Organizing the Playroom with EXPEDIT Shelving

How was everyone’s weekend?  Always goes by too fast, doesn’t it?!  Mine flew by, in part because we worked on a family project that took a chunk of the weekend: Operation Playroom Organization.  The plan for this project started last week, when I had a conversation with my daughters that has been repeated hundreds of times in the past.  It starts with me nagging them to pick up the basement (their playroom), which you can’t even walk in – here’s my proof (beware, this is the scary “before” picture that I warned you about on Friday):

Not for the faint of heart, right?!  Here’s the problem: although I look at the playroom and see a disastrous mess, it’s actually not just a bunch of random toys strewn everywhere – on closer inspection you’ll see that it is a humongous Littlest Pet Shop/Squinkies village complete with homes built out of Lincoln Logs, 

a hotel (complete with toilet paper roll pillars – only the best for these guests!),

a hospital (with rooms made out of the cardboard from Juicy Juice packs),
a school, a jungle, a pool, you name it – this village has it.  As you can tell, it has taken them hours upon hours to get their village exactly how they want it – hence, why I always cave in and let them leave it sprawled across the entire playroom floor.  However, the conversation went a little differently this time because my husband interjected with a suggestion to get some shelving for the “village” so that it is off the floor but still accessible for them to play with it.  I had just read Centsational Girl’s blog post on IKEA’s EXPEDIT shelving that included this image from a playroom:
Young House Love

Knowing that my daughters are suckers for pretty pictures (it’s in the genes…), I searched the web and found some additional pics of glamorous playrooms with EXPEDIT shelving:

Libbie Grove Design
Caroline Armelle

That’s all it took for them to be totally on board with the idea!  So on Saturday, we made a trip to IKEA and (after stuffing ourselves with Swedish meatballs and potatoes) we bought two of the 58″ square EXPEDIT shelving units. They were pretty easy to put together and came with anti-tip brackets that firmly secured them to the wall (a must for a playroom!).  The village was then relocated to the shelving and the basement went from looking like this:

to this:


I’m LOVING all of that clean, open floor space!  And everyone in the village seems pretty satisfied with the move too, including the airport baggage handlers,

 the village fashionista,

the jungle animals,

and the amusement park riders!

The play house got relocated to the other side of the room where it served as the headquarters for our project supervisor:

We also bought two stepstools while at IKEA so that the girls could get eye-level with the top cubes and not be tempted to do any shelf climbing.

The whole family is happy with the outcome – I am so excited to FINALLY be able to run the vacuum throughout the playroom and can’t wait to have some of the girls’ artwork framed and hung in a grouping above the shelves. My husband is excited that I finally used one of his ideas :-)  Best of all, the girls are super psyched to have all of the parts of their village easily accessible to play with.  There is already talk about building ladders and slides to connect the cubes – they are never lacking in creativity! 

If you’ve been giving some thought to a home organization project using the bigger EXPEDIT units (72″ square), the next few days are a great time to do it.  If you sign up for an IKEA FAMILY card (it’s free), the largest EXPEDIT is one of this month’s in-store specials only for FAMILY card members – you can get it for $179 (regularly $199) through this Tuesday, January 31st.  The card also entitles you to free coffee (my husband was sold on that perk alone) and an extra 30 minutes of time in IKEA’s Smaland (playland) for those of you with little ones.  We signed up while at IKEA but I think you can also sign up online, which enables you to view the monthly specials for card holders.  I’m hoping that frames are one of February’s specials so I can add the girls’ artwork above the EXPEDIT shelving and give the space a much more finished look!

File It Friday: Free Printable to Record Your Home’s Repairs


Are you ready for the second Friday in the “File It Friday” series??  If you missed last Friday’s post, we began an “it’s a new year, let’s get organized” type project – creating a Home File where you can record everything about your home.  I provided the first free printable (click here) that will go in your Home File – it’s for keeping track of the paint colors in your home, including the room painted and the paint color, brand, and sheen.  You were also given a little homework assignment – did you get a binder and some dividers?? Excellent.  Did you fill in your paint colors on your printable sheets?? Fabulous, me too.   Now let’s move on to the second tab in the binder – Home Repairs.  This is going to be a THICK section in my Home File.  I have a HUGE stack of receipts from all of the […]

Home Decorators Collection Now at Home Depot!


Earlier this week I was out running errands, including a quick stop at Home Deport to make a return and grab some lightbulbs.  While trying to figure out which bulbs fit my kitchen can lights (R20, R30, R40 – why can I never remember…) I noticed some pendant lighting at the end of the aisle that looked pretty cool.  As I was walking down the aisle to check it out, I was fairly certain the pendants would be disappointing on close-up view because the first word that comes to my mind when I think about Home Depot lighting is definitely not “cool”.  But I have to give it to you Home Depot, you new lighting IS cool! The pendants are from Home Depot’s new Home Decorators Collection lighting line that they started carrying online a few months ago and are now selling in the stores as well.  I saw several […]

In Search of a Fabulous Foyer Console


I’m a sucker for a fabulous foyer – I’d love to have a spacious entryway with a large rug and a console table or chest styled with lamps, decorative accessories, and a mirror or piece of art. I’d also love a place to sit (either a chair or bench would do!) while putting on shoes before hitting the door.  My dream foyer looks something like this: Pinterest – Jennifer Keller or this: Elle Decor Elle Decor I’d even be fine forgoing having seating if I could have a beautiful little space like this: House Beautiful Unfortunately, my foyer is tiny with no space to put anything other than a small rug and a basket for shoes.  So there is no fabulous foyer in my near future….   My sister is another story – her house has a large foyer with beautiful crown and base moldings and a perfect wall for […]

File It Friday: Record Your Home’s Paint Colors With a Free Printable!


One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to have a more organized home – in an attempt to make good on this resolution (because my other resolution…the one about working out…not doing so well there…), I am starting a “File It Friday” series.  Here’s my problem: while I keep all of the paint chips that I’ve used and keep all of my receipts from furniture purchases, home repairs, home improvements, etc., they are all shoved in folders with no order whatsoever, which makes it a task to track them down when I need them.  For “File It Friday”, every Friday for the next two months I will create and share a free printable and together we will create a Home File where you can record everything about your home.  My first free printable (click here) is for keeping track of the paint colors in your home, including the room painted and the […]

Kicked up Cowhides


Cowhides  – do you love ‘em or hate ‘em??  I think adding a cowhide rug can take a room from pretty to pretty amazing!  I love how you can throw one into a room that has a lot of symmetry (and thus a more formal feel) and the cowhide’s irregular shape and texture immediately make the room feel more casual and inviting.  Take a look at these gorgeous rooms with cowhides and then envision what they would look like if you took the cowhides away – wouldn’t be the same, would it? House Beautiful Betsy Brown Interiors Decor Pad House Beautiful CWB Architects KML Design I especially love the look of a cowhide layered over another rug – gorgeous! Designed by Emily Johnston Larkin – images from Cote de Texas We used this look in our combination living/dining room – it’s a long, narrow room so having one large rug […]

Colorful Home Accessories on Sale!


If you’ve been to Target lately, you may have seen some of the great new home accessories they are carrying. This week many of these items are on sale so if you’re ready to add a pop of color to your home, it’s a good time to grab your plastic red cart and get shopping!  Consider brightening up your home with some sunshine yellow  Country Living by adding one of these cheerful accessories to your room.: Target Home Large Yellow Printed Lamp ShadeTarget Home Yellow Polyresin Lamp BaseTarget Home Textured Floral Pillow – Yellow If you’re more of a turquoise decor girl,  Southern Accents then these home accents may be perfect for you: Target Home Large Printed Turquoise Lamp ShadeTarget Home Metal Tabletop FrameTarget Home Turquoise Glass Lamp BaseTarget Home Turquoise Wooden Accent Table (in store only) If you’re one to go bold (and what better way to do so than […]

World Market’s New “Early Bloomers” Collection


Have you been to World Market lately?  I love their new Early Bloomers collection – it includes some great neutral pieces as well as furniture and accessories in gorgeous shades of green and blue.  The best part is that World Market is still having their furniture sale, which includes the furniture pieces in this new collection, so there are some good deals to be had.  One of my favorite pieces is this Olivia Accent Table – I love its shape, color, and vintage feel (and it’s on sale for $59.99!). World Market’s Olivia Accent Table And look at how stinking cute the design on the top of the table is: One of the pieces that might make its way into my home (I have the perfect place for it between two chairs in our living room!) is the Tibetan Cloud Ceramic Drum: World Market’s Tibetan Cloud Ceramic Drum It’s very […]