Make Room For Baby’s Toys

Expectant first time parents spend anxious delivery nights with their legs stretched out to the coffee table as they imagine what life will be like once they hold their newborn in their arms. The new baby clothes are folded neatly under the changing table. The baby stroller is stowed by the front door awaiting a first neighborhood walk. Everything is in order and organizes. Mama has been nesting.

Within months of the arrival of the most precious being on earth, the laundry room baskets are filled to overflowing. Who knew a baby could wear so many outfits in a single day? There is no room in the kitchen to chop vegetables without moving the baby bottle drying rack. The refrigerator is filled with plastic bags of pumped milk and not a beer in sight.

Two years later, the great room off the kitchen is strewn with puzzle pieces, toy trucks and parts that used to go together to build something but no one can remember any more.

It’s time for a playroom.

And that means it’s time for a change of address.

Few properties advertise a playroom as an amenity. But well-informed parents can sniff one out like nobody’s business…especially when they’ve experienced stepping on a Lego in the dark at night rushing to a crying child’s bedside.

A place for everything and everything in its place. Someone said that.

Consider consolidating the toys in a room other than the kids’ bedrooms. That way, they can have playmates spend time at your house and still be within earshot and within view. If your basement has good light and large windows plus stair access to the kitchen, put a Dutch door on the kitchen and carpet the stairs and basement floor. Trade in the single light bulb fixture that was popular last century for LED fixtures that cast effective light and don’t require frequent light bulb changes. Trim the room with storage—cubbies, bins or consider IKEA’s metal storage locker that’s the perfect height for kids to store plenty of toys inside and use the top for activities. Paint a wall with chalk paint for your artisans in residence. Hang shelves on the wall to display collectibles or toys that aren’t for everyday play.

Traditional homes built last century often featured a dining room directly off the kitchen, separated by a full wall. Before you bust out your demo tools, check with a structural engineer. If the wall is not a supporting wall, removing it can double the effectiveness of the space allowing a kitchen adjacent to a playroom that is easily monitored while you’re cooking dinner, lunch or breakfast.

Of course your kiddos are likely to want to keep some of their prized toys in their bedrooms. You can easily build in a wall of shelves using IKEA Bill bookshelves. Trim them with a contiguous piece of crown molding.  Fill in the space between the bookcases with trim molding and trim the bottom across with baseboard trim. Voila! The bookshelves will look custom.

Put a basket in the corner of the room for dirty clothes and another basket for toy storage. As the parent you make the rules. Limit toys in the bedroom to this one basket and the rest to the playroom. Realize you’re training a future MBA who will be responsible for overseeing whole management and HR systems. All because you built an effective playroom.

Call Park Property Realty to view homes for your growing family.