Have you had a good look lately at your rec room, a room where you planned to have a space for you and your family to be comfortable? Do you think it looks more like a ‘wreck’ than a rec room? Is the floor a minefield of toys, and do you have trouble seeing the television yourself because the kids who want to play are always in the way? If so, then maybe your rec room needs an overhaul, so that it really is the comfortable space you once envisaged.
When you first thought of having a rec room, you probably created an ideal image of how it would be. Whatever happened to that ideal? The main problem may well be the floor plan, and this can be rearranged with just a simple trick or two. The first thing to do is to put your television set in the middle of the smallest wall. Then have the furniture facing it, and placed quite close; around five feet away is good. Your viewing area is probably smaller than it was, but you can still seat the same number of people, and the trade off is extra space. Put a thick, soft rug in front of the television so kids can sit comfortably on the floor.
Now get rid of other furnishings. Remove anything you don’t use regularly. People often store items in their rec room because they can’t think of a better place for them. This turns your rec room into a junk room, and makes it less than functional. Once you’ve removed those items you should have some free floor space.
So, how should you use this space you have gained? The kids now have extra play space, so sort their toys so that you have play centers. Schools and day care centers usually use this system too. All it means is that toys which fit into a specific category are collected in one area. For example, you can have a kitchen center where all the cooking theme play equipment is placed. You can put a small area rug down here and place the kitchen type toys here. Make a rule that this is the kitchen, and kitchen toys stay here. Other play areas around the room follow the same kind of rule, so that all around the room there are defined areas for specific types of play.
It has been shown in research that children can be encouraged to read if you have specific reading areas for them. So not only can you divide your rec room into areas for specific types of play, you can also incorporate a reading area. Here you should have a thick, soft rug and some comfy cushions. Add a bookshelf, well stocked with books, and some bean bags and pillows so every child can be comfortable. Kids will be drawn to this area where they can sit, be cozy, relax and read. You need to make a rule here, too, that books stay in their designated area.
The use of rugs for these designated areas help in your organization of the room. Call it the ‘rule of the rug’, if you like. Area rugs help to define each area so that everyone can be comfortable in their chosen activity.