Y’all this kids playroom organization and makeover project was looooong overdue in the Cantu household. Imma be reaaaaaal honest with y’all and let you know that my breaking point was when I realized I was doing waaaaay more yelling at the kids to clean up their mess than I was actually making the mess WITH them! I was fed up with spending my time cleaning (or begging them to clean) instead of being there, present, in the moment playing with them. I’ve heard it, felt it, and know it, but sometimes I still need to remind myself….these little years are fleeting and I want nothing more than to enjoy these few years where they actually WANT me around! (I know those teenage years are just around the corner.) I don’t want to look back and regret the time spent worrying about the mess instead of enjoying it!
So…..for me (and us) that meant simplifying things! Getting rid of the junk (which don’t worry we still have plenty), the things that were taking up space and rarely used. The things that didn’t spark joy in my kids anymore but could definitely bring some to someone else. The things that got picked up only to be put back down immediately in some other random makes-no-sense location, like inside a shoe or under a bed. Those were the things that had to go. So we started there. Purging.
Before we jump in, as always, I just wanna say real quick, THANK YOU SO SO MUCH for any and all affiliate links that you may use throughout this post. I appreciate MORE THAN YOU know when you support the brands that help to support this little blog & our little fam!!
Get Rid of What You Don’t Use
I know it can be difficult sometimes to throw away those things that you’ve watched your littles play with for years! Try not to get too emotionally attached to the “things”, after all, they are just that. Remember that it’s the experiences that are more important here. Try and narrow it down to things they’re truly interested in in this stage of their life. Things that they play with AT LEAST on a weekly basis, if not daily. Things that make their imaginations run wild and the laughter bellow!
There were a few little things that I kept (like stuffed animals they were given during surgeries or when they were born), but if the kids don’t play with them on a regular basis, I put them in a separate Rubbermaid container that I’ll store in the attic or in the extra closet. Somewhere close enough that if they ask for it I can access it (although they usually forget it’s even there). I only did this with things that we had some sort of emotional attachment to though.
Pro Tip: (Haha, kidding, just some free advice).
One of the things that really helped my kiddos with the purging was allowing them to be involved in choosing the charity/organization/foundation that we would be donating to. It meant more to them when they knew where their stuff would be going and who they would be helping.
Spruce Up What You Already Have
So if you watched my Instagram stories then you already know I had these black Ikea shelves that were super functional but not so pretty (in my opinion…I was tired of the black). Rather than buying new shelving, (which was unnecessary and not in the budget for this playroom organization project) I decided to just paint the existing shelves and replace some of the storage buckets to give it a new look. The color I chose is Benjamin Moore Westcott Navy.
Now, speaking from experience here…you are DEFINITELY going to want to prime your shelves before you just start in on the paint. I didn’t with the first set and the paint just scraped right off. This specific material is already not great for holding paint, but with the amount of usage these babies get (the constant sliding of storage bins) you’re going to want to make sure you get something that will allow the paint to adhere.
After a little research I decided to go with this shellac primer. It worked WONDERS!! I did one coat on each shelf and was ready to go! Full transparency here…there was still some small chipping but it wasn’t enough to bother me AND I didn’t seal the units. Perhaps if I had sealed it then chipping wouldn’t have even happened. Either way, I’m pleased with the result!
Once I did the single coat of shellac, I then applied 2 coats of the BM Westcott Navy. In some spots I even had to go over it a 3rd time. Dark paint can be tough, especially when there is white primer underneath. If you’re a stickler, you may want to apply 3 coats here just to make sure there are no streaks. Again, I was pleased with the result so I stuck with 2.
Paints & Primers I Used
Once the shelving was done, the rest was easy peasy. Although I kept these gray and white storage bins, I did replace some of the plain gray ones by purchasing these larger canvas and wood ones you see on the bottom shelf, as well as the wicker baskets up on the top. I LOVE that they add texture and that natural wood color to the space.
I also had these galvanized hanging wall planters lying around (that I intended to use forever ago and never got around to it), and instead of getting rid of them, I decided to give them a little face lift. My plan here was to use them as a fun (and unique) way to display the 10,000 stuffed animals we have lying around our house 😂.
After the primer I added two coats of Rust-Oleum Modern Farmhouse Spray Paint in Metallic Gold. I tried out several different gold spray paints for this project and this one had the least amount of gloss and shine and gave that kind of matte brassy look I was going for. I LOVE it!
What do we think?! Fun right? The kids LOVED it!
Here is the wall shelf I used but I also linked some similar ones below 🙂
Once the painting and storage plans were done it was just a matter of organizing everything. As you can tell, I rearranged the playroom so it made a little more sense. I also brought in more light (by not blocking windows), and created a fun little relaxation zone in the middle with the addition of a soft rug and some pillow pals! I also brought in this graduated book display that was in my daughter’s closet and some woven baskets to hold, you guessed it, more stuffed animals!
Now, when it came to cubby organization, I knew I needed to do something different than I was doing before. As hard as I tried to keep things separated and organized, my kids could never remember where to put what and it always turned into one chaotic mess! I knew I wanted to incorporate some sort of labeling system to make things easier for the kiddos…and me, let’s be real lol. Enter my friends from Talented Kitchen! I worked with them for my pantry refresh several months ago and just knew they’d be able to help with my playroom organization project.
And I was right! Look how GREAT these pre-made, pre-cut, vinyl playroom labels are!!
They come in a set of 120! 120 different labels and it includes EVERYTHING from toys to numbers, from colors to office supplies. It was like they were made just for us and our playroom organization project! I was thrilled! Now the kids know exactly what each storage bin holds and makes the clean up so much easier for them! They’re even available in black font if you don’t want white.
And now for my absolute FAVORITE part of the whole playroom….the gallery wall!!
We have pretty tall ceilings in the house and so even after putting the TV up there was still a lot of wall space above the shelves. So I decided I wanted to get some poster sized close-ups of our little people! They turned out even better than I had imagined!! Would you believe that these are Walmart prints?! So impressed! The photos themselves are 16×20 but I had to cut them down to fit in these 14×18 frames.
And that’s pretty much it! Even though this playroom organization project wasn’t HUGE, it was definitely time consuming. Lots of planning and strategizing but man, it sure feels good to have it done! And now the kids enjoying being in their playroom so much more! They’re not overwhelmed and keeping the mess under control is so much easier!!! Win win!
Have y’all done any major organizing lately? Either in a playroom or somewhere else? I’d love any and all tips or resources you have!!
Shop the Photos Here
Thanks for reading buddies! Talk soon!