I don’t know about you, but every so often I get an urge to move furniture around and completely rearrange rooms. I think it must be a girl thing, as my husband looks at me like I’m crazy whenever I suggest it.
Recently Aaron and Tabitha have stopped using the playroom, as there isn’t enough floor space, and they’ve been carrying toys through to the living room instead. This has been causing two problems. Firstly, the children are much less likely to tidy up properly. Apparently dragging heavy toys out is far easier than taking them back! Secondly, it has made hoovering a nightmare. We don’t have a separate dining room and our kitchen is tiny, so our dining table has been in our living room ever since we moved here four years ago. It has worked fine until now, but lots of toys and crumbs mixed together are annoying. So I decided to turn the playroom into a dining room and officially move the toys into the front room.
In order to switch the rooms around, I had to do quite a lot of decluttering. I sent two car loads of toys to the charity shop and sold a couple of pieces of furniture. We accumulated so many toys while I was childminding and strayed a long way off the path of simplicity. Home educating also makes it difficult because so many things have “educational value” and therefore it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that they are beneficial or even necessary.
Anyway, after several days of hard work, downstairs is finally decluttered and rearranged! This is the view of our new dining room from the doorway (compare it to the old playroom here). Apart from things on the shelves, the only toys that have remained in this room are the play kitchen, doll cot and doll highchair.
I sorted through the books (oh my, huge piles of books all over the floor are very daunting!) and made category labels for the non-fiction ones. The bookshelf also holds board games, card games and a few puzzles.
Here’s the view looking away from the window. I’ve hung up a length of twine to peg up some of the children’s artwork, which Tabitha was very pleased about.
The art supplies have been moved out of the Welsh dresser in the living room and into these drawers. The top drawer contains paper, card and sheets of things like craft foam or felt. The second drawer is for paints and the third drawer is for other materials like chalk pastels, oil pastels, and anything else. The bottom drawer contains air-drying clay, modelling clay (Lidl had some great sets in little cases in recently), playdough and small loose parts such as beads, buttons and matchsticks.
Moving the table out of the living room and getting rid of some furniture has almost doubled the available floor space. I replaced the old furniture with a new shelf that was better suited to our storage needs.
This shelf now holds the vast majority of the children’s toys. The wooden chest to the right contains our large Duplo collection, which is still very much loved and used.
I love all the space and lack of clutter, long may it stay this way! Already I’ve noticed a positive effect on Aaron and Tabitha’s play. It’s definitely time for us to re-embrace simplicity.