The January Cure has ended and I’ve made some great progress on creating a better more functional, and fun space for the boys to play.
Let’s remember what it looked like when I started.
It was a hot mess!
And now that I’ve put in a little elbow grease and had some help from Roland’s muscles:
A much better use of the space. I can’t believe how much bigger it looks now. I’m not kidding you those pictures are taken from about the same spot in the room!
Going vertical with the shelving was definitely a game changer for this space. We gained so much storage by using the Expedit that we already had in use in another spot in the house. The Expedit isn’t as deep as the previous storage/media cabinet that we had so it takes up even less floor space, and obviously goes about four times higher too.
On the bottom shelf I used stackable bins with lids that snap closed to sort Harrison’s toys by type. (I found them at Costco) He has train tracks, train accessories, Duplo, all of his Chuck the Truck cars and their Twist Tracks, and one bin for his larger cars and hard toys. I wanted the bins to be on the bottom shelf so that Harrison could easily reach them by himself and because they tend to be heavier I didn’t want him to have to lift them down. The closed bins work great too because Foster can’t get in at the small parts.
On the next shelf I used Ikea baskets (I need to pick up one more next time I’m there) to corral lots of Foster’s toys like soft toys, hard musical toys, stuffies, and one for balls. When Foster is playing here I can just grab a basket and place on its side on the floor and Foster loves to rifle through it and find the toys he wants to play with.
Obviously a selection of books was necessary too. We have lots more books but we read in every corner of the house so they’re really spread out!
Puzzles and larger items are stored up higher and the CD player is within Harrison’s reach and is right near the outlet, but well out of reach for Foster even when he gets to pulling himself up on anything and everything.
I just love how much new-found space we have. There’s lots of room to grow as we’re not using many of the shelves for anything but “display” right now.
This photo best shows the new wall colour I chose for the space. It’s Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter. It complements the Sea Star really nicely and is a nice light colour. If you scroll back up to the first two pictures you can see the golden yellow colour that is currently covering the rest of the walls in the basement. When I get around to it, painting the rest will make a big difference to the overall space in the basement.
I’m happy to report that the chalkboard wall is still a hit. Harrison loves to draw me pictures and loves choosing from his new selection of colourful chalk.
I couldn’t resist trying out a little chalk lettering to christen the chalkboard. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it!
So that’s how far I’ve gotten after devoting a good chunk of time to it over the month of January.
Of course, there’s still a few things I’d like to do to the space.
- Get another basket for that fifth spot on the second row next time I’m at Ikea
- I’d like to replace the white open baskets (that you see overflowing with stuffed animals) and get a large basket to store stuffies and hard toys that don’t fit into one of the cubbies
- Add a reading nook with some chairs. Maybe make some bean bag chairs myself? (That would be a test of my sewing skills!)
- Add art to the space and a place to include the boys artwork
- Add labels to the bins and baskets so that the boys know which bin to look in when they’re taking toys out and definitely so they know where to put them back!
- Change the light fixture. Husbandman wants something that looks like a spaceship. We’ll see.
- Maybe include a table or an easel for doing artwork in the space?
I’m sure the list and the space will evolve as the boys grow and the way we use the space changes.
So, what do you think? I think it’s a pretty happy place to hang out.