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No Playroom Solutions – Functional Ideas for Small Houses!

If you’re living in a small home and don’t have a separate room for a play space, you just have to get creative. We have 5 kids and no play room. Adding onto our home isn’t in the budget, so we got creative and made space where there was none. With some creativity and determination, you can create a play space that functions for multiple kids of varying ages. These are the no playroom solutions that work for our family of seven:

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Embracing the Chaos

First things first, let’s embrace the chaos. 

Kids are naturally messy, and our playspace is their canvas for adventure. 

We’re not aiming for a showroom; we’re creating a space where creativity can run wild. 

Trust me, it’s the key to a happy playspace.

Please don’t think that I’m saying your sanity doesn’t matter.

Of course, having a more organized home without toys under your feet everywhere is the goal.

I’m just asking that we keep some perspective here because these childhoods are flying by.

Why a Well-Organized Playspace Matters

Now, I’m not talking about military precision here, but a bit of order goes a long way. 

A well-organized playspace sets the stage for smoother playtime and less stress for everyone involved. 

A little planning can save you from tripping over toys.

When you have very little room, you can’t afford to have things out of place because they’ll take up the little space you DO have.

What to Do if You Don’t Have a Playroom!

Don’t stress about not having a massive play area. 

We are 7 people in 1401 square feet.

While in some places in the world, that is absolutely huge, in the US, it’s tiny for a family our size.

Think vertical – shelves, hooks, and wall storage are your new best friends. 

Utilize that wall space to keep the floor clear for all the action. It’s not about the size; it’s about the creativity you squeeze into every inch.

If you contain all of the toys in organized, sometimes massive, bins – the little space you do have can function for multiple purposes.

What was an art area this morning can be an engineering space this afternoon filled with forts or huge block structures.

If you don’t have a separate playroom, you simply have to get creative.

Use the storage space you don’t even know you have (see below) and create specialized bins.

Sometimes you can rotate through these by taking them to a garage or storing them in the attic.

This is our toy rotation system that works in our house.

Corners and Crannies: Hidden Potential

Explore every nook and cranny. 

Those corners that seem forgotten? Turn them into cozy reading spots or mini play zones. 

You’d be surprised at the hidden potential in the seemingly overlooked spaces.

Is there space under seating to store shallow bins or even board games?

If you have a small space, you have to use every bit of it.

Even the tiny areas, we need to use for storage so we can maximize floor space.

Toy Declutter: What Stays and What Goes

Time for a little toy declutter

Assess each toy’s playtime potential. 

Keep the ones sparking joy and creativity – Marie Kondo would be proud.

When you’re very attached to all of these toys, you need to realize you may be keeping them at the cost of your kids’ play time.

If there are toys all over the floor and it’s overwhelming for your kids, they’re going to play less efficiently and for less time.

Bins, Baskets, and Buckets: Your Cleanup Brigade

Now that we’ve identified the keepers, it’s time to discuss quick cleanup. 

Bins, baskets, and buckets are your secret weapons that we often misuse. 

Categorize toys – cars here, dolls there. 

It’s not just about tidying up; it’s creating an organized chaos that kids can easily navigate.

Especially if your kids are younger, broad categories are better.

Dolls instead of barbies in one, calico critters in another, doll house dolls and accessories in another.

The goal would be that with your help, your play space can be cleaned up in 5 minutes or less.

Any more and it isn’t nearly as likely to get done.

Divide and Conquer: Creating Activity Zones

Designate specific areas for different activities – if you have the space. 

A craft corner, a reading nook, and a play zone.

It’s like setting up mini-cities for your tiny humans. 

Chaos, but organized chaos.

If you don’t have space for separate sections, make separate bins.

In our house, we don’t even have a playroom.

So instead, we have a massive amount of art supplies that are well-organized and accessible to our kids.

They can bring them to the table when creativity strikes.

When they want to build forts, they put away the art supplies (we often have to remind them to do this) and dig out the fort stuff.

We have comfortable blankets and pillows on our couch that doubles as a reading nook.

Personalized Corners for Each Kiddo

Kids have their preferences. 

One might be all about art while another is on a mission to build the tallest tower. 

Personalized corners give each kiddo their own territory, fostering a sense of ownership and creativity.

Now this obviously can’t be a labeled area in a home like ours.

Our 2 girls share a room and our oldest 2 boys share a room.

My 9 year old can keep his legos save in half of the boys bedroom.

Our 5 year old artistic daughter can keep her art creations save in her bedroom.

While they may create in the small common area of our home, they can keep the things that are most important to them safe in their own space.

The Art of Labeled Storage

Labels aren’t just for cans; they’re for our sanity. 

Labeling bins and baskets adds a touch of order to the chaos. 

Kids can easily identify where the dinosaurs hang out versus where the building blocks party.

Be careful not to over-label.

This can be where your organization falls apart.

If your 3 year old can’t distinguish between all of the categories you’ve assigned to your bins, then you’ve wasted your time labeling and you still have ended up with a disorganized play space.

The Ever-Changing Playspace

Our playspace isn’t a one-time setup; it evolves with your kiddos. 

Embrace the change. 

Adapt the playspace as they discover new interests. 

It’s a canvas that evolves with their ever-changing imaginations.

Look into the unschooling concept called “strewing.”

Don’t be so caught up in keeping up with the same organization that you accidentally stifle your kids fun – and learning!

Upcycling and Repurposing for the Win

Don’t be afraid to get crafty. 

Creating a small playspace that actually functions doesn’t have to be expensive.

In fact, in can be free.

Upcycle and repurpose as your kids outgrow certain toys or activities. 

That old crib could become a cozy reading nook, and those baby blankets might just transform into superhero capes.

Organizing a small playspace for multiple kids is a blend of chaos and creativity. Embrace the mess, categorize broadly, and create zones (via bins!) where every kiddo can thrive. Remember, progress over perfection. These days are fleeting!


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