There is nothing more heartwarming than seeing adorable kiddos at play, learning new skills, and simply enjoying all the adventures their amazing imaginations take them. However, there is also the cleanup that needs to occur once all the play is done for the day (and don’t worry, we have all experienced it!). If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to organize your kiddos’ playroom—or even just how to maximize storage space in a creative way—we’re here to help!
We put together some tips to help you #GTD by decluttering, organizing, and getting ahead of future messes. Simply put, here are 3 steps you can follow.
- Categorize and declutter the space.
- Find an organizational system that works for you.
- Get ahead of future messes.
Revamping takes time and lots of energy. Give yourself grace and do a little bit each week. Or if you're a "let's just get it done" kind of person, schedule a solid block of uninterrupted time (we recommend at least 4-8 hours!).
STEP ONE: Categorize and declutter the space.
Before jumping head first into organizing #AllTheThings, we recommend you go through your child’s toys and categorize: donate, trash, and keep. Be prepared: the room will get messier before it’s not! There’s a solid chance that your kiddo has outgrown some toys and you can start organizing piles based on toys you want to donate or share with friends who are parents to younger children. You may even surprise yourself by how many boxes end up being filled up as you organize (our own marketing guru, Randee, filled up over FIVE moving boxes to donate)! For toys that are broken beyond repair, throw them in the trash pile.
For donations, this is a great opportunity to teach your child the importance of giving—and you can even involve them in periodic toy donations going forward. As your kiddos grow and their interests change, have them select toys they no longer play with to share with other kiddos. Not to mention, feel free to organize a couple of toy swaps with fellow parent friends! It’s a fantastic (and low budget/cost) way to share toys with other families. Our team loves posting (and searching!) in the “Buy Nothing” Facebook groups. Search “Buy Nothing + [Your City]” to find one near you. National groups like the Salvation Army also schedule donation pickups where they’ll come to you and take donations for you.
STEP TWO: Find an organizational system that works for you.
Invest in Cube Storage
Now that you’ve made a “KEEP” pile, it’s time to organize the playroom. If you’re looking for a versatile organization system that you can use in your child’s playroom where everything has a home (or any part of the house, really!), look no further than cube storage. It’s not only an effective way to compartmentalize and organize a space, but it’s also relatively easy on the wallet. Moreover, this type of organizational system can easily grow with your kids and their evolving interests (especially once they start getting involved in sports and other activities!). Search local buy-nothing Facebook groups.
We love using clear cube bins to display your kid’s favorite toys or mix them up with labeled fabric bins to organize more complex toys and games. There’s an endless variety of styles out there at all different price points. And don’t be afraid to have a little fun with colors! You can assign a specific color for each category (e.g., blue for building blocks, yellow for art supplies), making it easier for your child to clean up after playtime. You'll be amazed at how quickly they catch on!
Pro Tip: For a little labeling fun, create simple, pictorial labels for each storage bin. Your child can draw or place stickers on the labels, enhancing their cognitive skills while ensuring everything has a designated home.
Use Vertical Storage
Don’t forget that you can maximize vertical storage opportunities by using wall space or even doors. A can work wonders for storing toys behind a door and can easily install shelves, hooks, and pegboards to customize some wall storage. The opportunities for creativity and customization to suit your organization needs are truly endless. Vertical storage not only saves floor space, but it also adds an interesting visual element to your kiddos’ playroom!
Display (and Store) Artwork
If you have a little Monet or Van Gogh in your home, you will understand how there can be a lot of artwork taking up space in the playroom. Encourage your child’s artistic imagination by dedicating a wall to showcase their masterpieces. Use simple frames or strings with clips to showcase their drawings, paintings, and crafts. Your kiddo will beam with pride seeing their work on display! As the display wall becomes full, use this opportunity to move pieces into storage or recycle paper art.
STEP THREE: Get ahead of future messes.
Get Little Ones Involved
Now that yo’ure basking in the glory of your decluttered and organized space, help it stay that way! No one said that cleaning up had to be something you don’t look forward to—so make it a fun routine for you and your little ones to enjoy! Set a timer and turn cleanup into a challenge or put on some upbeat music to get grooving! Here are also a few “cleanup games” that you can try with your kiddos:
- Color Pick Up: If you have multi-colored foam tiles in your playroom, call out colors one by one and let your kids pick up the toys in each respective section—or ask your kids to pick up toys that fall within that color category!
- Toy Counter: Ask your kiddos to count out loud the number of toys they put away.
- Bedtime for Playland: Perfect for children who like to broaden their imaginations, this allows your child to be involved in getting their toys “ready for bed”. At the end of the day, tell your kids that their toys are sleepy and it’s time for them to sleep in their “homes.” Feel free to incorporate some reading time by asking them to read their little friends a bedtime story (or two!).
Start a Toy Rotation
Another way to keep your playroom tidy is to limit the number of toys in it and what better way to do that than by starting a toy rotation? You’re not necessarily getting rid of your kiddo’s favorite toys. Keep some toys out of sight (and mind) for a few weeks and bring them back into the playroom. This will help reignite the appeal for those toys and keep playtime exciting for your kiddos. Rotate out toys weekly, biweekly…the beauty of this approach is that you can gauge it based on what works best for you and your kids!
Transforming your child's playroom into an organized haven doesn't have to be a daunting project. With these creative tips, you'll be well on your way to creating a space where imagination knows no bounds and playtime becomes a cherished memory for years to come.
Here’s to happy organizing and playing! We’d love to see how you organize your playroom. Please share with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by posting on social and tagging #GoBeKids.