There’s a good chance that I’ve been featuring nursery and kid rooms like this minimalist toddler room the past two months because I was procrastinating on my own little space that needed some tending to. Up until this past weekend, baby girl number two’s room was home to both of our bicycles, our old dining room table that we have been using as a desk, two chairs that we took from my sister before she put them by the curb, bins of Parker’s baby things that needed to be washed, and really sweet, adorable baby gifts. Sounds super cute, right?! Don’t worry, that space is now well on it’s way and looking pretty adorable if I do say so myself. In the meantime, though, before we reveal that space, I’ve been so excited to share this simple, minimalist toddler room that belongs to the babe of our favorite resident organizing guru, Margaret of Edit Spaces. She’s sharing her nursery necessities, what you can skip, and her tried and true tips for deciding what things stay and what things go. Keep reading for all of the deets on this minimalist toddler room that we can’t get enough of!
Jen: Your name, What you do, and Who lives in your home?
Margaret Williams, Professional organizer at Edit Spaces. Usually this means organizing and styling people’s homes but it sometimes entails making sense of professional kitchens or setting up corporate spaces as well.
My home is filled with our family of 4…me, my husband Matt (we met in NYC 10 years ago) and our kids Caroline (5) and Ford (almost 3!)
Jen: Ford is your second child. How was the experience of putting together his space different from when you put together a nursery for Caroline?
Margaret: So much easier! Honestly it was such a relief to know how to put the space together in a way that is fun for him now (a truck garage!) but also allows for some serious growing room (he’s anxiously awaiting bunk beds). Kids are constantly changing and the biggest lesson I have learned is that nothing stays the same for very long. I now know it’s much better to plan for those changes rather than feel disappointed when a meticulously planned nursery doesn’t quite fit your toddler or big kid.
Jen: What things in a nursery are necessities? What seem superfluous?
Margaret: A great crib that can take a serious beating and hopefully transitions into a toddler bed – after Caroline I learned that painted cribs show wear and tear quickly so with Ford we chose this IKEA one and have been so happy. I also think a dedicated drawer for all the baby & toddler items is a must…hopefully it’s wide enough to have diapers and wipes on one side and drawer dividers on the other to contain nail scissors, diaper rash cream, moisturizing oil, etc. On that same note we couldn’t have made it without a diaper pail. One last thing…happy sheets and changing pad covers…such an easy and inexpensive way to add color and personality!
As for the superfluous stuff – wipes warmers! And anything that goes overboard on the baby entertainment front…playmats and bouncers are fun but all you really need is a great blanket with a few soft toys. Changing tables that aren’t also dressers drive me a little bit nuts. Big pieces of furniture should work double time in a nursery so I much prefer a beautiful dresser with a changing pad anchored on the top
Jen: I love this space and how you created a totally minimalist toddler room. When you’re purging clothes and toys from your kids’ spaces, how do you decide which things stay and which things go? What do you usually do with things that go?
Margaret: I try and give all their clothes and shoes the once over at the end of every season…especially summer and winter. Of course anything that no longer fits or is worn beyond saving leaves their closet and dresser. And then from that pile I divide into…
Donate – We donate all our used clothes and toys to Goodwill…that way other families can enjoy items that no longer work for us and anything that can’t be sold or used is recycled…almost no waste!
Short term keepers – As you might expect I’m pretty tough with this category. We have never had a ton of storage space and I just don’t see the merit in keeping things for the sake of keeping them. This category is reserved for absolute favorite clothes and toys, in great shape, that also have a real chance of being used by siblings down the road. And remember clothes only fade and yellow more over time so anything that is being packed away should be vacuum packed in resealable bags.
Forever keepers – Very special items that I’ll pass down to my kids when they have their own children. No more than 10 items per child! Bonus point if you stick to 5 😉
*A note…toys can completely overwhelm and consume a space (and take away all the room for imagination)…even wonderful and lovingly given toys. I suggest donating or selling excess toys that pile up and talking to your kids about why donating is such an important way to support other families whose circumstances might be different than our own. We of course listen to our kids input and keep items they love and play with but at the end of the day we make the final call.
Photography by Katie Jameson
MINIMALIST TODDLER ROOM SOURCES || Rug: Purchased on a trip to India || Crib: IKEA || Dresser: Land of Nod || Low Cabinet / Console: IKEA || Flag Art: Purchased at the Chelsea Flea Market in NYC || Alligator Clock: Made by a company called modern moose, we purchased at Teich Toy Store in NYC || Sheets: Target, (I love the ones by Circo and Cloud Island) || Diaper Changing Cover: Land of Nod || Alphabet Bin: Petit Pehr…I like the hamper size for toys
(For more room tours, see here.)