A sneak peek into our set up…
As my business takes off and I get busier with working from home, without childcare, preschool, or other regular support, we decided it was time to rearrange again, so that we use our space more efficiently. This meant swapping the office, which is really a downstairs bedroom, with the playroom, which is another room off of our living room.
Fortunately for me, while I was out, my husband started the process of moving stuff from one room to another, which meant I was greeted with a giant mess when I came home, but that I didn’t have to partake in most of the moving and swapping stuff around. AND, come Monday, everything will be set up for us. Yay!
While it was quite the project, and not something I had anticipated doing this weekend, now that we have it done, it’s actually quite nice. The “study,” as we’re calling the office/guided play area will be the area I work while the kids play with things that need light supervision, like blocks (who wants those all over the house), dominoes (again, why spread them out!?), playdough (needs to stay on the table), and other stuff like that. It’ll be the space that we can set up the marble run and come back to it later because it’s not in the middle of the kitchen/livingroom. Instead of bringing our playful learning activities to the kitchen to work, we can work on them in the study, which gives us more flexibility. Stuff like that will be done in the new office, aka, “study.”
What I love about it:
- Open space on the floor. Perfect for spreading out toys or a playful learning activity, for exercising (videos/tutorials/workouts on the computer that’s RIGHT there), for me to do prep work for preschool co-op or something for the kids, etc. It’s also big enough to pull the lovely (pure sarcasm!) Ikea couch out into a bed if needed.
- Work space for the kids, both separately (two small tables) or together (red Lego table)
- Their work space/play space is visible from the computer/adult work areas (aka: easy to supervise them).
- A computer work space and an empty table work space. So, in theory, both my husband and I could work on our laptops at the same time. AND the kids could be doing something productive (learning and playing) too. And, there’s a bench at the other work space, so no need to move chairs around. Yay!
- Dual monitors on the computer that we can connect our laptops to and use big screens. Yay!
- Plenty of natural light
- The dogs are comfy too (it’s the only furniture they’re allowed on)
- Space to store the balance beam
- The kid stuff is easily accessible, but also put away (wire baskets, drawers, etc.)
- Empty low wall space that I can use to put stuff for the kids on if I need to in the future
- The open floor space allows for a shower curtain or other floor covering IF we decide to do something messy in here
Is this the prettiest thing ever? Designer, belonging on the cover of Home and Garden magazine? Pinterest-worthy? Nope. Most definitely not. But, that’s ok. I can do paperwork here, have a place for the incoming mail (isn’t paper clutter just the worst!?), have baskets for each of our miscellaneous items, kid space, adult space, etc. And, it’s all purposeful and functional. And, the room can “grow” with us, as our needs change as the littles get older and more capable. THAT’s what I need.
The play room is just that- an area for the kids to play (plus a few dog crates because those need to go somewhere and the kids enjoy playing in them). The nice thing about it being in an actual bedroom, with a door, is that we can close the door and not see the mess, if needed. Yay! We tried to set it up with “zones,” so that there’s a flow to the room, but we may need to rearrange it once the kids start playing in there.
While we don’t want our kids and their stuff to totally take over our house, and make it look like a Toys-R-Us explosion throughout the house, we also don’t want to have our house so rigid and “adultish” that they can’t have fun, have their own space to play, have space to work on “projects,” and be able to just be kids. This latest arrangement seems to get us using the WHOLE downstairs effectively and efficiently. Score! 🙂 And, it works for this season of life that we’re currently in. I encourage you to look at how your kid(s) use the space, what they need, how they play, what the flow of your day is like, etc and think about rearranging your space if needed. It makes a world of difference!