Mom Life

Our New, Minimalist Playroom Design!

I’m super excited to share our updated minimalist playroom design. Over the years I’ve really been trying to declutter around the house and live a more minimalist lifestyle. When it came time to update the playroom, I knew I wanted to make it a very clean and calming space. Minimalist playrooms benefit both kids and parents! Kids play and create better in organized spaces. For parents, having less toys out also means less cleanup!

I’m hoping with this post you’ll learn some great tips for creating a minimalist playroom!

What Didn’t Work

The playroom was previously a multi-purpose room—it was the playroom, the guest room, the office, and the storage room. In other words, it was a hot mess.

The “all-purpose” room
messy playroom

We really thought we had no other choice but to combine the office with the playroom since this was the only spare room we had, but we made several big shifts that helped us create the dedicated playroom space. The key thing was moving my office desk into our master bedroom. I thought I was being smart having my office in the playroom because I thought it would mean I could work while the kids happily played in the background. Ha. Who was I kidding?

How to Declutter Your Playroom

Moving out the office stuff really cleared up a lot of room, but there was still a lot of clutter. Over the next few weeks I really started going through my kids’ toys and selling what I could. Here are some of the things I sold on Facebook Marketplace (I plan to do a whole post on how to sell online effectively, so stay tuned!):

I sell things we no longer use pretty ruthlessly. If I can’t sell something quickly for $10, I’ll usually just donate it. Your threshold for what you want to spend time selling may be lower or higher, but for me it typically doesn’t take much effort. I try to make back as much money as I can on toys we sell so I can use the money on new toys that I think have a better chance of actually being played with.

What toys should you sell?

  • Toys that are rarely played with (less than once every two weeks)
  • Broken toys or toys missing parts
  • Toys that take up more space than their worth
    • For example, we had this dollhouse that got played with less than once a week. As much as I wanted to keep this around, the amount of space it took up was just not worth it. I figured if my kids want to do “small world” play they could make their own houses using blocks or magnetic tiles.
  • Toys that are not age-appropriate
    • Definitely get rid of toys that your kids have outgrown, but also consider getting rid of toys and books that are too mature for your kids. I realized we had a bunch of books that I was holding on to, waiting for my kids to be old enough to read them. For example, I saw this Arthur book at a consignment fair and I grabbed it so quickly because I loved Arthur as a kid. At the time, I was still pregnant with my first! So I’ve been holding onto this book for 3+ years and my daughter has not picked the book up once! 😂
  • Toys and books no longer in line with your “values”
    • As you grow as a parent, you will start to realize that there are certain toys and books that you’d rather not have in your home. For example, I heard great things about The Pout Pout Fish book, so I bought it and read it to my daughter multiple times. The storyline, where in the end the Pout Pout Fish goes around kissing all the other fish with no regard for whether the fish actually wanted to be kissed, always made me cringe, but I only recently finally decided there really wasn’t a need for me to keep holding onto it if I don’t like the lesson it teaches. As another example, I am also trying to slowly move away from plastic toys that light up and make noises, but this has definitely been hard because our one-year old loves them.

Other Playroom Decluttering Tips

Aside from selling toys you no longer need, also consider the following tips:

  • Get rid of any furniture or storage units that are not worth the space they are taking up. Big storage totes, like this one below that I had, often end up becoming bottomless pits. They are great for quickly tossing things in, but your kids are more likely to actually play with the toys inside these bins if they are displayed on a shelf or are generally more accessible.
large toy storage bin
Large storage bins are usually not the best way to store toys as they become bottomless pits
  • Join your city’s “Buy Nothing” Facebook group. Group all your items, take a single picture of the entire lot, and offer it in the Buy Nothing group. Prioritize folks who want to pick up more than one item from you. This is a great way to get rid of things fast but also make sure that your items are really going to people who want them. I have a box of Playfoam that is still two-thirds full. If I were to donate this to Goodwill, they would probably just toss it out. Instead, I offered it in my Buy Nothing group and another mom was happy to pick it up.

How to Choose a Playroom Design

When I started brainstorming playroom designs, I had a very specific shortlist of themes: dinosaurs or space. These are themes I’ve always been drawn too, but the reality is, these aren’t things my daughter likes. I really started to think, what does my daughter (I only had the one daughter at the time) love more than anything—of course, ice cream.

When choosing your playroom design, you could also just go to Pinterest and browse various playroom designs. There will be LOTS that you love, but you’ll likely find that you’re drawn to a general category of designs or themes. Create a Pinterest board and try to see what you’re generally drawn to. You’ll might be into the boho style, something really classic and timeless-looking, or you might be drawn to specific themes like woodland creatures or a nautical theme. Make sure you choose a theme that you don’t think you’ll get tired of after a few months.

Once I settled on the ice cream theme for the playroom, I naturally took to Amazon to see what products I could get to fit the theme. These storage boxes really served as inspiration for the rest of the room. Unfortunately, they don’t currently look to be available anymore.

ice cream toy storage boxes

Here are the other products I got to go with the ice cream theme:

ice cream banner
I loved the pastel colors of this ice cream banner
sprinkle rug
This sprinkle rug from Target is perfect for the ice cream themed playroom!
sprinkle wall decals
Finally, the sprinkle wall decals really brought the room to life!

Other products in the room:

  • The ice cream prints are from Target, but looks like they are no longer being sold. Etsy has some even nicer ones anyways though! I am thinking about getting a custom ice cream-themed print with my girls’ names on it.
  • The curtains are also from Target: Twill Blackout Curtain Panel by Pillowfort
  • Bookshelf is from Walmart: Better Homes & Gardens 6-Cube Storage Organizer, Gray. This is super sturdy but also easy to move around the room if you need to.
  • The little baskets on the shelf are from Maple & Lark. We have about 10 of these in our house!
  • We got the play kitchen off Craigslist, but it is this one from Teamson Kids in Gray/Espresso. I like this one a lot because it is made out of mostly wood and looks pretty modern. The fridge doubles as a great storage piece. It also has a cute pretend ice maker in the door!
  • The shopping cart is by Melissa & Doug. I think this was a great purchase. We had a plastic one that would tip over sometimes and the wheels would get stuck, but this one from Melissa & Doug is super sturdy and can go over rugs easily.
  • The couch is a Nugget couch in the Rosebud color. We have two others in our living room in the Koala color. These are hard to get these days, but hopefully supply will meet demand soon! We love all of ours and the kids use them almost daily to climb, jump, and lounge on.

The Finishing Touches

To finish up the room, I decided to paint our IKEA table and chairs. I also painted some parts of the second-hand play kitchen we got a couple years back. They both were previously different shades of brown. I’m super happy with how everything turned out! I only used a sample size of Behr one-coat paint in the color Cracked Pepper. It is a true dark gray.

Why We Love Our New Minimalist Playroom

What I love the most about the new playroom is that we actually use it. This dedicated play space that is a “yes space” for both our daughters is just a great place for the whole family to hang out. I no longer have to worry about the kids banging on my keyboard or getting into my office supplies.

We also love our playroom because it is easy to keep clean. Everything has a place. I only keep a small amount of toys out and rotate them with new ones every one to two weeks. I will definitely be doing a post on toy rotation in the future.

ice cream minimalist playroom
This was the first configuration I tried out
ice cream minimalist playroom
I eventually moved the kitchen to the other side of the room when we installed the bookshelves

What’s Next?

We are getting a custom closet installed! This is really going to help me do toy rotations. The current closet is A MESS.

Stay tuned for an update on the closet!

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