Planning an Awesome and Organized Tween Hangout Room

See the plan for our boys’ awesome and organized tween hangout room! Their playroom is getting a major overhaul!

Okay, so you probably saw the title of this post and thought, “Abby, did you just use the words ‘organized’ and ‘tween hangout’ in the same phrase?! Isn’t that a bit of an oxymoron?!”

I admit that getting tweens to stay organized isn’t the easiest task in the world. But I also know that when I put simple systems in place that aren’t difficult for them to maintain, it gets a lot easier!

The Problem

Once upon a time our boys’ playroom was pretty organized. We had mostly just taken the pieces that we had for their toys in our last house, put them in one of the bedrooms (since our boys sleep in the same room), and tried to maintain the systems the same way we had in the townhouse.

An Organized Playroom

And it worked for a while.

But as Con and Caleb have gotten older (11 and 8.5 at the time of this writing), their needs changed. Connor wasn’t spending much time in the playroom because he wasn’t all that interested in most toys anymore. Caleb still used the room to play and create, but clutter was creeping in as he got new toys and outgrew old ones.

Cluttered Playroom Before Photo

Dreaming Up a Solution: An Organized Tween Hangout

A few months ago I posed the idea to the boys of overhauling the room and making it more of a “hangout space” than a playroom. They loved the idea, so we decided to go for it!

As I talked to them about what they would like to see in the space, we came up with a list of requirements:

  • An area for LEGOs and building
  • Room to store books and board games
  • A desk and storage for craft supplies
  • Bins for the few toys they wanted to keep
  • A way for them to play video games and store their accessories
  • Caleb plays piano, so his keyboard needed to stay.

To make all of those things happen in a way that was organized and not overcrowded, I knew we were going to have to get rid of some stuff.

I prepped the boys beforehand that if they wanted their fun new hangout room, they were going to have to say goodbye to the things that they no longer use and love. They were on board.

One evening we went through every bin and shelf in the room, trying to be as brutal as possible and getting rid of items they no longer needed. They were surprisingly cooperative and actually were willing to part with more items than I had expected! Woohoo!

An Organized Tween Hangout Space: The Plan

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Once we had everything narrowed down and I could see exactly what we were working with, the boys and I came up with a plan.

An Awesome and Organized Tween Hangout Room

RIBBA Picture Frame | KALLAX Cube Unit | LACK Floating Shelf | KUGGIS Bin | DRONA Bin | ALGOT Shelving | Beanbag | Striped Bin | SKADIS Pegboard | TROFAST Wall Unit | TROFAST Floor Unit | Desk | ODGER Chair

We had already installed IKEA’s ALGOT system in the closet, so we had some great shelving. We had been using it to display finished LEGO sets, but it had turned into a mess…

Messy Playroom Closet Before Photo

…so we decided that we would use the closet for game storage and designate a shelf somewhere else for LEGO display.

The rolling cart and magazine rack just weren’t cutting it for craft storage anymore and were always a wreck…

Cluttered Playroom Craft Area Before Photo

…so my plan is to get a few IKEA KALLAX cube units with organizers to try to corral all of the supplies in a more efficient way.

A few pegboards in the craft area will help with storage too, keeping some of the items that the boys use often close by. The pegboards will also replace our current clothesline-esque art display.

Many of the items on the back wall of the playroom are going to move to the closet to be stored. I want to bring in a few LACK shelves to hold some books and provide storage for a few completed LEGO sets.

Cluttered Toy Storage Unit Before Photo

And speaking of LEGOs, Caleb is always building, so I want to give him a better area to work on his projects. Right now the LEGO towers are just kind of squeezed in whatever extra place they’ll fit…

Cluttered Playroom Before Photo

…but I want to get some IKEA TROFAST bins that sit a little lower to the ground so that I can put a building surface on top with LEGO baseplates.

They also have TROFAST bins that attach to the wall, so I want to grab a few of those as well so we have plenty of room to store the boys’ LEGO collection.

The final wall houses the keyboard that Caleb uses to practice for his piano lessons…

Cluttered Piano in Playroom Before Photo

It needs to stay there, but I had the idea to camouflage it a little bit by painting the wall black and giving it a “night sky” type of look.

Since the wall will already be black, we’ll also put the TV on that wall that the boys can use for their video games, helping to camouflage that as well.

The one thing Donnie insisted on when we started this project was that “If they don’t have comfy seating, they’ll never use the room.” I have my eye on a few cozy bean bag chairs that I think the boys will love!

After we have all of the “practical” pieces in place, we’ll add some art (maybe even DIY a piece?) to give the room some color and interest.

Here’s what the floor plan will look like:

Tween Hangout Room Floor Plan

I’m so excited to see this space come together (and the boys are too)! They are way overdue for a space that is more “them” in the stage of life they’re in right now. I think this room will serve them well for years to come.

Update: The tween hangout room is finished! See all of the projects that went into this room and the final reveal by clicking the links below:

Have a wonderful day!

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.


  1. at home with Ashley says:

    Can’t wait to see the night sky wall! Sounds like it’s going to be great

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      Thanks so much, Ashley! Looking forward to sharing! Have a great weekend! <3

      ~Abby =)

  2. Rose - MomLife Organizer says:

    haha, this still looks waaay better than my boys, 11 and 9. LEGOs are the main issue. Love the layout image. Can’t wait for the reveal when it’s all done!

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      LEGOs are always tricky, aren’t they? 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Rose! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

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