Toy clutter can totally take over your entire home. Like toys everywhere… living room, play room, bed rooms. It can seem like there is a never-ending supply of toys.
But do you still here, “there’s nothing to do”? That might be a signal from your kids that their toys aren’t organized or easily accessible. I have had countless clients request help with organizing play rooms, and I have learned that there are a few ways to help limit excessive toy clutter and create a system that the kids can keep up with.
Professional Organizers Tricks For Organizing Play Rooms
Make A Mess
With any organizing project, you have to make a mess before you can organize. And organizing play rooms is no exception! By making a mess, I mean dumping everything out in a giant pile.
Pick up the first thing you see. Whatever that is, that is what you are going to dig through the pile to find more of. Don’t let the size of the pile distract you from finding one type of toy. This helps reduce clutter anxiety!!
You picked up the first thing you saw and hunted through that giant pile to find more. Create a pile of that category of toy away from your giant pile. Once you have an idea of how big the stash of toys is, you can find appropriate storage.
Sometimes it might be more cost-effective if you just use what you have. So grab a bin that could hold all the toys in that category.
Now move to the next type of toy you see. Repeat the entire process for that type of toy.
I have a free checklist and help with category of toys here!! Perfect for helping you get started.
My favorite storage option is the IKEA Kallax. I recommend this for most clients because of how versatile it is. Also the Kallax can grow with your family, as it is perfect for storing board games, books, and art supplies.
I also love a wide variety of bins for storing toys. Sometimes it is easier to have all the bins the same size, but only keep one type of toy in that bin. I recommend this for clients who have growing families and aren’t sure if they will need more storage space for a specific type of toy in the future.
Some of my favorites are:
So there are a few times that I color-code toys in the play room, and play food is one of them! I love color-coding for a few reasons. As a former teacher, it is a great way to teach young kids colors. At first they can do color matching, then as they grow, sorting!
Also most play rooms have a lot of play food and accessories. By color-coding, you are able to see exactly what types of items you have in the kitchen. This allows the kiddos to play with a wider variety, instead of what is always on the top of the bin.
There are times that I color-code books. If you have a rather large book collection, I recommend doing this both for aesthetic and functional purposes. Besides the fact that it looks pretty, it can help kids during clean up put things away, and keep the books in good condition. Ever have the kiddos put away books and they destroy the covers?? I found that color-coding actually reduces the amount of books that have been scrunched. No idea why, but from my own massive book collect for the kids, it has worked wonders!
For more book organizing tips, check out this post.
So, the most important piece is labeling all the bins!! I have a few ways that I like to do labels, depending on the kids ages/abilities.
Most of the time I create picture labels. I will snap a pic of either the inside of the bin or a few toys out of the bin. Then I will either print out just the picture or put them into a word document to add text. Finally I laminate the printed out pictures. I will attach the pictures either using binder clips or velcro. Sometimes the labels are on the outside of the bin, while other times it is on the inside of the bin. It all depends on the bin!
If I color-code, I try to put the colored food in the correct colored bin. If that isn’t possible, I will either line the bottom of the bin with the color paper, or write the color in the color on the bin.
Once all of the toys are sorted in this exact way, I can easily do a 10-minute clean up of all the toys, no matter how messy things get. And while I usually enlist my kiddos to help, there are some nights where it isn’t possible to clean up and get to bed on time. So when those evenings occur, I am not freaking out because I know I can easily clean up quickly so I can enjoy my night watching reality tv!!
And if you are on Instagram, join me and other organizers for the #LessIsMore2018 organizing challenge! This week is all about organizing play rooms and art rooms!!
For more ways to organize toy help, check out these posts: