When we first moved into our home, one of the first rooms we completely redecorated and painted was the playroom. I had these visions of the girls never wanting to leave that room because they love it so much. Every child who enters our home is drawn to that room and loves it. Except for my kids. Our girls (three and four years of age) cannot play in there for more than 10 minutes until they are saying, "Mommy!!!! What are you doing?!"
If you recall my post about their playroom, as it stands today, it is filled to the brim with toys. I don't say that to brag - I think every parent knows what I mean when I say this. Too. Many. Toys. Most of the toys have been hand-me-downs from our family. There are SOO many that I think it overwhelms them and even frustrates them. With the holidays and gifting season upon us, I wanted to reorganize and de-clutter to prepare for their next wave/hurricane of toys.
Today, I'm sharing how to get your playroom organized so your child will actually play with their toys!
Remember: Less is More
Just like how too many options for paint colors, tile options, and carpet overwhelm adults when it comes to a home remodel, having too many options to play with can overwhelm kids. I know, tough life right? Just stick to this motto.
De-clutter and Purge
There is no reason to keep a toy that is missing a limb. Seriously. Just throw the toy away. For hoarders out there like me, I know you spent your hard earned money on that toy - I know it’s like throwing money down the drain. Trust me on this. Just throw it away, and you will thank me later.
Exception to the purging: My mother-in-law kept some of the smaller toys (no bigger than 2 inches) in this huge glass jar. They were toys collected over their childhood, from marbles, GI Joes, and random fast-food toys that were super neat to go through. You may not want to purge these.
Open and Clear Storage
While kids LOVE opening doors and drawers, they prefer seeing all of their toys visible. The bonus of this is if the storage is visible, they are making mental notes as they play WHERE the toy BELONGS. Whether or not they put it back is a different subject all together.
We also have these sliding drawer bins that we store their dolls and doll clothes. They've been wonderful!
Keep a Basket for Organizing Later
Have a basket designated for toys that are for organizing later. Typically, this basket should be used to store random pieces of toys from a bigger set that you may not have time to locate. Having a set place for all stray and random toys gives you a sense of order.
Once you get rid of all the broken toys, figure out how you can batch the toys in a group of four with a little variety. You can then rotate these toys out on a monthly basis. Not only does it have the benefit of less toys for you to pick up around the house, but it keeps kids' interest longer, and they tend to play with them for longer periods of times.
If you found it hard originally to purge their first teddy bear, the Easter bunny from grandma, the toy that Dad won baby girl at a carnival, you can always use Ziploc® Space Bag® products to store those memorable stuffed animals.
These bags have the ability to significantly compress items, creating more space compared to uncompressed storage volume.
Look how great it compresses! Thank you, Ziploc® brand for saving me space!
While I had the vacuum out, I also stored my maternity clothes that I wore A LITTLE too long. You can find more amazing use cases for Ziploc® Space Bag® products for by checking out these ideas.
You can use clip art or take a real picture of the toys to create toy bin labels. Not only does this give every toy a home, but it also allows toys to send subliminal messages that say "put me back in my bin please". Kidding. #notreally
Get Book Bins
Book bins allow for more space in your playroom as well as for the books to sit up right so your kids can choose the right one for them!
In this past year of doing this, we have found that using the tips above as a guide to organizing, annual purge and storage of toys, and a monthly rotation of toys keeps our kids in the playroom longer as well as a marked improvement on them picking up after themselves!
Before starting your own playroom organizing journey, I'd highly suggest getting your labels, plastic storage bins/totes, and Ziploc® Space Bag® products ready beforehand (those little "helpers" might help a little too much while you are organizing, but not yet ready to pack/store/purge). You can find all these products at Lowe's in the Home Organization section.
How do you organize your kids toys? Have you ever thought about using Ziploc® Space Bags® to store their stuffed animals? Leave a comment below!