Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Organizing a Girl's Bedroom, part 1 (American Girl Doll Play Corner)

A couple of weeks ago, Sweetie Pie went to art camp.  The particular art camp she goes to is close to my parents, so she also gets to stay a week at their house.  She loves it.  Not just because she loves art, but because she loves spending time as an only child with her grandparents who spoil her.  She's been doing this for the past 4 years.  And every year, I take the time to organize her room for her.  Here are some before and after pictures so you can see how bad it was and how good it looks now.  Keep in mind this is just one corner of her room.  I was able to organize the entire room and will show the rest in a later post.

She just has so much stuff.  From toys to craft supplies, it's everywhere.  My first reaction was that she needs more storage space.  That way there will be a place for everything so things can hopefully get put away.  However, as I cleaned/organized the room, I realized by removing her toy box and replacing some shelves with something smaller, now there is a place for everything.  

That's the key to staying organized - having a place for everything so you know where to put it away.  Then you have to be disciplined and actually put those things away when you're done playing with them.  If she cleans up a little each night, it won't be so overwhelming.  So far, she's doing great.  She's been home for about 2 weeks and her room is still looking good.

The first place I started with was her American Girl Doll and reading corner.  I took out a toy box that had dolls and stuffed animals in it.  She never got into the toy box since the top of it was also covered with toys.  She doesn't play with dolls much except for her American Girl Doll.  She also has a few favorite stuffed animals but keeps those on her bed so I decided to remove the toy box and store it in her younger sister's room.  One of these days we will go through the dolls and stuffed animals together to see what we can get rid of but for now, she hasn't asked about it and enjoys the extra space to play with her American Girl Doll stuff.

I also switched out her Ikea Trofast storage unit for a smaller one.  I got the smaller one from her sister's room which allowed me to put the toy box there.  It was used as book storage so now I keep all of the Babe's books in a bin under her bed.  The smaller Ikea storage unit allowed Sweetie Pie to have more space for her doll bed and other accessories.  I basically turned that whole corner into an American Girl Doll play area.   

Here I took out the larger Ikea Trofast unit, just moving it in front of her dresser for the time being so it would be easy to move things from that unit into the smaller one.  But before bringing in the smaller unit I vacuumed the floor.  It's always easiest to clean when a space has been cleared out.

Bit by bit, I transferred over all the American Girl Doll items to create the doll corner.  What I was left with from the old shelves were books.  So I used these two plywood boxes that were just taking up space in the basement and made a temporary bookshelf/nightstand.  Eventually we'll get something nicer but this will do in the mean time.  
To pretty it up, I draped a white lacy curtain over it.  

Here is her bed area looking all nice and neat.

 Oh, and here's a picture of where the larger Ikea storage unit went, giving us more toy storage in the playroom.

Organizing that one corner of Sweetie Pie's room lead to creating a nightstand and a little playroom organization.  But wait, there is more to do in her room!  I'll have to save that for another post.  Now you can see why this organization project took several days.  

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