#25 - Containing the Clutter, à la Harry Potter

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Name: Shannon
Child's Name and Age: Fiona, 2
Location: Austin, Texas
Category: Toys

Items used for the project and favorite part of the storage solution:
This was a super-cheap solution, convert the under-the-stairs closet into a playroom. Since we were working with a tight budget (around $50), I spent all the money on paint for the shelves (a grass green) at Home Depot, some blue sateen fabric for the "sky" ceiling (at Hobby Lobby), as well as some bricks from Home Depot to 'build' the shelves. Everything else was borrowed or repurposed from somewhere else.

I love that my daughter now has a bright, cheerful place to play, and all those toys aren't cluttering up the living room! We all love the playroom so much that we hardly ever close the fabric curtains I hung initially to hide it when it wasn't in use. We've gotten some cracks from friends and family that we're treating Fiona like Harry Potter (with his cot under the stairs), but I think Harry Potter would have much preferred our fun hideaway!

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Best storage tip for families with children:
Reign in the buying. Seriously. A lot of Fiona's toys go unplayed with and end up being given to friends or to Goodwill, etc. I think I had a major mama-'aha!-moment when I realized my daughter was just as happy with some pots and pans and a wooden spoon as with the toy drum we bought her. Also, try to think creatively -- you probably have more unused space and possible storage solutions than you realize. Take doors off of cupboards or closets to open up space, particularly if you have a small home. Also book-shelves can hold almost anything, given the right containers.

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Thanks for entering, Shannon!