Taming the Rec Room


The recreation room or rec room in any home tends more to the other spelling of its name: it should be called the Wreck Room. It’s the place where you put all of the toys that the kids don’t use all that often. It’s the parking area for unfinished craft projects. It’s the place where the children play in the winter time and the place where you can close the door when guests come over. Often, it is the favourite room in the house.

If your rec room is living up to its name, what can you do?

First, determine the uses of the room. Is this going to be a multifunctional space? What functions will the room accommodate with ease? Glue crafts and electronic equipment and trampolines don’t always mesh well together.

Next, conduct a toy purge. This means that you determine the uses of the room and pack out any toys that do not fit. Separate these toys into piles. One pile is the pile that goes back into your children’s rooms. Another pile goes to charity, friends and neighbors. A third pile might be the toys that your children don’t play with and don’t want to get rid of. You can decide to save these for future grandchildren if they are heirloom quality, or you can get plastic boxes and circulate a more limited quantity of toys in and out of the playroom. This makes those old toys feel new again.

Reduce visual clutter in the rec room by using baskets and boxes to coordinate the clutter. You don’t need to look fancy: this is a rec room, after all. Large matching baskets are pretty and they accommodate a lot of small toys.

If you wish, create a consistent color or theme for the room. This is not to say that you need to go all out and paint a mural in the rec room. Of course you don’t, although you can do so if you wish. However, if you can stick to a general color theme the room will look less like a garage sale and more like an intentional space.

What tricks do you have to make your rec room stand proud?