Less clutter, happier and healthier children- Mackenzie Fox

 

mackenzie-foxGuest Post: Mackenzie Fox

You've probably heard of the many benefits of decluttering your home including the one that says clear your space, clear your mind. However, do not confuse organizing with decluttering because there is a very clear distinction between the two. The first and the biggest difference is that organizing brings order into your possessions while decluttering is all about keeping only what you really and truly need. Another difference is that even if you perfectly organize your home, remember that you are still a human and that things will get messy again. That's the thing.. With organizing, you simply have to keep up with it.

Did you know that an average 3-bedroom-house has over 300,000 items in it? How many of them do you use on a regular basis? And how many of them you haven't used at all in the last, let's say, a year? This is where decluttering is king. Not only are you going to gain more space by throwing out, recycling or donating things that you really don't need but you are also going to save money on unnecessary purchases, you won't have to clean as much, you'll sleep and eat better, you'll definitely have more free time and be more productive. In terms of money, decluttering is an inexpensive way to add value to your home because prospective buyers can see the true potential of your home only when it is well-organized and clean. Most importantly, decluttered home will give you a feeling of calm and is generally a healthier environment to live in.

The most importantly, there are the little members of your family that you definitely want to see healthy and happy – your children. Believe it or not, they stand to gain even more from decluttering. First and foremost, there is the health aspect. Clutter is a germ haven. There are also dust mites, mold and other allergens that just love clinging onto clutter and that can cause severe health problems. Not to mention that clutter is a fire hazard and can also lead to accidents (tripping, slipping and similar).

By decluttering your home, you are also going to set a good example for your children and you know that children always learn better by example than through words. Having them involved in cleaning can be a bonding experience, particularly if you are decluttering their rooms. Furthermore, they will learn about discipline and responsibility. You can also instil a love of  charity work in your children by urging them to donate toys and clothes that they no longer play with or wear.

Just like adults, children can also be affected psychologically by excessive clutter. They might get frustrated by not being able to find their favorite toy or a book or having to go through a pile of laundry to get to their gym clothes. Children thrive in a stress-free environment and a decluttered home is definitely that. Clutter overwhelms their little minds with a lot of stimuli, both visual and tactile, which can take a psychological toll on them.

Getting rid of clutter will help them focus and have better mental clarity which is especially important if they are of school age. Not only that, you are going to inspire your children to live more simply, effectively and healthy. On surface, decluttering might look as an exercise in throwing things away but it is actually a learning experience. It teaches children how take better care of their stuff and how to enjoy it more. It is important that you do it together because they are bound to get distracted halfway through (they are children, after all), and the cleaning process will strengthen your relationship with them. Believe it or not, children will be content with fewer toys too. Not having a mountain of toys will stimulate their imagination and send their creativity into overdrive.

So, these are the essential benefits of decluttering your home that will hopefully get you going in the right direction. If you have been procrastinating with this difficult but such a beneficial process, remember that there is always someone who is looking up to you to show them how things are done in life – your children.

decluttering-your-kids-roomsMarie Kondo Tips For Decluttering With Kids

decluttering-your-kids-rooms

Organized Playroom - The Sunny Side Up Blog

decluttering-your-kids-roomsKids Art Gallery Wall - The Caterpillar Years

 

Creating a Safe, Healthy Room for Your Child

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The process of choosing and decorating the nursery room is a serious and challenging task for all new parents. With a new little one on the way, your house - as well as your life - is going to be turned upside down in many ways. Keeping your infants and toddlers safe and sound is a 24 hour duty. Your task is to ensure that your kid has enough freedom to be active, but at the same time, to protect them from any possible injury that might occur in your household. Here are some of the most important steps that will help you childproof the areas in your child’s room.

 

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Priority number 1

While choosing the nursery, keep in mind the amount of light and noise, as well as fresh air. These are the priorities. The room should be in a quiet part of the house that gets enough - but not too much - direct sunlight. Too much direct sunlight is harmful to infants who are less than six months old. When windows are concerned, the best option is to have blinds or louvers as they are easily maintained and provide protection from both light and noise. Fabric curtains are not recommended as they quickly get dusty.

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Electrical appliances

Electromagnetic fields generated from power lines are considered to have negative health effects, so it’s better to be precautious. The number of electrical appliances in your kid’s room should be limited and kept away from the crib as much as possible. Once your baby grows into a mobile toddler, you should keep them safe from temptation to stick various objects into outlets. Install electrical cord covers, as well as childproof outlet covers. A great idea is to arrange the furniture in a creative way so as to keep the outlets out of sight.

 

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Inquisitive investigators

Keeping safety in toddler bedroom is way different from baby nursery. Keep this in mind so that you can apply all the necessary safety measures on time, i.e. before your baby starts moving around on all fours. You can’t really anticipate all the ways a toddler can get hurt. Remove the potential hazards and apply the following:

Set up the crib safely. The crib mattress should be lowered the moment your child can sit up. You should also move stuffed animals away from the crib because they can be used as a stepping stool for your kid to get out.

The crib or bed should not be positioned against a radiator or underneath a window or shelves, as a child can easily reach the things around the crib.

Make sure the bedding fits tightly to the bed. If there are any unnecessary blankets or stuffed animals, take them out as they can cause accidental suffocation.

Avoid open drawers and freestanding furniture. A child can use open drawers for climbing, so better have them closed. Apply childproof latches on lower drawers.  Nowadays, you can find latches that require no tools and don’t damage the cabinets. The room should not contain any freestanding furniture as a child can easily get hurt once it starts exploring.

Don’t hang pictures and mirrors above the crib and bed.

All the toy boxes should have safety lids that can also be opened from the inside. You never know if your kid will consider the box as the best hiding place.

Secure door hinges. Young children are in a constant risk of hurting their fingers when the doors get slammed. There are finger pinch guards you can install in order to keep doors from closing all the way. Also, make sure the doorknobs don’t have locks.

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How to deal with air pollution

Most of us think that only outside air is polluted. However, the level of indoor air pollution can be even higher than outdoors, the EPA estimates. Since children’s lungs are still in a developmental phase, polluted air can harm them more. Paints, cleansers, new carpets, dust, mold, pollen, tobacco smoke, etc. have a great impact on young bodies since they cannot deal with a lot of toxins. Symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, headaches, nasal congestions, fatigue can be caused by indoor air pollution. Therefore, the nursery should contain small and quiet ceiling or window fans that don’t create drafts. You can also go for air purifiers since they can make a real difference in air quality and help your child sleep better. A child’s immune system regenerates during the night, so it’s of utmost importance that they sleep in a toxin-free bedroom. In addition, if you’re planning to bring in the new furniture, make sure you ventilate the children’s room thoroughly. Keep the indoor air fresh by opening the windows regularly.

Treat your kid’s room as a little kingdom ready to be explored. Make it safe, healthy and welcoming and enjoy exploring it together!

Zoe ClarkAbout The Author: Zoe Clark is a mom of one baby girl, DIY and home design enthusiast.

Since decor is her passion, she is always trying to use it for learning and playing with her daughter. You can find her on Twitter.

 

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How To Make Over Old Benches And Toy Boxes By Upholstering The Top

Upholstered Kids Room DecorPicture Credit - wikipedia.org

Guest Post By Ryan Barlow

 If you have any old storage pieces you want to use, refresh and upholster here you will learn how. Before upholstering the item you should provide suitable cleaning of it. Use the tips here to give new life to your old furniture pieces.

Whatever type of storage piece you have you should clean in thoroughly and well. First spray with all-purpose sprayer for bugs and leave it in any ventilated place for 24 hours or more. This way fleas, bed bugs, mites, etc. will be killed.

Now you should disinfect the pieces using a solution of water and vinegar or wet disinfecting wipes and aerosol sprays with disinfecting properties. Choose the proper disinfecting product, apply it and wipe with a rag.

Now that you have cleaned your furniture piece you can upholster it. The materials you will need are: measuring tape, a pencil, any fabric you decide to use, foam, batting, kits of covered buttons, iron, scissors, needle and thread or finishing line for upholstery, thimble, finishing nails, staple gun, 1/4” or 3/8” drill bit and drill.

First take measurements of the lid you decide to upholster to estimate the quantity of fabric you should use. Taking in mind its thickness add 2 more inches to your measurements. If you have 27 inches lid which is 1/2” thick you should use 30 inches long fabric.

Then, raise the lid so that you estimate where to put the buttons you will use for tufting. Make sure you place them even and use a measuring tape for the purpose. Make spots with a pencil. After that, make holes in the lid on the places of the pencil marks with a drill and a drill bit, fitted in it.

Now you should cut the fabric to the necessary size after which you should iron the fabric. Do the same with the batting and foam. Lay the foam and batting over the lid of the storage piece you will be upholstering. Then, put the fabric on the top of the foam and batting and use a staple gun to perforate them to the bottom of the furniture piece surface. Place a staple on each opposite side one by one and make sure to stretch the fabric. Repeat this for the rest 2 sides to ensure the fabric doesn't get puckered and is straight enough.

If you have patterned or striped fabric be careful with these steps. You probably don't want the stripes or patterns to look crooked or blurry. Repeat these steps for all 4 sides of the storage piece top you want to upholster.

Use additional fabric of the same type to cover the buttons you decide to use. Follow the instructions which are on its package.

Tie the end of the finishing line or upholstery thread to the upholstery needle. The other end tie to the finishing nail.

Tie the end of the thread to the needle and the other to the finishing nail. Your thread  shouldn't return through the holes you drilled while sewing the buttons. To achieve this Call Upholstery Cleaners puts the nail through the the rear of the hole looping the thread above the nail. Repeat these steps several times and in the end tie the finishing nail to the thread. With a thimble pull the needles throughout the foam layer.

Spin the nail around to make the thread tightened and pull the button to the the depth you want it to be. This way you will have tufted looking upholstered furniture piece. Secure the nail ends to be on their places and don't unwind using a staple gun.

Add handles to the furniture piece if you prefer to make it look better and become more functional. After cleaning and upholstering your old storage pieces you can use them. Here you learned how to do this following the explained above steps. Don't forget to provide suitable cleaning of the upholstered and wooden part of the pieces.

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Nursery Furniture Worth Your Cash

Nursery Decor Worth The Money - Guest Post Zoe Clark

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Zoe Clark

Guest Post Zoe Clark

Nursery décor is in most cases a touch-and-go task – but it gets even trickier if you are short on cash. It is only natural that moms and dads want only the fanciest of furnishings and accessories for their little one’s nest, but few furniture pieces that look like a prop out of Cinderella are truly worth their weight in cash. So, how can you distinguish between quality-backed nursery décor investment and short-lived eye-candy? Here is the shorthand of smart furniture shopping to help you get the biggest bang for your buck when choosing pieces for the kid’s room.

Nursery Decor Worth The Money - Guest Post Zoe Clark

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The everlasting charm of vintage wood

Wood is one of the most durable natural materials used in furniture production, and it is also extremely versatile as it plays well with most décor styles. This means that you will be able to use and re-use a solid wood armoire, chest of drawers, or dresser as the child grows without the need to buy a new piece of furniture every time you decide to revamp the nursery. In addition to that, wooden cots and cradles usually boast exquisite charm that beats by far the appeal of their contemporary counterparts, so they will help achieve a unique classic nursery ambiance while at the same time remaining functional and sophisticated-looking for generations to come.

Nursery Decor Worth The Money - Guest Post Zoe Clark

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Furnishings that grow with the child

High-end adjustable furnishings that can be extended or adapted into another functional piece of furniture such as pull-out chaise beds and convertible high chairs are pricey, but they make a good investment for parents whose eyes are set on long-term comfort and savings. With a bit of creativity and minimal technical skills, crafty parents can also come up with innovative uses for existing furnishings: for instance, a sideboard or dresser can double as a changing station, and a minimalist drawer chest can serve as a base for a stackable storage unit that will hold your growing kid’s growing collection of clothes and undergarments.

Nursery Decor Worth The Money - Guest Post Zoe Clark

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Size does matter in frugal designs

Babies and small kids need comfy bedding, but most parents make the amateurish mistake and shop with the child’s immediate rather than long-term needs in mind. When buying a crib for your little angel, do not forget that children grow like mushrooms after the rain, and that they will not find a tiny cot comfy in the least after a few months. When decorating the nursery with lasting functionality in mind, size does matter, and bigger is better: a large crib with removable sides can be easily transformed into a regular bed for a toddler, so it means ultra-comfort, long-term savings, and functional longevity.

Nursery Decor Worth The Money - Guest Post Zoe Clark

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DIY items childhood memories are made of

Toy baskets, knitted toys, and similar DIY items are charming, affordable, and easy to make even with minimal handicraft skill. You can make soft blankets, playtime floor mats, cute crocheted or knit toys, or storage baskets for your child’s playthings using colorful yarn, knitting needles, a couple of yarn bowls, some cardboard, wood, and a stack of old newspapers. In addition to cost-efficiency, handmade nursery accessories and furniture are also a great way to express your love for your child in a personal manner and surprise them with things they will cherish for a lifetime.

Furnishings that are worth a parent’s cash are those that remain functional and chic despite the fleeting time. Multipurpose and modular nursery furniture is a good option, granted it is made with both versatility and durability in mind. Low-end convertible items are usually just a waste of money, so if you want to max out on kid’s room décor, be prepared to pay a little extra cash for a little extra functionality – or at least find a way to put solid furniture to multiple uses. Good luck!

DIY Chic Nursery Décor: Fun Projects For Parents

Kids Room Decor

Decorating a nursery can be extremely fun, especially if you have a penchant for DIY projects and experiments with scrap fabrics, reclaimed furniture, and wall art. In addition to the creative aspect, self-made nursery furniture and accessories will also keep your family budget happy and allow you to express your love for your little ones in an immediate and personalized manner. So, what have you got to lose, except perhaps a few spare hours you would otherwise waste in front of the telly or PC? Here are a few ideas on how to create lovable items for your kids’ room and avoid spending a fortune on mainstream nursery elements.

Kids Room Decor

 

Written in the Pixie Dust: Paper Mache Alphabet Wall

Give your little one a jump start on the alphabet with the help of custom-made paper mache wall art. To make a pixie-inspired wall alphabet, you will need 8-inch paper mache letters, paint, glue gun and sticks, a Styrofoam board, and a bit of glitter spray and/or glitter sealer. Paint the front side of each letter, add glitter for to achieve the impression of pixie dust, and let the paper dry well before spelling out your child’s name or your note of parental love for them on the Styrofoam panel using the glue gun.

Kids Room Decor

Child of the Universe: A DIY Moon Cradle

Use discarded wood pallets to make your baby a moon-shaped cradle. This one will demand a bit of technical knowledge, as well as 3/4-inch boards, a handful of screws, tape measure, jigsaw, a power drill, table saw, and sander. Lay out the boards on the floor and use a pencil to draw a moon shape across them based on the cradle’s target dimensions. Next, cut the boards using the saw and sand them well before attaching the pieces together. Repeat the procedure to make the second side panel for the cradle, and once done, bring the two pieces together by screwing spare uncut planks between them. For extra charm, use a jigsaw to cut out little stars at the top of each side panel, attach support boards to the inside of the structure using the drill and finally outfit the bedding with a comfy mattress.

Kids Room Decor

Safe and Stored: A Toy Basket from Old Jeans

Make a toy storage basket from old jeans, T-shirts and other scrap fabric (if you need extra, here  you can grab some), sturdy fusible interfacing and basic sewing staples. Cut out the lining and interfacing into rectangles (22 inches wide X 20 inches tall), and then cut out two 5.5-inch squares at the bottom corners of each rectangle. Iron the interfacing pieces to attach them to the inside of the denim and cut the jeans around the interfacing edges to make two identical pieces which you will then assemble using a needle and sturdy thread. Sew the basket sides and bottom together (save for the cutouts), flatten the bottom corners so that the side and seams at the bottom align, and sew them together to make the basket bottom. Next, sew on the lining (make sure you attach it to the downside to prevent it from falling out when the basket is turned upside down), and voila – your fabric storage backet is done!

Hanging by a Thread: Easy-to-Make Rope Shelving

Grab a few narrow wooden boards (they should have approximately the same length for optimal final look), drill large holes in the corners of each plank, and finally thread four pieces of sturdy rope through the holes so that the shelves line up above each other. Make a knot at the bottom of each piece of rope to create a strong bottom support for the suspended shelving unit, and tie knots at the same distance under each of the boards to keep shelves properly lined up and strong enough to withstand weight. Once done, bring the four rope pieces at the top and suspend the shelf from a strong bolt (you may want to use wall plugs to secure the structure into the wall).

Handmade furnishings and accessories for a nursery are real money-savers, plus they look very cool, so you will get a few bonus points in your child’s heart for extraordinary parenting skills. In addition to that, DIY project will allow you to play around like a big kid and learn a few new handyman tricks, so it will turn out to be the best investment in both your ingenuity and your child’s room décor.

Good luck, all you crafty parents out there!

Image sources: 1, 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8

Zoe ClarkAbout The Author: Zoe Clark is a mom of one baby girl, DIY and home design enthusiast. Since decor is her passion, she is always trying to use it for learning and playing with her daughter. You can find her on Twitter.

A Touch of Pantone for a Charming Nursery Décor

Nursery Decor

For a charming nursery makeover, tap into the power of Pantone’s color palette this spring! Rose quartz and serenity are ideal hues for kids’ rooms, and they will create a perfect backdrop for playtime and peaceful dreams. Baby blue will look very suave in a boy’s room, while muted pink notes will enchant your little princess or would-be ballerina – and you can even combine the two hues if you are eager to experiment and have a basic understanding of the color wheel.

Here are a few simple tricks on how to update the nursery look with a touch of Pantone’s 2016 Colors of the Year.

1. A lavish boudoir fit for a Disney princess

For a romantic sleeping area, attach a canopy in rose quartz over your little princess’ bed. Girls love canopies (blame it on Disney if you will), and you easily can make one to win bonus points in your little one’s heart. Simply drill four holes in a hula hoop (the holes should be at the same distance from each other) and attach a shower curtain, cotton textile, or a gauzy fabric in rose quartz which you can find at Fabric Traders to a large shower ring. Draw four pieces of strong nylon rope through the holes, and bind them together at the upper end. Install a ceiling hook and finally secure the hoop-come-canopy and spread it across the bed. Lovely!

Kids Rooms

2. Add a Pantone-inspired toy basket

Your kid needs a safe place to store all their beloved stuffed friends, so add an oversized wicker basket to the nursery to create a convenient plaything storage spot. You can spray-paint the basket in rose quartz or baby blue: take the basket outside and protect the area around it with old newspapers, mix red or blue and white paint in a container until you get the right tone, and spray away! (A word of advice: avoid touching the freshly painted basket until completely dry to avoid leaving nasty fingerprint smears on the surface).

3. Dreamy linens for sweet dreams

Spruce up the décor by throwing in rose quartz or baby blue linens in the nursery. A charming spot for your little one to embark on adventures in the world of dreams, linens in Pantone’s Colors of The Year will pair well with most nursery looks and color schemes, especially if topped by a few like-colored accessories such as pillows, throws, and area rugs.

 

4. A little bit of mix and match

Rose quartz and light blue are very rewarding tones in terms of color coordination: you can pair them with most neutral and muted hues or their own intense counterparts (plain red and bright blue, that is). If you intend to use rose quartz as the dominant tone in the room, your choice of secondary colors will include red, fuchsia, white, gold, purple, violet, and beige. Muted blue will look nice next to soft green, clear blue, white, khaki, and light brown, but it will not look out of place even if matched with dark brown, navy blue, and grey.

Kids rooms 3

5. Pantone wallpapers for wall-safe playtime

Kids like to draw and scribble, which is absolutely cool for as long as their visual masterpieces do not wind up on the nursery walls. To minimize risk of little dirty handprints and an odd doodle  on brilliant white background, cover the walls with wallpapers in rose quartz or light blue. You can also create a monochromatic décor by applying adhesive wallpapers in Pantone’s Colors of the Year to the wardrobe and doors, and finishing off the gentle look by a cute Pantone-colored area rug.

From plain to Pantone, every room could use a dash of lovable soft colors. This year, interior designers worldwide are embracing Pantone colors and introducing them into home décors, and you can follow in their footsteps right there in your nursery!

Zoe ClarkAuthor Zoe Clark 

Image Credits:1. Instagram.comInstagram.com 2. and 3. Winterdaisy.com
4 Projectnursery.com, Project Nursery

8 Ways To Get Your Kids Room Organized

Helen Norman BHG May 2015

Helen Norman BHG May 2015

Any parent will know and understand the cry “Clean your room!” or “tidy your room”. There is a constant battle between lost parents and their children as you try to instill a sense of value and respect for both their environment and their possessions. Instilling these values is not easy, but the following tips can help:

1. Bring it down a notch

Children see the world differently; they are closer to the ground and have a different perspective on the room and their mess. Take yourself down to their level and you may be surprised at how different it looks. Adult items may look good in their rooms but they may be difficult for your child to use; replace them with furniture, shelves and cupboard which their hands can manage.

2. Do it together and have a good time

If you get your child or children to help you organize their room you will gain an understanding of why they struggle to keep it tidy. You will then be able to address this issue and help them develop a good attitude towards organization and tidiness.

3. Keep it simple

Make it as easy as possible for your child to keep their room tidy; remove unwanted or outgrown items and provide easy to use storage boxes. Everything has a place and children will quickly learn to store things in the right place; they will be able to find it when they need it!

4. Containers

Plastic tubs are great for storing toys, but they must be the right size! If they have a lot of tiny parts they need to store all the parts for one item in a small container; this can then be placed safely inside the large container. This will also help you to show them the importance of tidying away when they have finished. Before they can get a new toy out all the pieces of the old toy must be put back into the relevant container.

5. Easy away

The easier it is for your children to put their belongings away the more likely they are to put them away; in general you should make it as easy as possible to put things away whilst making it difficult to get them out in the first place! For example, books can be stored in an upright file, allowing your child to select any book and then just drop them back in afterwards; in any slot. You do not need to worry about all the books falling over when getting them off the book case.

6. Height

Children tend to be shorter so it is essential to put the most used items on the bottom shelves with the least used on the top shelves where they may be difficult to reach by themselves. It doesn’t matter if you use drawers, shelves or cabinets, stick to this routine and your child will not need to keep disturbing you to get a prized toy. They will also be able to return them to where they belong.

7. Labels

This is a good way to teach your child to be organized and to help them put things away. Label every box of toys they have, use labels and writing that is big enough for them to understand, alternatively pictures may help. This will ensure your child knows where each item belongs; it will also make it easy to change tidying up time into a final game of the day; match the object.

8. Routine

It can be very difficult for a child to know when and what is expected from them if the boundaries keep changing. Instead of having random tidy days and clear outs create a schedule. Your child will know when they need to tidy the room and what you expect; this will make it much easier for them to do!

There’s no need to invest thousands of dollars to keep your kids happy and pleased with the way their room looks like. Sometimes all it takes is a little ingenuity to make things work. Consider fun, playful bespoke furniture designs, colorful pillows and cushions, and drawers. This way their room will be easier to clean and they’ll even learn how to stay organized.

Jason Phillips

The Best Kids Ideas

Inspired By Charm

The Best Kids Ideas

DIY Dollar Tree Containers- Little House Of Four

The Best Kids Ideas

Take plastic bins from the dollar store and upgrade them using metallic spray paint to give them a tin finish! diyenergy.biz

The Best Kids Ideas

Spray paint measuring tape and use it instead as a growth chart for the kids- Variations On Normal

The Best Kids Ideas

VITTSJÖ Shelving unit - IKEA

Photo by Better Homes and Gardens

The Best Kids Ideas

joannagoddard.blogspot.co.uk

Buy a magnetic board—like this one and hang it on a bedroom wall.

The Best Kids Ideas

Whimsical jar lids from toys which are spray painted -housetohome.co.uk

The Best Kids Ideas

Barbie Organizers -bhg.com

Look for unique storage solutions for older toddlers- bhg.com