Organizing a Playroom by Christy Lingo

02 Apr 2014 11:11 AM | Julie Riber, CPO®

Organizing a Playroom

 It’s a well-known fact that toys like to multiply in homes.   Take a birthday party and add in a dash of holiday gifts and a few visits from grandparents and BAM! there are a lot more toys than space to store them.  Below are a couple of tips for keeping toy clutter organized and under control:

1.      DECIDE: Look around the room and decide how much space to devote to storing toys.  Pick an appropriately sized storage unit to hold the bins, baskets or containers in the chosen area.  If possible it is best to choose a storage unit or furniture after evaluating what and how much you will store on it.  That way you can make sure there is enough space for everything.  Work to limit the amount of toys in the space to the chosen shelving unit or cabinet. 
2.      EDIT: Choose regular interval to go through toys and purge based on age appropriateness, use and/or damage.  The change of seasons always is a great reminder to check and pare down toys.  Get in the habit of practicing the 1-in, 1-out rule when a birthday party or the holidays are right around the corner.
3.      LABEL: Picture labels are a great way to teach younger kids where to put toys away.  If you have a reader in the house, consider putting both a picture and word on the label.  Self-adhesive pockets like these are perfect because they hold 4 x 6 photos or index cards and can change as the contents inside the bin or container change.
4.      EXPERIENCE: OK, this doesn’t really apply directly to organizing toys, but it can help keep the influx of toys under control.  Rather than gifts constantly adding to the toy stash, consider asking relatives and friends to contribute to experience gifts.  Ballet classes, music lessons, zoo memberships and trips to the amusement park can get expensive but will contribute richly to a child’s development.   Family members get the added bonus of watching how their gift is used at games, recitals or a family day out.

Keeping a playroom in order requires daily maintenance.  By devoting appropriate sized storage, storing only toys that are used, labeling what is stored for easier clean up and slowing the flow of what comes in it becomes easier to maintain the order without needing to threaten to take all the toys away.

Christy Lingo is a professional organizer and owner of Simple Solutions Design in Columbus.  She is also the mother of two young boys and works daily (some days better than others) to practice what she preaches about organization with them.