If your kid’s playroom looks like a tornado ripped through it immediately following the holidays, there’s a good chance that you need to find a good system to get things back on track and organized! Obviously, cleaning up the clutter is easier said than done. Where do you start and when do you know you’re finished?
First Things First
Let’s get rid of the toys that are broken and games that are missing pieces. Now, you may want to do this while your children are busy playing somewhere else, or even sleeping, because, it never fails: the moment you decide that a broken toy needs to be thrown away, they will decide that it’s their favorite toy in the world! Once you are sure that you’ve sorted out all of the broken toys and pieces, it’s time to organize, organize, organize!
Divide and Conquer
Now, it’s time to grab the kids and “divide and conquer”. A well-organized playroom will consist of separate areas of activities. Using bins, decorated boxes, Rubbermaid containers, hat boxes, or anything else you can think of to hold items, and make sure there is a place for everything.
• In the “Building” area, sort the building blocks, Lincoln logs, and Duplo sets. Keep the types of blocks separated into their own bins.
• Create an “arts and crafts” area by putting the crayons, paints, construction paper, markers, play dough, and other arts supplies in their specific containers, preferably on shelves.
• An area for games, like Twister and Chutes and Ladders, can also be created. The same shelves that the arts and crafts items are kept on can be used for the games, too.
• Separate the toys into categories, too. Rubbermaid containers are perfect for this! Trucks and cars can be kept in a container, Zhu Zhu Pets sets can be kept in another, and Barbies can have their own “home”, too.
• Let the children decide which area they want to make the “art zone” and which area they want the “building zone” to be. Don’t be afraid to let them make the decisions in their play space.
You may notice that the more they are allowed to make decisions, the more they will participate in the clean-up. Be sure to keep them focused and on track while you’re cleaning – quite often children will start to play with the toys and forget that they’re supposed to be cleaning up – simply re-direct them to where they left off and remind them that they will be able to play with everything once it’s completely organized.
Although it’s a daunting task to take on, and it can take hours – or days – to get things completely on track in the playroom after the holidays, you will find that your children enjoy playing in a more organized and structured area. You will also find that the daily upkeep of the playroom is much easier once it’s all said and done.