A few months ago, I’d had enough. The playroom was a MESS. We were drowning in clutter and I couldn’t take it anymore.
Toys were everywhere- ALL THE TIME. They never got cleaned up. In fact, most of them never even got played with. My kids’ games seemed to consist of dumping out all of a certain type of toy, spreading it around, and leaving it there. None of us were happy and the clutter was threatening my sanity. So I decided to get rid of the playroom and move all of the kids’ toys up into their room.
My sister was coming home for the summer so it was a great opportunity to try the idea on for size. I told myself I would clear out the room to be hers while she stayed with us. When she left, I would turn it into an office. Or, I could put it back the way it was if I wanted to (HAHA).
How to clean out the playroom in five easy steps:
1. Throw away all the broken toys and tiny plastic junk.
Single barbie shoe, anyone? Lone game piece from a long-lost game? Plastic Chuck E. Cheese whistle? Toss them. All of them.
2. Create a game plan to determine what you will keep.
You can include your kids in this process (or not). I decided to keep established favorite toys (yes, to my disappointment that included the barbies) and a select few toys I thought encouraged creative play (legos, baby dolls, and wooden blocks).
My plan: limit what I kept to what would fit in the eight cube organizer that I already had in the playroom. I moved this cube to their room as storage for their newly diminished toy stash. I also kept their art supplies, but moved them into the dining room. From here, I’d be able to more closely monitor what they were taking out (and putting away) to prevent “dumping” of the bins.
3. Sort what’s left into piles three piles: keep, donate, and maybe.
If the maybe pile gets too big, move some (or all) of it to the donate pile.
4. As you go through, ACTUALLY DONATE the stuff you weed out.
Do this or it WILL creep back into the rotation. I’m not kidding. I can’t tell you how many times my kids find old toys in the basement, set aside for donation, and bring them back upstairs! GAHHH!
So now it all goes straight to Saver’s. They accept ANYTHING besides baby items that are intended to restrain the baby (i.e. carseats, highchairs, bouncers).
5. Move and organize the toys in their new home.
Now, sit back and watch your kids playing with toys they’ve ignored for months. It really works, I promise.
After my sister left, I converted the playroom to an office. Sporting a fresh coat of paint, the room has gained a little of the clutter back as it is in the process of being reorganized- AGAIN. But it is still an improvement!
Do my kids keep their room perfectly clean now that they have to live with their clutter? NO. But at least the mess is confined to one room and contains toys they are actively playing with! As an added bonus, I have desk space to do my blogging and work from home for Yoga in ME. And that’s a win!
Are you fighting a losing battle against playroom clutter?
What tactics have you used to control the chaos?