In the theme of Spring Cleaning, I decided to dive into actually organizing the kids playroom. After a year of quarantine and accumulating so much stuff to keep these kids entertained, our playroom had become a total disaster zone and an absolute nightmare. For the longest time I just threw stuff in baskets or bins on the floor and hoped for the best. Everything was always a mess and it drove me crazy. I hit my breaking point after Christmas with a couple visits from Santa at the grandparents house. I knew I had to really beef up my organization game and finally get the playroom in order.
I started by going through everything. Every single toy was brought out and divided into groups: trash, donate, and keep.
Out With the Old
Any game or toy that was broken or missing pieces I tossed in the trash. It drives me nuts to have so many random pieces to things and just random garbage mixed in with toys. So off to the trash it all went! After that I went through the “donation” pile. We have a nonprofit in town that runs a thrift shop. It has been my go-to spot for donations these past few years. They donate all proceeds to the local K-12 schools to help fund scholarships for graduating seniors and for various grants that teachers and educators can apply for. Its an awesome cause and a great way to give back to the community while cleaning up your house.
The Keep Pile
The “keep” pile was everything that I know the kids still play with. None of it is broken or missing pieces and its all stuff that I know they will continue to play with. I knew I wanted to get a cubby system as a way to organize and hide all the clutter. I found a pretty inexpensive unit at Target and ordered some cubbies off Amazon. With 6 cubbies, I separated all the toys into 6 groups so they would all have a place. We did (1) Cars & Trucks, (2) Barbies & Dolls, (3) Little People & accessories, (4) Blocks, (5) Puzzles & Games, (6) Sports Balls. Once everything had a place, it instantly felt cleaner!
Organizing All the Things
In addition the the cubbies, I put up two bookshelves for the kids library. We had received a bookshelf for each baby shower for the kids and once they started sharing a room, the bookshelves needed a new home. The playroom was a perfect spot for them! If there’s one thing these kids love, its books! So I set up each one in a corner and put the kids chairs next to them to give them each a little reading area. I added a basket on the bottom shelf of each to hold any extra stuffed animals and their musical instruments. Santa brought the kids this easel from Melissa & Doug so that got moved into a corner to block off the closet and I threw a small bin underneath it full of their art supplies. We hung up a big bulletin board so they can show off all their art projects and I ordered this fun sign (its on sale right now!) to add to one of the blank walls. Finally we ordered this big road rug (it happens to be on sale right now too!). While we waited on the rug, my uncle gifted Oliver a Thomas the Train railroad board that is perfect for setting up his train tracks and playing with his cars.
Keeping it Clean
Now, not only do I feel better about controlling the mess, but he kids have an easier time helping clean up as well. Since everything has a clear and specific spot, they know exactly where to grab the toys they want to play with and where to put them back when they’re done! Obviously cleaning up is a bit of a work in progress with my little Tasmanian Devils, but the fact that they’re at least trying is a great first step!
My Tips & Tricks
In order to go through everything and assemble the cubbies and then clean it all up, this project took me a little over half a day. Not having the kids running around and undoing everything was a huge time saver! A little piece of advice I have for anyone attempting to declutter and purge their kid’s toys or playroom is to do it when they’re not around! If they see anything (and I mean anything, seriously. Oliver suddenly became emotionally attached to a piece of a broken board game he never knew existed) they will find a way to try and keep it. Another piece of advice is to get quality, durable, and versatile storage. The cubby system is great because it can double as a bookcase or even be used in other rooms of the house without looking terribly out of place. Finally, if you’re looking to add some other toys to your playroom, add toys that the kids can grow with. I love Montessori toys because not only are they beautifully made, but they are timeless. As they hit new milestones and developmental stages, they find new and creative ways to manipulate and play with them. No need to constantly buy new toys and they can always find a new way to be entertained. It’s a win-win! My goal with this playroom was to keep it kid-friendly and functional while also giving me the ability to hide a lot of the clutter. A few months in and we still love it!
Have you started your Spring Cleaning yet? How about tackling that messy playroom? Let me know!
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