31 Days of Organizing: Day 19 (Playrooms) | From Overwhelmed to Organized: 31 Days of Organizing: Day 19 (Playrooms)

Friday, October 19, 2012

31 Days of Organizing: Day 19 (Playrooms)

Welcome to Day Nineteen of the 31 Days of Organizing Tips series!  I'm so glad you've joined me.  Throughout this series I'll be sharing organizing tips that will help you on your journey from overwhelmed to organized.  I'll include lots of pictures and links for ideas that I've found around the web that relate to the topic each day.  You'll find a complete list of all the posts in the 31 Days of Organizing Tips tab above, or at the end of this post.

Today I want to help you organize your playroom.  Kids' toys can be very overwhelming (I know ours are!) and sometimes it feels like they multiply while you sleep :)  Even a well-organized playroom needs tweaking from time to time because kids' toys change over time and they may outgrow the systems that worked previously.  Plus, playrooms get a lot of use!

No matter what age your kids are, you probably have a lot of toys.  With little ones, it's often big things like ride-on toys, play kitchens, tool benches, trucks, and Fisher Price castles, school houses, or garages, as well as collections of blocks and wooden train tracks.  School aged kids move on to Barbies, action figures, My Little Pony, and Lego, as well as puzzles and games.  Older kids have an increasing collection of entertainment items like electronic games, gaming system accessories and probably still a lot of Lego :)  All of these toys need to be organized so that everything has a place and there is a place for everything.

Playrooms can be organized in ways that will help control the chaos and also allow your kids to enjoy their toys without you losing your mind dealing with a big mess.  If you don't have a designated playroom, these tips apply for wherever your kids keep their toys (bedrooms, family room, basement, etc.).

Here are a few tips to help you organize your playroom:

  • Purge regularly!  As your kids outgrow toys, give them away.  Before birthdays and Christmas purge some of the toys they are not playing with anymore so you have room for the new ones.  Follow the "one in, one out" rule with toys (or if you haven't been very good about purging you may want to start with "one in, two out"!).
  • Group collections of toys together and store them in containers.  I'll share pictures of lots of great container options below.  
  • Label the containers so toys can always be returned to where they belong.  If you have young children who can't read, use pictures to label instead of words (or use both - early word association never hurts!).
  • Help your children learn to only play with one toy at a time.  It makes clean up SO much easier.  Having your toys grouped in containers really helps with this.
  • Set up sections in your playroom based on different types of activities.  For example, have a toy area, a reading nook, a dress-up closet, a puzzle/games cupboard, and an art/craft zone.  This will help keep the items used for each of these activities separate.  
  • Teach your kids where everything belongs so they can help keep it organized :)

OK, enough talk.  Here are several examples of these tips in action to give you ideas and inspiration.  Each picture has a link below it that will take you to a blog post with LOTS of other pictures and ideas too.

1.  Here's a mix of baskets, pails, and drawers to store books, toys, DVDs, games, and gaming systems.  I like the pretty colours too.

Toy Organization

2.  I like the labels on these pails and baskets.

Storing Children's Toys & Books

3.  This playroom has a mix of clear bins and wicker baskets as well as open shelves for bigger toys so they are easily accessible (you can see more of them in her post).

Playroom Organization

4.  This playroom is huge!  It's any kids' dream playroom :)

Playroom & Toy Organization
And look at the great storage she put into her playroom closet in order to keep that floor so neat and tidy.  I love the mesh bins!

Playroom & Toy Organization

5.  Isn't this playroom closet beautifully organized?  I really like that she can close those doors up and hide everything, but with how beautiful it looks she wouldn't even need to :)

Playroom Closet Organizing
I love the use of chalk labels so that they can be easily changed as the toys change.

Playroom Closet Organizing

6.  I really like the bright colours in this playroom.

Motivated Mommy of Two: Organizational Challenge (site has been removed)
And we have these same toy bins but ours don't look as nicely organized as these.  Did I mention that I really need to tackle our toys :)

[Update: Here's what one of our sets of toy bins looks like.  Click the link to read more about how I organized them and see more pictures!]

Organizing Toy Bins

7.  This is a really cute playroom for little ones.  The way the books are displayed makes it easy for toddlers to see them and put them back and the cubes for larger toys make cleaning up simple for little children too.

Organized Playroom
Please remember to pin these pictures from the original source.  These bloggers deserve the credit for their beautiful playrooms :)

Most of these bloggers admit that their playrooms don't always look this organized and tidy (and many of them show pictures to prove it!) so don't get overwhelmed thinking your playroom can never look as nice as these :)  The key is to draw ideas from these playrooms and figure out what will work for you.  Once you put an organized system in place, it will be far easier to maintain it.  It's worth the initial time and effort!

And I'm saying these things as much for me as for you because we've completely outgrown our old toy organizing systems.  Stay tuned for pictures of our playroom once I tackle it :)

For Day Nineteen, go through the toys in your house and purge.  Group the toys you want to keep into categories and find suitable containers for them.  Figure out the best layout for your playroom and organize it in a way that will work for you, your kids, and their toys.  Show your kids how you've organized it and get them on board for keeping it that way.

{Note:  If you're getting overwhelmed with all the ideas in this series, please understand that is NOT my intention! :)  This series is designed for me to write every day for a month, not for you to completely organize your house in a month.  That thought overwhelms me!  So, feel free to skim and pin/bookmark these tips now and then come back later when you're ready to tackle a particular organizing project.  I'll add a button or tab to the blog at the end of the series that will make it easy for you to find all the posts.  Hope that take some pressure off!}

Tomorrow we'll continue with tips for organizing other spaces in your house.  I look forward to going through this series with you and hearing your tips too!

For more ideas on organizing kids' things, follow my Pinterest board.
Follow From Overwhelmed To Organized's board Organizing Kids' "Stuff" on Pinterest.

How do you organize your playroom?  What's the best organizing tip you've implemented?

Have a great day and happy organizing!

Here are all the posts in the series:

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