Toys can be the worst, right? On one hand, they keep our kids entertained (which is helpful), but on the other, they have a way of completely taking over our homes without warning.

Thankfully, there are ways to control the chaos, in ways that kids can *actually* maintain. It doesn't matter whether you have a spacious playroom or just a corner in the living room, you can still create simple and intuitive systems that benefit the entire family.

Before we dive into this week's mini-projects, let's go over the basic principles of playroom organization:

-When purging items, NEVER ask a child if they still like something. They will *always* say yes, even if they've never touched it before. Just go with your gut.

-Create zones. Just like teachers do in a classroom. Kids thrive on routine, especially when cubbies and bins are involved.

-Don't get too specific with categories. There will always be an outlier and this will make sure everything has a definite home.

-Go label crazy. Once again, like in a classroom! (We sell pre-made or custom labels in here on THE site!) For the kids who aren't able to read yet, sorting items by color is just as effective.

Alright, let's tackle these toys, y'all.

Designate a Drop Spot

Kids have a short attention span—it's unrealistic to think they will return a toy before grabbing another one. The solution? A designated drop spot, preferably with wheels. By containing the mess as they go, clean-up time feels much more manageable, especially when everything has a home.

2 Bushel Square Carry Basket | Steel Canvas

Create a Colorful Display

Install a set of low floating shelves to add a pop of color, free up floor space, and give kids easy access to their favorite books. In this playroom, we used lucite shelving from The Container Store, which blended nicely with the home's minimal aesthetic.

Many kids revere their completed Lego sets or large figurines as literal works of art, so you might as well use acrylic display cases to let them shine.

Bin Your Boxed Sets

Let's be honest, game and puzzle boxes aren't built for wear and tear. To preserve the items and avoid lost pieces, contain them separately in stackable bins that are durable and easier for little hands to grab.

Invest in An Elfa System

We're all about storage solutions that customize to your needs. An Elfa system is an affordable way to build shelving that easily transforms from toy storage to a study station as your kids grow.

Contain by Size

Certain toys are easy to store while others are a bit more complicated. Either way, it all comes down to containing categories and providing easy access from playtime to clean-up time.

Create your own "parking lot" on a shelf for large vehicles. Not only will they be easier to access, it doubles as a fun and playful decor piece.

Contain smaller items like Legos, trucks, and figurines in stackable bins, sorted by color or type.

If you would rather utilize drawer space for smaller items, create a grab-and-go system with cups or inserts.

Choose cubby bins that are durable, roomy, and light enough for kids to pull from a shelf. We love minimal designs for concealing items, just make sure to add a labeled bin clip!

Since dolls come with *all* kinds of accessories these days, the categories can be a bit more specific. Store them in stackable bins, with the smaller items sub-divided in inserts.

Enforce Craft Control

Turntables provide easy access to art supplies and can be sorted in ROYGBIV. It helps to include cups or jars in a turntable for items like crayons to keep them upright, making it easier to see every color. 

Use canisters and light bins to store supplies in separate categories, which makes it easy to remove only what you need from a shelf or cabinet and return it when they are done.

If you'd rather keep craft items hidden away (which we don't blame you), a 3-tier cart with categorized inserts is your solution. Wheel it out when it's necessary and store it away when it's not.


clea + joanna


Divided Fridge Drawer Clear
Divided Turntable
Tall Drawer
Egg Bin
Narrow Drawer
Large Berry Bin
Produce Bin
Small Fridge Bin
Tip 1: Stock Up on Healthy Staples

If you want to start eating healthier, you obviously need to stock your fridge with healthy food. It helps to create a list of core staples to have on hand at all times. This takes the guesswork out of grocery shopping, and you’ll feel more prepared during meal and snack time. 

Tip 2: Edit, Edit, Edit

When it comes to actually organizing your fridge, don’t skip the editing process. Even if you don’t feel like it, start by removing every single item from your fridge until it’s completely empty. We suggest keeping a trash bag nearby and tossing anything expired as you go. And since your fridge shelves are probably due for a deep clean, here’s your chance to actually get in there and wipe off that weird sticky layer! 

Tip 3: Create Zones

Every category should live in a designated zone (location) and preferably, within a contained and visible home (clear product). This allows everything to be accessible, accounted for, and aesthetically pleasing...while also maximizing shelf space.

Tip 4: Label It

Labeling isn’t just the finishing touch, it’s actually the secret sauce of the system. Labels are really just straightforward directions for where items go. They concretely identify the contents that live in each container. It not only helps *you* maintain the system, but it holds your kids, your partner, and anyone else using the space, too. 

*Reminder: Think broad, not specific when labeling your categories. It should be a simple road map that’s flexible enough for the occasional outlier. 

Tip 5: Freeze It

Your freezer is valuable real estate in your fridge set up, so clear out those old popsicles and spilled frozen peas to make room for favorites your family will actually eat. We're looking at you last minute meals.

We love using our Freezer Bins to contain the chaos amongst the frozen pizzas and kids snacks. Organizing this space will take the dread out of opening this often-forgotten area, we promise!

Thoughts welcome!

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