Does it ever feel like the kids’ toys jump off the shelves and land in the far corners of the room? Well, never fear. We will help you tackle this problem once and for all.
The main problem with keeping a playroom picked up is that kids are notorious for not putting things back where they belong. One way to help with that problem is to create a home for each toy . Then, there is a better chance the toys will find their way back to where they belong.
A good method to begin is to sort all the toys. Get piles of barbies together, then get all the super heroes in one place. Baby dolls like to hang out together, and so do the stuffed animals. You get the drill. Now, this next step is better accomplished when no kids that are emotionally connected to the toys are present. PURGE!! I love it when my kids have a broken toy, because those are the first to go. Donate toys your kids have outgrown or that they no longer play with regularly. You cannot organize clutter, and stuffing them into bins doesn’t make less clutter. You will find that kids will play with their favorite toys and they won’t even miss the ones you let go.
Now is the time where you get to find homes for everything. I like to use open bins because toys have an easier time of finding their way back inside, and you don’t have extra steps of opening and closing it. I am also a big fan of labeling the bins. If you have younger children it is fun to take a polaroid of the toy and put the picture on the bin. I usually print a label for older children.
In this playroom, the mom was willing to let go of several bulky items, like the bench and a few doll houses. This really opened up the space in the playroom. We also added a shelf purchased from Costco, which came with bins. In here, all of the toys were grouped together and labeled. This is a home with 5 girls and only 1 boy, so we gave him his very own bin, and he was really excited to have a special place for his own toys.
In the oversized baskets we put all the baby dolls in one and the other one housed the stuffed animals. The basket on the floor next to the baby dolls contains all the baby doll accessories. It is important to keep the things together that the kids will use together. It gives the toys a better shot at being put away. The oversized baskets also make it easy to limit the number of dolls and stuffed animals. If they don’t fit in the bin, it is time to let some go. This is great when you buy new toys. Have the kids let some of older toys go to make room for the new toys.
Toys are now corralled
On the other wall the big Barbie house found a new address. Next to it we added a tall drawer where the Barbies all fit. Which makes sense, because the kids play with the barbies in the barbie house. Although, because the Barbies had SO MANY clothes, we made a bin solely for Barbie clothes. The clothes are located on top of the doll drawers, again, this is where the kids use them.
Another fun idea for dress-ups is a coat rack, with hooks. Kids are more likely to hang up the clothes if it is quick and easy. It could also be a game of throwing them up until it catches.
Now you can see, you too can reign in the chaos that ensues from a large quantity of toys!! SORT, PURGE, DONATE, & ORGANIZE. You need to set aside several hours, hopefully while the kids are at school. It is helpful to have all the organizing baskets you need on hand. This way you can start and finish your organizing project.
I recently spoke to the mom of this playroom and she reported that the kids have been keeping it picked up, and they love having a cleaned up playroom.
Melodee Finlinson – Organizing Nerds