Believe it or not, our kids weren't born organizing savants. If they had it their way, we'd both be buried in a sea of Legos and Barbie shoes at this very moment. But thanks to the functional systems we have in place, that's not our reality.
We're confident that your playroom isn't a lost cause either. If our kids can maintain a level of organization, so can yours. It all comes down to creating intuitive systems they can understand and take pride in.
Contain The Space
Even if you don't have the space for a play "room", you still need to designate a specific area where the majority of toys will live. By doing this, kids will develop a sense of ownership and will be less likely to move playtime to other areas of the home.
More importantly, you need to contain the items within a zoned space—just like you would in a pantry or drawer.
Bulky items (stuffed animals, blocks, and train sets): Store in large floor baskets that are durable and easy to access. If you prefer a shelving system, use open movable bins that comfortably fit the items.
For items that are too bulky for a container, designate a specific zone instead. For instance, if you have a lot of trucks, line them up and create a parking lot.
Puzzles, games, books: Since these items are mostly contained, they can live on a shelf next to cute decor items. (If you don't have shelving, an Elfa system is an easy and customizable option.) For those who'd rather contain the items, keep them categorized in open bins or acrylic dividers.
Small specific items (Legos, Barbies, doll accessories, craft supplies): Use stackable shoe boxes, modular drawer storage, and smaller bins or caddies to store items that get lost in the mix. Identify each category with a paint pen that will easily wipe clean with rubbing alcohol for future updating.
Acrylic turntables and canisters are another way to highlight favorite or most-used items—especially for art supplies like markers, crayons, and scissors.
Don't Get Too Specific
Instead of separating out smaller Legos from larger Duplos, consider allowing for more interpretation in where things belong. Creating broad categories that kids intuitively understand — blocks, dolls, dress-up, and so on — will help with long-term maintenance and keep your home neat.
Sort By Color (ROYGBIV)
Organizing according to the rainbow helps create a playful and creative space for kids, and a stylized space for adults. Arrange the books, art supplies, toys, and pretend food by color, and you will not only have a pretty playroom, but your kids will automatically know where everything is stored.
The rainbow system has the extra bonus of turning clean-up into a color sorting activity, making it into a fun game. It’s a win/win for the entire household.
Kids grow out of toys as quickly as they grow out of clothes. We recommend editing your kids' items twice a year (or more!) to clear out the clutter, especially before holidays or birthdays.
Kids also tend to be natural hoarders—which means that editing their toys can often turn into a temper tantrum. But it actually helps to get them involved so they understand that getting rid of those items will help them to make room for the items that they do use and love. It's also a great way to start building healthy habits while teaching the importance of donating items to those in need.
Create A Drop Zone
Designate a separate playtime floor basket where kids can throw their toys as they are done playing with them. This way, clean-up is more contained and it's as easy as grabbing in the basket and returning the items where they belong.
Looking for more storage solutions? Whether it's for the playroom or the kitchen, find them here
Xo, Clea + Joanna