So here is my reorganized playroom. Having it (almost) finished for the last couple of weeks, and test driving it on the kids, I must say it turned out rather well. I'd like to paint/decorate/make-it-pretty-as-well-as-useful, but for right now, I'll settle for useful, and easier to keep clean.
Clean. It is sooo much easier to keep clean, now that every toy and play item has a place, and not everything is visible to the ever-curious fingers of a overly-mischievious toddler who likes nothing better than to pull everything off shelves.
Honestly, all three (four?) room rearranging went much better than I expected, closer to what I hoped. I'm really liking the living room set-up, and I love love LOVE how our dining room/school room turned out. Though it is a tad cramped.. it still works awesome. The cramped space actually works in my favor, because the little girls don't want to play in there, so it stays tidier. Completely a plus, in my opinion. I am wishing now I had done before photos of all the rooms, but oh well. You'll have to be satisfied with one.
The little kids' bookshelf got moved in here from where it was in the dining room (now the living room). This means that if all the books get pulled off the shelves (which they do frequently!) they aren't in a high-traffic area, and no one is going to trip over them on their way from one room to another... especially if they have hot food in their hand or something. We also put hooks/screws in the wall to hold dress up clothes, with bins for shoes, crowns, gloves, bags, tails and other assorted accessories. Way better than the big ugly box! The play kitchen set is light enough the older of my little girls can move it herself, if she chooses. But so far they haven't really been into that kind of imaginative play .. yet..
This dresser is repurposed from the little girls' room (along with a matching one now in my dining/school room, holding craft supplies). This one holds all the many "sets" of toys, things like cars, balls, play food, play dishes, baby doll clothes, blocks, etc. Each drawer has a divider, so there are 6 drawers, divided into 2, for 12 different places for "sets". I plan on putting pictures on each drawer to label them for what set goes where, but so far they only know a few places. I don't think they realize all what's in there... yet..
I know, the wire shelving looks out of place, but I did need a place for some plants since I ran out of room in my other rooms, and the shelving is high enough the plants are safe from toddler fingers. The bottom shelves actually came in useful for some of the girls' pull-toys and a basket for a wooden block train set. The other "wood" shelving unit used to be our tv cabinet (we got one with a smaller profile) so this one now contains puzzles and games, with a convenient surface to put them on. My 4 yr old likes to pull her chair (the pink rocker) in front of it and do puzzles, and my 2 yr old likes to just stand there to play with flashcards. My toddler just likes to pull everything out, but the damage is generally minimal, since she can't undo ziploc bags... yet...
So there you have it. As I said, I'd like to give the whole room a fresh coat of paint, and we want to lift the laminate to put a layer of insulation in the floor (it gets really cold!!) so there may be changes yet. I'd also like to put some nicer pictures on the wall, and perhaps some wall shelving for my oldest's toys/games, so she feels like she has a place in here too. But at this stage of pregnancy, lol, this is as good as it gets.