Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Creating Functional Living Spaces for Kids

From time to time Mummy Hearts Money will write partnered posts. Especially when they fit well with what is going on in our lives, or is just a good fit overall for the blog. It's still my voice, my opinions, but my partners get me a little closer to going to blogging conferences and maybe getting my blog onto it's own domain. 
This week I partner with furnitureonline.com.au to consider how I need to improve our homes storage options for the kids.

Life was alot cleaner when I only had 1 kid. Alot more organised too. I could leave the house with less than 1.5-2 hours preparation and I didn't spend half of that time searching for shoes for everyone. And there was some possibility of having a clean house. I've forgotten now what a clean house looks like.

Previously, I've always subscribed to the public playroom method of storing kid items. We've always had a family room, and this room had the computer, shelving for all the toys, a TV, and basic seating. This is where we do most of our living, and its done in a space where I can supervise from the kitchen. Bedrooms were just for sleeping and getting dressed.

Now with a teen who needs her own space and 2 toddlers I am finding our family room is overwhelming and I can never get out of the house on time due to searching for bags, contents, and shoes. I need to revamp the house to add more effective organisation spaces and here are some of my thoughts.

The "Carly" bookcase....I may have accessorised a little to
make my point.
I'd like to introduce a personal toy box and shelving unit into each toddlers bedroom. Lorelei is going through a major "mine" phase, and even though I am all about sharing, I think we need to separate out some toys to allow Sebastian to have things of his own. Lorelei needs to know when she is playing with his things that HE is sharing with her and she can't prevent him from playing too. Likewise, part of having to share everything means having genuine ownership of a few things herself so we will put away some of her things in her room. This way the big, major purchases will stay in the family room, but some smaller or special items can go in their room.

The Mario F1 & Princess bookcases

Another way I could store belongings in their rooms are these super cute bookshelves that double as a playhouse. I can just see Barbie setting up her dream house on those shelves, or Matchbox cars racing along the shelf track.

Brunswick Hallway Table - once again, accessories are my own!

I'd also like to introduce a hall table to the room entryway. My idea is that I can store each child's school/daycare bag on the lower shelf, and have a drawer for the various paraphernalia that each kid leaves lying around throughout the week. Maddy's mobile and keys can go in her drawer, maybe also with her sunnies, pencil case, calculator etc, and for now Husband and I can use the other 2 drawers until the toddlers start school.

If I see things lying around I will have somewhere to put them away now. And hopefully (yeah right!) when I go to find them again that's where they'll be (cue hysterical laughter).

Ashleigh Coffee Table - currently on sale
In our front entry lounge room, we try to keep it clutter free. While we are actually pretty good at keeping kids clutter out of this space, anytime people come to visit we tend to sit in there and the kids gravitate to us, bringing an assortment of kidness with them. Right now we have a garden variety coffee table, just a low surface to put a drink on, but I'd like to introduce something with drawers, so that I can keep colouring in pencils and books tucked away along with a few small, non-noisy toys that can be pulled out when kids and visitors kids want to spend time with us in there. My logic is kind along the lines that if I keep a few less played with items in that room, my kids will hopefully prefer to play with them instead of dragging in other, messier or louder toys. There's nothing worse than when Lolly drags out the box of musical instruments to entertain all my visitors with. They pretend she's adorable but really they are dying to finish up and leave.

I know I am kidding myself if I think that adding a few new pieces of furniture is going to magically make us organised but it has to help. Right now I can never find anything, because everyone drops them down wherever they stand, and then they get moved all over the place as and when we need to.

If you are looking for some great furniture solutions, head over to furnitureonline.com.au and have a look around. With a sale currently running and free postage on some items, there are some really affordable solutions to be had.

While you are at it, check out their sister site bedsonline.com.au. Mummy Hearts Money also teamed up with bedsonline.com.au to bring you an extra 10% discount. Details in this post.


  1. My son has a timber finish version of the bookcase/ toybox. He's 14 now and had it since he was 5. It's really versatile, I doubt we'll part with it. We are in the market for new beds right now, as those legs keep stretching further out of the bed. Will check out the sites, thanks #teamIBOT

  2. You have some great ideas here. I struggle to manage our 'toy room' area with kids of different ages in the house. One really needs it to be a study/computer space, while the others are still covering it in Barbie shoes. A couple of these units with drawers look like good ideas.

  3. We have a bookshelf with the cupboard at the bottom in the kids bedroom and it is fabulous.. It doesn't automatically make you organised, but it is great.
    Hoping this is helping you out with DPCON14


I LOVE comments. They make my day even if you only say Hi!