Wednesday, September 28, 2011

De-cluttering and Organizing the Playroom #WallTracks

There was a time where my children’s playroom was bulging at the seams, precariously awaiting the addition of one more toy for a toy explosion that would for sure blow toys all over the house.  I had had it.  I was tired of the mess of toys that were creeping out of the playroom into the living area.  The main problem was lack of organization and it was time to de-clutter as well.  Walking into the playroom, this task seemed quite daunting and overwhelming, so I did as any good mother would do.  Walk out.  Yes, it just seemed next to impossible, so I left it for another day.  And another.  Finally, I pulled myself up by the bootstraps, no that’s not right.  I borrowed my husband’s wader boots.  Seriously, I could have used them before stepping in all that crap.  But I did it, I went in and organized and de-cluttered.  And it wasn’t quite as bad as I had originally feared.  Yes, it did take some time and effort, but the payoff of a neat and orderly room was well worth it.  Here are my tips:
  •  At the start of the project, make a quick go though and see if there are toys and other items that your children will never miss and get rid of them.
  • Round up the kids.  You will need their help.  Have them go through the room the day before you start and choose any toys they no longer play with.  I like to tell my kids they have to find a specific number of toys to get rid of.
  • Grab three boxes.  Mark the first “SELL.”  Have your children go through their stuff, starting with one end of the room.  See what you can convince them to part with, reminding them that they can have the money from what they sell.
  • Mark the second box as “DONATE.”  I like to encourage my children to donate some of their toys, even suggesting they take something out of the sell box.
  • The third box is “KEEP.”  This is going to be the biggest, so you may want to just make a pile in a corner of the room.
  • Be creative with storage.  Some great storage solutions are shelves, baskets, totes, containers
  • Don’t have the money to buy fancy storage containers?  Simply use cardboard boxes without the lids.  To make them look nicer, wrap them in wrapping paper or paint them with leftover paint.  Better yet, have the kids paint them.  I also like to save plastic food containers, especially the clear ones that organic spinach or cut pineapple comes in. 
  • Label things.  Label containers, shelves or anything else.  That way, your children will know what goes where.  If your children can’t read, take a picture, print it off and attach it to the container.
  • Don’t forget about storage in unique places, like under the bed or couch.  Once again, you don’t have to purchase a fancy container—a simple thin cardboard box will do the trick.  Another great, inexpensive idea is to buy brackets and make some shelving.  A plastic shoe holder that hangs from the door is great for organizing many things, especially craft items.
  • Organize books on the shelves by size.  That will automatically make the room look neater.
  • Make sure to include baskets or containers for little toys.  It seemed like Polly Pocket items were all over the house till I designated a container for all the pieces.

Once you have your room organized and declutterd, don’t think for a minute that you can just forget about it.  Try to make a quick go through daily with your children to put items away and weekly to make sure things are in their place.  Monthly, have your children pick a few toys to eliminate so your playroom is not overwhelmed with too many toys.

What are your tips to organize and de-clutter a playroom?

Disclosure:  I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hot Wheels® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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