Toys somehow keep sneaking into your home. The piles keep growing and growing with each passing holiday and birthday party goodie bag! Sometimes, the toys strut right in and demand to live rent-free in your precious little storage space. Your playroom is bursting with toys, yet your kids look disengaged and bored. How is that even possible?
Did you know that studies show that too many toys can make kids feel overwhelmed and bored? Fewer toys actually mean more creativity and play. "Enough is enough," you think! But where would you even start creating a simplified and organized playroom? Read ahead for our expert tips on organizing your playroom to enhance fun and creativity.
Tip 1: Keep Toys That Spark Creativity
The most important step we take as professional organizers in organizing playrooms is decluttering! We work with clients to let go of toys that are broken, outgrown, or that aren't favorites or played with often. You’ll end up with the highest quality toys and items that can spark creativity.
Remember, too many toys can be overwhelming. Many toys "entertain" kids with flashing lights and music. While having a couple of these can be useful, they don't allow kids to be independently imaginative. Items like books, art supplies, and toys that enable them to create the narrative are best. A dancing scarf can become a dragon flying through the sky or a blanket to swaddle a baby doll.
When decluttering toys, parents often worry their kids will get upset and want something back. A good safety net for this can be to keep items in the garage in bags for a month before donating (without your kids knowing they're there!). That way, if your child gets upset that something is missing, you can get it back from the garage. Although we don't usually encourage holding onto donations (we typically take them to donate for you on the day of your session), we like to make this exception with toys.
Tip 2: Let Your Kids View Their Options
We want to keep similar items together when sorting items in a playroom. For example, all stuffed animals, art supplies, puzzles, kitchen play food, and legos are together. Then, keep them visible by storing them in clear bins, open baskets, or displayed on shelves.
Seeing items encourages kids to play with the toys, and since we've already decluttered and sorted like items together, there will be minimal toys out to create visual clutter. We love using baskets to store books since they're easier to sort through. You can choose a book, put it away, and grab one book without the whole bookshelf falling off or over.
Tip 3: Rotate Toys to Keep Things Exciting
Along with decluttering, consider rotating toys to limit what your kids can access at once. This can be helpful if you have too many favorite toys but don't want them all out simultaneously. Involve your kids when it's time to rotate by letting them know you will have some "new" toys to play with from storage. For example, tell them they can pick out five new toys to play with this week, and the other current toys can have a rest. Store unused toys in the rotation in bins somewhere, like a closet or attic. Set a reminder on your phone to rotate new toys after a couple of weeks so you remember.
An even easier solution than having a rotation system: storing toys you don't care to be played with often in cube shelf bins or other closed storage will naturally encourage less play. Then, you can pull out the bins when you'd like them to be played with. This is an easy way to "rotate" toys without much added effort of remembering to actually rotate!
Tip 4: Encourage Your Littles to Get Involved & Help Clean Up
Broad categories with large baskets or toy chests allow quick and easy clean-up. For example, you can use a large toy chest for stuffed animals, a few book baskets, and a smaller basket for all those small toys. This corrals the mess and reduces visual clutter. It also makes it super easy for kids to help clean up.
Getting the kids involved can help maintain the organization. Do they have a special spot they want to line up their stuffed animals? Pretend the playroom is a neighborhood, and each toy needs its own special "home" to live in and go back to at the end of each day. Making a little "parking garage" on the floor with painter's tape can be fun so your children can park their mini cars and ride horsies.
Increase their motivation by making it a competition with siblings to see who can put their toys away the fastest. Making the process fun will increase the likelihood you're not the only one stuck keeping things in order.
Organizing your playroom and dealing with the constant barrage of toys can be overwhelming. We get it! No playroom is going to be perfect. If anything, take this as permission to let go of many of their toys. Remember, it will help their creativity to have less, not hurt it.
A simple, easy-to-maintain system will encourage order, creative play, and learning all at once! Your kids can get messy and have a blast and then be able to get things quickly back to square one.
We've got your back if you're ready for an expert to create playroom organization systems that simplify your life! Download our organizing guide to see how we can help.
See you soon,
At Hello Simplified, we specialize in helping clients going through big life changes. We offer home organizing services and packing & unpacking services. Read through for tips on how we help our clients feel less overwhelmed and more in control of their busy lives and homes.