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Preparing Your Home For The Holidays: The Kids’ Rooms

by Tara Kuczykowski on November 16, 2010 · 13 comments

Mandi of Life... Your Way and I have teamed up to bring you a special series over the next two weeks called Preparing Your Home for the Holidays.

We're on the final section of the house today, the kids' rooms -- yay! Since we live in a 4-bedroom house with five kids, our oldest two boys and our girls each share a room. Our youngest has his own room, albeit the very small room that I used to call my office.

Shared and small spaces both require a little creativity in keeping the clutter to a minimum, so instead of talking about cleaning their rooms, today I thought I'd share some of the fun and kid-friendly ways we've used to corral the large number of toys and such that are part of the territory when you have a large family.

Tactics we use:

  • We rotate toys in and out of the crawl space we have in our basement. This is especially effective with our older boys since they have large collections of G.I. Joe toys and Transformers.
  • We have a designated home for all of their toys that's age appropriate. For example, we expect our older children to put toys away in totes and put the totes in their closet. However, our younger children are encouraged to put their play food into a toy shopping cart next to their play kitchen.
  • Bedtime is at 9:00pm; however, we all head upstairs at 8:30pm for showers/baths and to straighten up any messes from the day. Well, ideally this is what we'd do, but we're still working on making it a nightly ritual. We're making progress though!

Creative storage ideas for kids:

This has to be one of my favorite solutions for repurposing an item we already had. When our boys outgrew their wooden train table, we were getting ready to donate it. I really wanted to get them a Lego table, but all of the ones I found online were very small and super expensive.

While walking through Toys R Us, I noticed that they had the square Lego base pieces, and it occurred to me that we could just convert their old train table into a huge Lego table. So we purchased several of the squares and screwed them down right onto the existing train table, and now it's the perfect place to spread their Legos out and build their creations.

This shelf was originally part of our starter furniture in the living room of our first apartment. It has definitely seen better days, but we sanded it lightly and painted it, and now it serves as a bookshelf in our oldest boys' room.

I found this great locker bed on Amazon for our youngest boy. The drawers are perfect for housing toys in his very tiny room, and I loved that it came with a variety of colors so that we could match them to the decor.

We got this shelf with bins for our girls at Target for a real steal. The one thing we were unhappy with is the kids were emptying the bins, stacking them up, and using them as step stools. Gotta love those creative little minds! So my husband screwed the bins directly into the base, solving that issue since they can no longer be removed, and actually it works better since they can't just pull out a whole bin and dump it at once. Now it's a great way to sort their Barbies, Strawberry Shortcake dolls, and Disney Princess dolls.

Be sure to check out Mandi's printable checklist for kids' rooms for more tips on cleaning, decluttering, and keeping them organized! Thank you all so much following along with us over the past few weeks -- I greatly appreciate the encouragement you've all given.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carrie November 16, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Oh my gosh! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea your husband came up with for the storage bins! I was going to sell ours bcuz of that fact - the kids just dump out all the toys or use them as stepping towers. Drives me nuts! I'll be talking to my husband about doing this to ours. Thanks for the idea!


2 Laura November 16, 2010 at 8:44 pm

My thoughts too!!! Brilliant idea for the bins.


3 Stephanie November 16, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Great ideas! We just moved to a new home this summer so a lot of "stuff" was given away or brought to the dump. I guess that is one advantage of moving :)


4 Breana November 16, 2010 at 8:27 pm

I have really enjoyed this series! I too overlook the details of cleaning b/c of being busy & then when we have company I try to do it all at once! Getting a head start is so genius, yet simple! Lol
My kids rooms are prob the most difficult area to keep clean & clutter free. But I love the table & under the bed storage. My boys share a room & I think since their idea of clean is not in the details (as my girls are capable of) having this kind of storage is a great idea!
And I think will work for Christmas gifts! :)


5 kristin November 16, 2010 at 10:58 pm

I adore the idea of screwing them in also. My son, 21 months is currently standing on one as I type! UGH! Now I just need an idea how to redecorate them. Since the poor boy is using the exact same one you have pictured in his room! LOL! It was my daughters!


6 Tara Kuczykowski November 16, 2010 at 11:17 pm

Oh, I bet you could use that Krylon spray paint that's supposed to cover plastic outdoor furniture!


7 stacy November 16, 2010 at 11:23 pm

I too found your ideas to be very creative and helpful! Thanks for the ideas! My 2 girls share a room and its pretty small. They have a twin bed and a crib, which takes up most of their room. With my youngest being 2, I am not ready for bunkbeds quite yet, I am looking for deals on a bed w/ a trundle bed underneath, hoping to make some more space. :)


8 Terri M November 17, 2010 at 12:06 am

Thank you SO much for the ideas. I knew I wanted to use our son's train table as lego storage but NEVER even considered what an AWESOME idea it would be to cover the tabletop with lego boards. Geesh I might do it on the underside and it can be a train table on one side and a lego table on the other - up'ing the resale value for someday when we sell it. (haha) awesome ideas!!!


9 Amy November 17, 2010 at 11:52 am

@Terri M - Tara's suggestions gave me the same idea about the train table. I have both a train and lego table, though the lego table has no storage. I can sell it, buy the lego sheets and use it to store both!


10 Richa November 18, 2010 at 4:24 pm

These are awesome storage and re-use ideas. Toy storage has to be one of the most aggravating subjects for parents worldwide. Great solutions.


11 PranaSleep April 6, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Pretty good article. I just stumbled upon this site and wanted to tell you that I have truly enjoyed reading your articles. I'll be subscribing to your feed anyway and I hope you'll post again soon. Big thanks for the valuable information.


12 Heidi June 17, 2014 at 1:25 am

do you know the make of that locker bed? i don't see it on amazon anymore, but i'm trying to hunt it down :)


13 bedside chests July 5, 2014 at 2:54 am

Howdy! I'm at work surfing around your blog from my new apple iphone!
Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts!
Keep up the superb work!


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