Decluttering | Kids/Families
Best Tips for Decluttering Toys In a Playroom
When it comes to decluttering toys in your child’s playroom, the following tips will help you minimize the clutter and maximize your effort to keep it all organized.
I often get calls from young parents with young children, frazzled and frustrated over the state of their home. Their child’s toys are constantly sprawled all over the house and not one minute after they have picked everything up, their industrious toddler is dragging it all out again. Decluttering toys on a regular basis, and limiting how much you keep, has many benefits.
Why decluttering toys in your child’s playroom is important.
Most kids’ playrooms these days house more toys than we know what to do with. The more things you have in any given space, the harder will be to keep it all organized. Playrooms are no exception. Toys are our first possessions, and through them, we learn to discover and interact with the material world around us.
When we overload our children with too many toys, we are sending a message to them that material possessions are important. Children can also get overwhelmed when there are too many toys to choose from. But I know all too well that with devoted grandparents, holidays, and birthdays it is a challenge to minimize the number of toys coming into the home.
Follow these tips when organizing and decluttering toys in your child’s playroom:
1. Always include your child when you are decluttering toys.
It is never a good idea to let go of your child’s things without their permission. Make sure that decluttering is a good experience for your kids by letting them make their own decisions about what to let go of and what to keep. Use the container concept to limit how much your child keeps. Let him know he can keep whatever toys he wants as long as it all fits in the container that you have designated for that toy category.
In the photo below, I had a mom with four children ask me to organize and declutter their playroom. They had accumulated too many toys, so my first step was to sort all the toys into piles by category. Once we examined the sorted piles and finished decluttering toys no longer used, we assigned homes to everything else. We kept toy categories together using bins, drawers, or cubicles.
2. Put a cap on messes by limiting how many toys your children have access to.
Consider storing away up to ½ of your child’s toys in plastic totes and swapping them out every 3-6 months. This strategy will not only minimize your child’s playroom clutter on a daily basis, but your kids will love having fresh toys to play with every few months. But, don’t let this be an excuse for not decluttering toys that your child no longer has an interest in.
3. Sort toy collections together and store them in easily accessible bins.
Make clean-up time as simple as possible for little hands by using open containers for toy collections such as Legos, puzzles, cars, and blocks. Store them on lower shelves where they can be easily reached so that kids can clean up without your assistance.
For this family, we added plenty of storage space, using sets of cubicle and drawer units on two of the walls of the playroom. We used the open cubicles to hold larger toys and open-topped bins, and drawers to corral smaller toys.
4. Establish zones within your playroom for specific activities.
In this room, we created a kitchen play area on one side of the room and an area for playing with cars, trucks, and tractors on the other. Everything that they need for those activities is stored right there for easy use and clean up. Other play zones that you can create are a reading zone, pretend play zone, a Lego zone, and a painting zone (if you dare). There are lots of other possibilities and these are only a few examples.
For this project, they had a lot of beloved plush animals. So, we used toy nets to collect and hold them and get them up and out of the way.
Avoid toy messes by creating a consistent rule that only one category of a toy can be played with at a time. This will take some practice at first, but eventually, your child will develop the habit of knowing that they have to put the Legos away before pulling out the Transformers. This one rule will go a long way in maintaining at least some order in your playroom.
6. Use Removable Labels
Labels for specific toys help prevent containers from becoming landing spots for random toys. I can’t count how many messy playrooms I’ve seen with multiple hodgepodge containers full of miscellaneous toys. Using labels will not only prevent this problem but will make clean-up time simpler for everyone. However, since children grow and transition out of age-appropriate toys faster than you know, use hanging tag style or removable labels that can be changed as your children grow.
7. Make decluttering toys in your child’s playroom a twice-a-year routine.
New toys come into the house on a constant basis. Make sure the same amount goes out each year. Taking the time to weed out the toys that your child has grown out of or lost interest in will help keep your playroom clutter to a minimum. Involving your child in this process is a great way to teach them the value of sharing. Be sure to help them visualize how happy their donated toys will make another less fortunate child feel.
8. Decluttering toy debris regularly can also help minimize messes.
Toy debris consists of all those broken pieces, cheap restaurant toys, or random lost parts that we seem to find everywhere. In my experience, these little trinkets seem to plague every playroom from time to time and they can make us all crazy. Take time to get lost pieces back to the toys they belong to but don’t waste your time on the rest of it, just toss it out.
9. Avoid letting your child’s play area take over the whole house.
I sometimes get calls from frustrated parents who reach out to me to help them deal with the toy chaos that has somehow taken over their entire home. Often, the heart of the issue lies in the fact that they have allowed their child’s toys to invade every room in the house.
Designate one specific room in your home as the play area and be firm about not allowing toys to live anywhere else. You can also establish a rule with your child that all toys need to stay in this play area.
Avoid allowing your living room to double as the playroom. You don’t want the play area to be the first thing both you and your guests see when you enter your home. Instead, designate a less visible room in the house as a playroom.
For more tips on how to organize and declutter your child’s bedroom click below:
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