Now this is how you declutter a playroom.

By Katie Holdefehr
Updated September 13, 2019
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In the 2019 Real Simple Home (get the full tour here!), the upstairs guest room posed one major challenge: it also had to double as the kids' playroom. In this dual-purpose space, smart storage solutions were essential to create a room that was both relaxing for grownup guests and fun for the kids. Luckily, designers John and Sherry Petersik of the blog Young House Love were up to the challenge. I met up with the designer duo to chat about the storage solutions hiding all over the room, from the clever color-coded floating shelves, to the well-placed baskets and bins. Here are a few brilliant toy storage ideas you can easily incorporate into your child's bedroom or playroom.

Real Simple Home Rainbow Shelves
Credit: Christopher Testani

Rainbow Toy Storage Shelves

In the dual guest room/playroom, the Petersiks decided to install a set of shelves to stash display-worthy kids' toys. The key: before visitors come over to stay in the guest room, take a few minutes to group the toys according to color. Corral small items together, like stashing colored pencils in small buckets, then arrange the items on the shelves in rainbow order. It's an easy three-minute trick to make a jumble of toys look instantly organized.

Convert a Closet

By removing the door from the closet in the room, the designers turned the alcove into open storage. If you have a spare closet, consider following their lead. Install open shelving on the wall, then add a dresser and closed storage bins below. Leave the closet open so that your little ones can help themselves to the toys stashed inside, or use a curtain as a visual divider that still grants them access.

2019 Real Simple Home: Multi-Purpose Room
1. Color codeSort your collections by shade to make an open-shelving display a little more visually stimulating.  “It’s such a playful way for a child to feel that their interests are represented and that they’re stimulated,” says Sherry. “Shelves are basically a rotating gallery.” 2. Dial up the detailNone of the furniture feels too fussy or precious, but interesting elements (like turned table legs and X-back chairs) add to the nuanced, layered look.3. Try layering tone-on-toneA neutral patterned wallpaper gives the room instant dimension without being visually distracting.
| Credit: Christopher Testani

Don't Forget the Hidden Storage

If you opt for an open closet and open shelving, make sure to introduce some concealed storage for things you'd prefer to stash out of sight. Baskets under the dresser can hold Legos and picture books so they're easy for little ones to reach. Larger woven baskets house spare blankets for overnight guests. With a place for everything, the designers turned a potentially chaotic multi-purpose room into a relaxing space for kids and adults alike.

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