Since Christmas I’ve been feeling completely over ran by possessions. I am hardly a minimalist. I love stuff, but above all, I like order and cleanliness. For me, having a clutter free home opens up more space for quick cleaning sessions and more family fun. The less time we spend managing clutter, the more time we have to play outside, travel, or just pile on the couch for Friday night movie nights. Our kids didn’t get a ton of gifts this year, but the ones they did get were big. Several times last week I walked into their rooms and just felt.. trapped.
We did a thorough assessment of toys and clothes, right down to removing the unnecessary number of stuffed animals in their bed? When they narrowed down their toys and we went through each individual item of clothing, we began to give a place for each item. I am pretty firm with the rule of every thing has a place in our home. Again, for me, it just goes back to freeing up more time for things I care more about than cleaning. For example, the sushi conveyor belt restaurant we recently discovered. (our neighbor gave us a gift card, so it was also free for us. winning!)
Anyway, all that to say, once we got the things into their respective cubicles and miscellaneous bins, we were still in desperate need of some room to actually sit and play. So, began the transformation of this little room under our stairs. Our Harry Potter closet, if you will.
When we moved in May, we all agreed our under the stairs was super awkward. It’s a weird shape, and you had to physically insert yourself all the way in to hang up a coat. It was just a weird layout and not really functional, so we used it to store bins for Christmas. We moved those bins to the garage after Christmas and realized we had this full mini room just sitting there totally untouched. We don’t do toys downstairs, call me cray, but I like my living spaces to look clutter free and chill. Of course, toys end up down there but our kids take them back upstairs. Our youngest son, Sawyer, loves to cook. He loves to pretend cook, he loves to really cook, he loves to look at cookbooks, and even watch kids bake on the Food channels. So, when I noticed someone giving this adorable kitchen away for free on Facebook, I snatched it up! (PSA: If you aren’t a part of your community’s ‘buy nothing’ Facebook page, do yourself a favor and get in on that. I have found amazing things for the boys’ school and our home on these pages.) This had been in their bedroom since we got it back in October, but it never felt quite right.
Drawing from that, I decided to transform the little space under our stairs into a sort of a playhouse. I got this darling couch at the Goodwill for seven bucks back in the summer, so I lined that up against the wall. Filled a clearance basket from Michael’s (2.00) with library books to create an invitation to read. (Also, our two magazine subscriptions we were able to get for free through magazine rewards site and the free LEGO Life magazine subscription)
I tossed in some pillows that a friend made for me. They are too cute, they look like Scrabble pieces and spell out play! The pictures kind of stink, because the lighting isn’t great in there as you can probably imagine, but this space is also alive with Target dollar spot finds. The letter board was five bucks at Target. I’m going to add new words on it each week to review with the boys. I actually got the felt food and the little basket the felt food is in at the dollar spot. There’s also a potholder and kitchen towel from the dollar spot in there so they can practice kitchen safety and cleaning. Lastly, the ice cream game and the little coffee pot. (both from Melissa & Doug)