My Heroic Playroom Transformation
Some of you have been to Dream Acres through our YouTube Channel and have seen the multiple iterations of our playroom and homeschool room over the years. Our needs change overtime, and good organizing is about following that process!
After stepping over Lego creations for the hundredth time and trying to squeeze curriculum into cubbies, I knew it was time for a homeschool space and playroom transformation. After all, successful organizing systems are fluid and adapt as your life changes.
Originally, I had determined that we needed a lot of workspace for building and holding my boys’ Lego creations. Overtime I realized, while stepping over pieces and masterpieces, that the most valuable real-estate for building in our playroom is the floor, and that the “workspace” was actually being used to display finished creations. I decided it was time to adapt our organizing system to meet the current creativity needs of my young engineers.
Attached to our playroom is our homeschool space. I have discovered that as my boys get older, the range of subjects they are learning has expanded. This means we had outgrown our cubbies and needed more room for their current stage of instruction.
My husband was taking my boys on a camping trip over the weekend, so it was the perfect time to do a “while you were out” organizing transformation of our playroom!
This project was inexpensive in terms of money, but not in terms of human capital! Keenly knowing the value of community in these large projects, I called in three dear friends and Order Restorers to help me accomplish my vision. I even called my two teenage neighbor boys over to help and paid them in chicken eggs from our farm!
Here is a look at our playroom and homeschool room before the transformation:
The space is nice and open, but didn’t feel as light and airy as I’d like. I want this room to draw my boys in and make them want to stay and learn and play. One of my main goals in undertaking this transformation was to accommodate my boys’ increasing interests because I know that if you make room for your interests, your space will serve you!
So, I set out on a mission to make this space bright, cheery, and inviting. We started with the massive unloading of the space. People don’t realize how much real estate is going to be taken up when you empty an entire room, especially one with a lot of storage. When you start unloading you need multiple staging areas.
If you empty a space haphazardly, it will be a big confusing mess. Instead, unload your belongings in a very organized fashion, sorting as you go.
It is helpful to label boxes and staging areas during this step, especially if multiple people are involved in the process. This will reduce the mental strain of trying to remember what each pile/area is.
Also, when you sort as you unload, you end up with very valuable information – how much you have of each category of item. Use this information to prune your belongings. It is much easier to let go of something when you know you have multiples or when you can see it in context with the rest of your stuff.
Once the room was unloaded, we got to work sanding and painting! I have been slowly transforming my farmhouse into the vintage chic style that I love. I couldn’t wait to turn these brown walls and molding white!
My tribe, my friends, my fellow Order Restorers worked beside me for two full days transforming this space. To say I am thankful is an understatement. It truly was a heroic effort. It once again reiterated to me how important it is to not only have a community, but to call on them in times of need.
A lot of people think you must have the master plan mapped out when organizing a space. But, that’s not how I roll.
When I started this project, I didn’t know exactly how the finished space would look. Instead of starting with a master plan, I started with a vision for what the space would be – a welcoming space for playing and learning and fostering my boys’ unique interests. I purposed the space and then let that purpose direct my decisions.
Organizing is an organic process! When you have a purpose in mind, the systems will organically reveal themselves as you go. Don’t allow not having the final product in mind keep you from getting started!
To solve our Lego overflow problem, I brought in a large cubby system. One of the discoveries I made was that the boys preferred to assemble Lego on the floor and display them up off the floor. This cubby system has many spaces to hold their creations vertically – so it doesn’t take up a lot of space in the room! When considering organizing solutions, think about the actual habits of the people who use the space. Fit a system to their habits, rather than trying to change their habits to fit an arbitrary system.
In addition to solving our Lego-mania problem, we had a rock overflow issue. My son Brock has become very interested in rocks and gems and his collection was quickly outgrowing the few dedicated drawers in our playroom. To encourage his interest, I wanted to give him a space where he could research, examine, and proudly display his collection. Here is what I came up with – a desk where he can sit and do what he loves and show off his treasures. We call this space “Brock’s Rocks!”
My husband and boys were shocked and thrilled when they returned home from camping to find this beautifully transformed space! Watch the segment aired on More Good Day Oregon to see their faces – priceless!
Even as a professional organizer for almost two decades, this could have been totally overwhelming if it weren’t for my family of order restorers who came to my rescue and helped on this project. If you are going to take on an epic organizing makeover, be sure to gather your community so you can make room for what really matters in your life, which is your tribe.