Before this giant playroom redd out, I’d guess I probably went through my kids’ things twice a year. Maybe a bonus time here and there if I couldn’t get the playroom closet door to close or if I noticed my seven-year-old still had a 4T sized shirt in her drawer. As you may have seen from some of my other home projects, I’m relatively organized and I like to keep my house streamlined and neat. It helps me to stay productive and creative and to just know where all of our “stuff” is with three kids, two senior dogs and a husband lugging their things all over the house. (Just kidding Matt. You kind of put your stuff away sometimes!)
Anyway, after three sessions with my friend Amy with Clutter Away LA, I’ve realized I’m actually okay parting with “things” we don’t need. For me, it’s just taking the time to do it properly and having the patience to live through the mess it takes to get to the final product.
The playroom and its treasures were a little harder for me for a few reasons. Hanging onto Scarlet’s little dollies from when she was two-years-old is just so sweet. Time has passed so quickly and I want her to have mementos and lovely things to pass on to her babies one day.
But. I have three children who have all been collecting their own trinkets and whatnots, losing pieces here and there, and we’d keep what was left of the toy in a plastic bin in case we found its missing counterpart one day.
We were holding on to too much. So much in fact that our playroom closet was like Tetris and no one even went in there because it was so overwhelmingly stuffed, you couldn’t find anything in its entirety anyway.
Now that Shepherd is fast approaching two, I am finally, finally ready to let go of our baby phase and all of its giant toys. I knew from the pantry project what Amy would have us do. We took everything out of the playroom closet and went through it, separating Barbie’s shoes from Darth Vaders helmet and giving each little toy and trinket its own space. We donated 17 bags of stuffed animals and toys, and now that it’s out of the house and everything is organized and beautiful, I can’t even remember what that extra stuff was.
Without further adieu, here are the before, during and after photos. I was so inspired by the how the closet turned out, complete with pretty blue and teal containers and labels, I replaced the last of our old dark play furniture with some light and bright pieces from Pottery Barn.
I swear I tried to keep this space organized. But the thing I would never do on my own is take it all out, and that’s what it really needed.
It didn’t occur to me to add shelves to the closet. That’s the beauty of having fresh eyes in your space – Amy took a look and measured (another thing I would never do), and we had a few extra shelves installed and adjusted their height to accommodate a little toy barn and a Scooby Doo house. After everything was out, Amy measured, went to Target and gave each game, lego set, and keep-able toy its very own reachable space for the kids.
I keep going into the playroom and just staring at the closet because it looks. So. Good. After you check out the pics below, check here for a Q&A I did with Clutter Away LA’s Amy Friedman when she made my pantry Pinterest-Worthy!
If you’re wondering how much a professional organizer will run you, that part, including purging, initial organizing, shopping and finalizing runs anywhere from $50-$150/hr depending on experience, location, etc. This particular project took 12 hours but can vary depending on how much “stuff” you have and how detailed you want the organizing to be.
I had planned to write about my six-week challenge this week, but it’s being pushed back to next week while I add an interview! Stay tuned!