Today my toddler and I spent a few hours getting my kids’ playroom organized, cleaning up, taking out trash, and sorting through toys.
Luckily she’s three, so I could entertain her with something while I quickly stuffed unused toys into a large bag to take to Goodwill.
After reading Shonda Rhimes’ The Year of Yes, I was inspired to get rid of things in my house that brought a negative emotional reaction or no emotional reaction at all.
Kids don’t quite understand this concept – if you hold any toy up in front of one of my girls, immediately they have special memories and a million reasons they need to keep every single one. Therefore, Mama cleans and declutters the playroom when the older kids are at school!
Getting The Playroom Organized in Three Easy Steps!
1. Make A Mess
I know it sounds counterproductive but hear me out!
The first thing I did was pour every single toy out onto the ground. Then I arranged my bins around me and started sorting into groups: keep, trash, and donate. Toys that I know they still play with on the regular, as well as my vintage toys from when I was a kid, went into the keep bins. The insane amount of paper clippings, used stickers, and snack wrappers (um excuse me? There’s no food in the playroom!) went into the trash along with any broken toys. The toys that they neglect, forgot, or require batteries (you parents feel me on this, right?!) went into the donate bag.
2. Get Organized
Once I had the trash and donate bag out of the way, I got down to organizing. I love to organize. I love it when everything is in a labeled box or bag and in it’s place. It brings me an incredible amount of joy. This doesn’t have to be an expensive or complicated process: I often use old diaper or Amazon boxes and label them with a permanent marker.
My favorite organizing accessories have to be personalized bags I get from a local consultant and these clear shoe boxes I buy when they are on sale. (Bonus, when I buy them on Amazon they come in another box I can use to organize!) The shoe boxes are easily labeled with permanent marker as well.
When I know what’s being kept, I organize into categories:
-Active (hula hoops and jump ropes, etc)
-Legos (Always a million legos!)
-Baby dolls and their accessories
Then, I vacuum because somehow, the floor is always gritty down there. I don’t know what those kids are doing but whatever it is, it creates a super gross floor!
I’ve found that when I clear out the playroom, the kids immediately know something is missing unless I rearrange. I don’t know if it’s some mind trick like those seeing-eye pictures from the library in my elementary school but when I move things around, they don’t seem to notice and I don’t have to listen to anyone wax poetic about that one dress up shoe they were saving until they found the matching one. It’s a beautiful thing.
It’s not perfect. It’s probably not Pinterest-worthy, but it’s real life and it’s much better than it was. And they will probably even keep it clean and organized for a day or two – my obsessed brain has to pretty much leave the kids to their own devices or else I will make myself crazy getting toys back into the correct labeled bins.
It feels so amazing to have everything purged and organized, if even for a moment. What are your trouble areas when it comes to organization? Leave your answers in the comments!