Here is the very unfortunate "Before" shot of one side of their room:
It looks like something out of an episode of Hoarders, I'm sure.
Of course, the AG store (and Target) have lovely little doll armoires, and I've seen some storage ideas online, but those all require extra space. Space we just don't have. It occurred to me that with the exception of a plastic bin that holds extra sheets and blankets, the girls were really just using the area under the bottom bunk for stuffing used tissues. If you don't have kids yet, I bet that sentence made you really want some.
I found the most adorable soft-sided, purple and white, under-the-bed shoe storage bin at Marshalls. Sadly, they only had one in purple, so I picked up another in khaki.
I started by placing empty shoe boxes in a few of the slots to give the storage piece some stability...this is important when little kids will be dragging it out and shoving it back in all day.
I kept like items together (grocery store, spa, tea party, sleeping bags, dance bags, etc) and used gallon ziploc bags to hold shoes and purses before placing them in the bins. This makes it so much easier for the girls to keep things organized, and when they are done playing, the bins go back under the bed!
Michaela Byrd has a hard time keeping all the clothes and shoes together for her Bitty Twin dolls, so they got their own section. All the clothes for the larger dolls were organized and placed back in the girls' doll trunk.
With a little straightening up, the rest of that play area was back together and ready for play time!
The best part is that the storage bins really aren't visible when the comforter is pulled up, and when I finally hunt down a white bed skirt, it won't be a problem at all! It's certainly a lot better than looking at scattered toys and used tissues.
Under the bed storage for toys really is a great idea if you're not using the space for a trundle bed, out of season clothes, or something else. Plastic liners in a shoe container like ours could easily house Legos, Playmobil toys, or superhero characters if you have boys. If our Barbies migrate upstairs, we might see about squeezing another unit under that bed!
I still wish we had space for a dedicated play room, filled with coordinating built-ins and bins, and plenty of space for the girls to play. But we work with what we have, and for now, I have two happy little girls who have sworn that they will keep up with the organizing for fear of losing their stuff to the donate bin.
Do you get creative with organizing solutions for your home?