, so the playroom is in the home of one of my most favorite clients, who’s just decided to put her house on the market. The goal therefore was to not only declutter and organize, but also to stage (see: expend massive efforts to achieve an entirely effortless look, also: the most un-real real lived in look).

We’ll start with this corner:

We blitzed and by blitzed I do mean blitzed. Everything came off those shelves in a couple fowl swoops, ending up in a huge pile on the floor. I made individual stacks for my client to sort through. Everything outgrown, grody or just plain ugly got the boot. All the keeps were handed right back to me, to be placed immediately into a cubby.

I stacked (manically) by category: board games, art projects, books, and tea sets (you don’t have more than one?). I used the wicker baskets to hold contents in corresponding categories whose containers weren’t as conducive to cubby stacking–holy matzah ball, I wasn’t even trying for alliteration there, but all those C’s in one sentence; have you ever?

My client has ordered more of those little chalkboard labels and then each basket will get one. Symmetry, people.

Continuing along the same wall: we tackled the many mysterious bins of miscellaneous small-person treasures.

Having cleared those out, we decided to move the table which had formerly been in the middle of the room to right beside the window.

Moving along to this side of the space, I quickly extracted all the unnecessary S-H-I-T, cleared the surfaces to achieve the look of clean lines, and streamlined the cabinet’s contents.

The drum set, piano, mic, amp, etc that you might have noticed scattered throughout presented somewhat of a staging challenge; they look horrid basically, but their owners– a 7-year-old and 9-year-old, respectively– can’t be without access to them. Serious musicians start early. We decided, at least for the time being, to sequester them in another corner.

Four hours, some sore knees, a ridiculously parched throat and dirty hands later, this playroom was just about wrapped up.

The rugs are being cleaned currently, and will be returned to the floor when they are, as they add a nice dose of color and playfulness, and the chalkboard label tags will be added upon arrival. Those TV cords still need to be handled, and we’ll play around with the wall decor, possibly hanging some bunting as well as a little white butterfly chandelier above the table. Here’s the best stab at an overall view I can offer you:

*Must remember to address that large pink thing.

Thanks for reading, peanuts!


8 thoughts on “Client Project: Playroom Organizing

  1. Monica

    Great organization for the playroom. I wish I had something this big when my kiddos were younger but then bigger room bigger mess. I really like the large fish on the wall and the book case looks so much better. I am very guilty of this but how is it we buy so much for our kids they really don’t need or use it all. I wish the older me was hanging around when I was younger!

  2. Melissa

    Am wondering where did the larger toys end up? Did they get tossed? Am wondering because I struggle with the really large toys that toddlers have. Thanks

    1. livesimplybyannie Post author

      Actually, it was just by chance really that the kids had outgrown all those larger toys. But I will keep this issue in mind for future posts!

  3. Sabrina

    What an amazing playroom, you did a great job of cleaning it up! I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and I love it. I also love that your favorite word seems to be “SHIT” it makes me giggle and grin everytime I see it in one of your post!

  4. gaildesantis

    Hi Annie!! Do you know where they bought that organizational cabinet? (the one with the 4 doors and holds the baskets) That is exactly what I need!!!

    1. Annie Post author

      Hi Gail,
      I’m not sure, unfortunately, but my best guess would be Pottery Barn Kids. Worth a look, anyhow, as they might have something similar, as well as Land of Nod. Good luck!


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