Play Space Solutions that Work: Creative Nurseries and Toddler Rooms
You Need Space
Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of blankets, diapers, books, and toys in your baby’s room? It’s not easy to find the right place for all your little one’s belongings. And worse, once she starts crawling and walking, all of those carefully placed books and toys are likely going to end up scattered throughout the room. Finding creative ways to store your baby or toddler’s trinkets can be an inexpensive, fun way to decorate the room.
Perhaps the best way to organize your baby’s room is to start with the closet. Closet organizers can be a worthwhile investment when it comes to organizing a nursery or child’s room. Debbie Wiener, designer and owner of Designing Solutions LLC, advises parents to “position shelving [in the closet] to suit your height and needs, and as your baby grows more independent, you can position shelving so that he or she can reach clothes and toys.” These adjustable closet organizers are available at home improvement stores nationwide.
You can also rotate seasonal clothes, large blankets, and extra toys in the closet so that there’s less clutter in your child’s room.
Baskets come in all sizes and store anything. To create a simple changing area, Julie Olson, of Spanish Fork, Utah, put a pad on top of a short dresser and hung small baskets next to the changing area to stash diapers and wipes. She bought a medium-sized basket to put next to her daughter’s crib. Toys and books go in this basket, making it easy for her daughter to pull out the toys, and quick for Olson to toss them back in.
Try using baskets on bookshelves too. Store toys and books on shelves at your toddler’s height, place blankets and extra diapers on the higher shelves. Make sure to secure the bookshelf to the wall so that it can’t come down on your child. Tie bows on the baskets to match your bedding or room design.
Shelves don’t have to be boring! Use shelves not only to stow extra items near your changing pad, but also to display toys and books that you may not want within your baby’s reach. Paint wood shelves to match your nursery’s décor or go for the minimal look with floating shelves. Add interest—and space—to corners with shelves. You can use one or several starting with a larger one at the bottom and going to a smaller size near the ceiling.
Wooden Crates and Frames
You can purchase unfinished wood crates and frames at your local craft store for impromptu shelves. Leave these unfinished or paint them to match the crates and then use them on the floor or bolt them into the wall to use for storage. Deep wooden frames offer a great place to store special books and decorative toys.
Now that you’ve seen the possibilities with shelves and baskets, try other containers to fit the feel of your baby’s room. Paint pails with flowers to fit a flower theme and drill them into the wall in threes to hold diapers, baby powder, or lotion. Or hang the pails from the handle and paint “honey pot” or “Hundred Acre Wood” for an adorable Winnie the Pooh-themed room.
Another way to hide toys or display clothes is by adding hooks. You can find a row of sturdy coat hooks for under $10 at any hardware store. Put the hooks at your toddler’s level and hang pails marked “cars,” “trucks,” or “dolls” or whatever toys you choose to put in them. Hang them higher for things that you don’t want your toddler getting into.
Hang special outfits, shoes from shoestrings, or hats from higher hooks as a decoration and to clear closet space.
Hanging Baskets and Aprons
They’re not just for kitchens! In her book, Baby’s Room: Ideas and Projects for Nurseries, Jessica Strand suggests using hanging kitchen baskets, the ones that normally hold fruit and vegetables, in your nursery for toys, diapers, or burp cloths. Pretty aprons can also house diaper-changing needs, says Strand.
Hanging Shoe Holders
Pocket smaller toys, shoes, and socks in a hanging shoe holder. You can draw designs on the outside and display it on the wall or hang it in a closet for a quick way to retrieve smaller items.
Pillowcase Toy Holders
Carolyn Forte, contributor to Good Housekeeping’s The Complete Household Handbook: The Best Ways to Clean, Maintain & Organize Your Home, suggests attaching a drapery rod to the wall for storage. Use strips of fabric or thick ribbons to hang pillowcases from the rod. Stuffed animals and other toys can be thrown in the pillowcases for easy cleanup.
Sturdy photo boxes available at craft stores can hold more than pictures. Purchase boxes with patterns and stack several to put away combs, wipes, washcloths and more. Put them on a painted wooden shelf alongside a keepsake frame or book.
Most cribs are high enough that you can slide plastic storage bins under then. Hide the storage containers with a ruffle and you’ve just saved yourself some space. Opt for see-through containers so you can quickly see what’s inside, and buy bins with sealable lids in case your toddler discovers where they’re stowed.
Use Your Imagination
Feeling inspired to organize your child’s room? Remember that finding a place for all of yourbaby’s things can be fun, creative, and add style to your child’s room instead of being an eyesore. Think about the mood you want to give the room, and match it with these space-saving suggestions—you’ll love your child’s new playful retreat or beautiful bedroom.
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