Kids’ Playroom in an Unfinished Basement

Recently, Doug showed you how to make a basement storage shelf and today, I’m showing you what we’ve done with it. Filled it with toys! Not taking over my house, in the closets, in the baskets, in their room, but in the basement!

*happy dance*


The cost of the shelf was only $60 – I know we would have paid double that if we were to buy it and the shelf wouldn’t have nearly been as sturdy. It only took one night to make, which is great, because I can use all the help I can once he gets home from work.

While I was hesitant at first and felt kinda bad about sending the toys down to the basement, I love it.


The kids get excited when we head down there, and it’s nice to have a change of scenery!


The top shelf is all of the smaller bins with toys, some puzzles and Melissa & Doug toys that didn’t fit, as well as our bigger baby items that don’t fit anywhere else.
bins – Walmart for $3 something for the small, $4 something for the big


The middle shelf are the larger bins: little people, Lincoln Logs, play food and kitchen stuff, and toys that don’t have a bin yet.
Big bin – Target (from years ago), white lid bins – Target, Sterilite brand, $6.99 each on sale.


Bottom shelf: bigger toys like the house, doll house, doll bunk beds and other toys.


My mom found three packs of this floor mat on clearance at Walmart for $3 EACH!!! The kids like moving around the tiles, making new rugs, and building stuff. It’s also the perfect rug for this area to protect them from the hard concrete.


I’ve been trying to figure out a laundry system and get it under control, but it’s hard for me to leave them all upstairs to head down here. Now I can easily peek over and see what they’re doing. And maybe blog a bit, enjoy some coffee while they’re playing… ;)


aaaand they can help me! Child labor, woo hoo ;)


We took a basement corner that was once a dark, gross, and kinda creepy spot and turned it into a clean, organized, happy playroom! This before and after is crazy… (the before was from the previous owners)


It took us long enough, but whew! I love it. :)

Do you have an unfinished basement? How do you make it work?


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  1. says

    Wow! Super clean and organized! Looks great! And way cleaner than my unfinished basement.

    It’s nice that you put everything in tubs because you could just bring a tub or two upstairs for a while and then return them to the shelf when you are done!

  2. says

    My parents had an unfinished basement and my brother and I loved playing down there! Your’s is much more organized than ours was (our fault, not my mom’s… she sure tried!). My mom ended up putting the old carpet and padding from my grandma’s living room in the basement to protect our little noggins from the cement floor. Though your way is much more fun! It looks great! I love your shelving unit… I might have to convince my husband to make one for me! I’m not so good with power tools!

  3. Mel says

    Your basement looks very clean and organized. My kids played in our unfinished basement for years. Sometimes we see others palace like basements that look better than our own homes. Your kids are lucky to have such caring and creative parents. Mel

  4. says

    That’s so awesome!!! It’s really what we need to do is get a toy area set up for the kids so the toys don’t invade the rest of the house as much!!

  5. says

    I want to put in a radon mitigation system in our basement before I try to clean it up and decorate it. We can’t afford to finish it but I think I could make it functional BUT I worry about radon and won’t feel comfortable having the girls down their playing until we put in a radon mitigation system. We can do it for around $1,200 dollars but I haven’t beenn able to convince my husband to do it. Any ideas on how to covince him? I love what you’ve done with your basement and hope to do something similiar.

  6. Julie says

    Hi, I have a basement similar to yours. We painted the walls with a tinted masonry paint, as well as the floors. I know you have a big basement but you could always consider painting just a big square of the floor in the kids area, or just a wall (like where kiddie kitchen is) it makes it seem SO much more finished. I have also hung drop cloths (burlap) from my unfinished ceiling as “faux” walls to separate the utility from the play area with a metal shelving system in front. It gives a kind of cabana meets urban loft feel LOL but a bonus is you can tape/hang kiddie art on the walls that way !

  7. Mick says

    Great job! LOVE the organization. We did the same for our little one in our unfinished basement. We also covered the walls in bright primary materials to give it that faux look, as previously said. We also purchased many packs of the large kids connectable foam tiles, sort of like yours. Great for those crazy toddler tricks and falls. Again great job. Hope to get a shelf just like that so we can organize some things.

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