Progress in the Playroom: Bins! Labels! New Table! New TV Area!

Hi there! Happy Wednesday to you all.

I've been making progress in the downstairs playroom, and I am excited to share it with you, which you already knew because of all those exclamation points in the title of this post.  The progress is a bit slow going, which is just the way life goes these days.  Between IM training, busy weekends and working full time, I don't have as much time to tackle and finish my projects as I used to.  But I am getting there!

I blogged about the status of the downstairs playroom a few weeks ago.  Honestly, I think that was the hardest part: the weeding through, organizing and space-planning.  Since then, I've done a bunch more.  I have: (1) made labels for the organizing the kids' toy bins; (2) brought in more bins for organizing said toys; (3) bought a new art/play table for Little; and (4) created a new TV area for the kids to play Wii or watch TV/movies.  Here are the details.

1.  Labels.  Glorious Labels!

I needed to put all my beautiful storage bins in place, and when I did, it was time to find a way to label them so the kids would know where their toys were.  I went back and forth on what to do: chalkboard like I've done before? dry erase something? use my label maker?  Ultimately I decided the labels needed to be large and easy to read.  I also wanted something inexpensive and easy to change out, and something that would work on all the bins - both plastic and canvas.  I decided to make them myself and then have them laminated.  It was easy.  First, I created the labels in Adobe Illustrator.  I was able to get four labels per sheet.

I went with the rainbow theme and colored each individual letter.  I also added a cute little border around each of the labels.  This took a little while because I really did have to individually color every dot and every letter.  It was worth it though.  The cuteness factor made it worth it.  

Then I took the sheets to Staples, where they laminated them for me.  Total cost: $9.  I just cut the labels out in front of the TV (very likely something on HGTV was on) and used velcro to attach them to my bins.

2.  More Bins

I used a mix of canvas bins, plastic tubs and open storage.  All from Target.  Behold -- organized bliss:

I already had the turquoise canvas bins (from Target).  I bought a bunch more because they work so well and are super inexpensive.  

I also bought these rainbow plastic bins from Target.  I needed larger tubs and these were perfect.  Plus, lately, I'm loving the rainbow color scheme for the kids.  It's so bright and happy.  I bought a few different sizes.

I found some other open bins at Target as well.  The white ones are from the Dollar Spot (which is my Achilles heel in Target ... gets me every.single.time) and the pretty mint ones are from the basket section - they were kind of pricier than I like to spend but I loved them so in my cart they went.  I found the green plastic magazine holders in the Dollar Spot as well - they hold coloring books and paper.  

I decided to bring down the white wood stepstool from the kitchen and put it in the playroom so the kids could use it to reach their toys.  It was a little too big for my kitchen (could not find a place to put it) so I bought a folding stepstool instead, which fits in between my cabinet and fridge and now this one works for downstairs.  Those bookshelves are securely bracketed to the wall with L-brackets, so even if the kids went full on Spiderman and scaled the shelves (which they know is not ok and not allowed and punishable with the full severity of mommy law), the shelves would not fall on them.  

3.  New Art Table

Little's old art table (Kritter from IKEA) was too small.  She is an art girl through and through and she also loves to "entertain" by whipping up delicious meals and amazing tea parties in her kitchen.  She would complain that her table was a little too small, and I agreed.  So I moved the old table to the side and it now holds her table-top easel. Under that table is her dress up bin: I found this pretty teal bin at Staples on the same trip as the laminating.  I liked how it matched all the other colors in the space, so I bought it.  And I stuck a label on it.  

I went back to IKEA for her new table.  I bought the Sansad table, which was, unfortunately for me, the most expensive one at $50.  But, it is adjustable, which I thought was a wise buy.  So as she grows, so will it.  

Of course, I hated the red and blue feet.  So I spray painted them white.  The spray paint is taking forever to dry, so I had to call it a day. Finishing the table will be in the next phase of the project.  

4.  New TV Area

Last but not least, I made some progress in the TV area.  First thing I did was bring in a new rug.  The old one was ok, but it was an indoor/outdoor rug and just not very comfortable, and if I'm being honest, I wasn't crazy about that color scheme.  I'm going to move that rug outside on my brick patio.  I found this navy and white rug at Rugs USA on clearance for about $90.  Not bad for a decent sized rug!  I also brought in a matching navy sofa - it was $200 and from Wayfair.  Do you know about Wayfair?  I am kind of obsessed.  They have great deals on home stuff with mostly free shipping.  And you get instant rewards on things you buy (with no obligation or anything).  I earned rewards on my sofa and later bought a frame for my hallway project, on which I saved $6.50 because of the prior rewards! Score!  Anyway, that digression aside, here's the TV area: 

The dresser used to be Big's.  I'm going to paint it (white) and add new hardware, which I already have.

My parents gave me the little sofa table, which I will paint white.  I've had the lamp forever (was a yard sale buy from former neighbors), and I will paint the base and buy a cute shade for it.  The basket is from Target and I'll put a blanket or two in there.

This little section between the TV area and the bookshelves is where I bike on my trainer.  I turn the TV to face the bike when I do.  I'm going to bring in a big shelf for this open wall space soon.

Looking good like a playroom should, right?  I, of course, have more to do.  But I am in the home stretch.  What's left is to paint the furniture in the little TV area; assemble the new art table; paint and hang pegboard behind Little's kitchen; bring in a few pillows and blankets for the TV area to make it a little cozier; buy some new storage baskets for Big's trains and the big bricks; hang art all around; work on the lamp - add a shade and paint the base; and hang a shelf near the bike.  

See you swoon,

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