See a Pro Organizer Take This Playroom from Stressful to Serene in 5 Hours

published Aug 10, 2023
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rainbow mural, lamp light, primary color storage bins, white low book shelf, easel, small child's table with chairs
Credit: Alison Moulder

Kids are great, but they have a lot of stuff. If your family is lucky enough to have a playroom, you know the specific sense of overwhelm you feel when all the Sorry and Uno cards are mixed together, with a heavy sprinkling of puzzle pieces and LEGOs. It’s often easier to just shut the door than deal with the mayhem. 

Professional organizer Alison Moulder of Simplicity and Style tackled just such a project. Alison’s client’s playroom was large and full of toys, but it lacked functional storage pieces and needed a serious edit to become a peaceful space kids could maintain on their own. The client felt overwhelmed whenever she looked at the room, so she hired Alison to transform the space.

Here’s what Alison did, and her advice for making a similar change in your space. 

Credit: Alison Moulder

Sort and edit.

“The hardest part of any project is the edit,” says Alison. It’s also the most important. As Alison and her colleague Sequoia Lanham sorted every item in the playroom into piles, the client chose pieces to donate. In a playroom, there are often many toys the children have outgrown, which makes the edit time-consuming but also incredibly satisfying. “We always encourage clients to simplify down to what they want and need in a space,” says Alison. 

Credit: Alison Moulder

Create zones.

For this playroom, Alison created four zones: toys, art supplies, games and puzzles, and a reading corner. If you don’t categorize and create zones, everything “will just get lost in a big pile,” she says.

Credit: Alison Moulder

Make style choices.

“We wanted the room to be aesthetically simple and bright so that it is a place where kids want to play,” says Alison. “Kids thrive on balance, structure, and simplicity, and we implement these three design principles into all of our projects.” Alison based the design choices around the client’s Elsi Rainbow Wallpaper, choosing to store the colorful toys in clear bins to carry the rainbow aesthetic to the rest of the room. 

Credit: Alison Moulder

Implement storage solutions.

With a budget of $450 for products, Alison chose a pair of Brightroom 6 Cube Organizers from Target, with The Home Edit Modular All-Purpose Bins and large, translucent multi-purpose bins from The Container Store as inserts. These pieces provide homes for each category of toy. 

Alison also purchased four large plastic storage bins with handles from The Container Store to hold items placed on top of the shelving units. For the art zone, Alison contained all the supplies in a Brightroom 3-Tier Metal Utility Cart from Target. 

Credit: Alison Moulder

Alison utilized closet space for game and puzzle storage, to establish much-needed distance from the toy zone, preventing the dreaded mixing of game pieces with LEGOs.

Once the storage solutions were assembled, Alison and Sequoia moved the piles of toys and supplies to their respective bins and shelves. To make the room easy for children to use and maintain, they labeled everything. 

Credit: Alison Moulder

Final Takeaways

This project took them five hours to complete. “Things often get worse before they get better, but don’t give up!” says Alison. “All organizing projects take time.” She encourages clients to block off hours on their calendars, as they would for any other important appointment. 

Alison’s favorite part of any project is always the reveal. She says, “What was once an overwhelming space that caused frustration is now a place of simplicity and calmness.” Alison loves how the large room “no longer feels cluttered and overwhelming but is now a place kids want to go play!”

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