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6 Tips for Playroom Organization and NOT going Insane
So, you’re fortunate enough to have a playroom for your kids so they don’t track toys all over your home?
Or, maybe you’re having your kids share a room for their beds and clothes, so they can have a room dedicated to their toys; possibly because you’re sick of tripping over toys while tucking them in at night?
Either way, I know how nice it is for your children to have their very own room in the home to play in!
I also know how hard it can be to keep that room clean and organized! It’s almost impossible, especially with little kids! Been there, did that, am still dealing with it!
My girls are 2 and 5 right now, and they are at a stage in which they very much enjoy testing their limits with me (though, what age do they not do this?). So, keeping their playroom organized can sometimes feel like a full time job!
But, it doesn’t have to be! I’ve picked up a few tricks to staying sane while trying to keep a playroom organized, and I’d like to share them with you; no one needs to feel like they’re alone in this fight to find some organization in their home!! I’m right there with you!
First, Don’t Expect their Playroom to Stay Organized 24/7
Obviously, they play in this room, so it’s never going to stay organized 24/7!
Plus, they’re kids; kids don’t like picking up after themselves, they like playing! No surprise there!
So, don’t expect their playroom to magically stay organized with no effort from you. A lot of the effort that goes into keeping up a playroom will lay on your shoulders….at least until you get your children into the habit of picking up after themselves.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy or quick way to do this. It takes persistence, consistency, and a lot of discipline on yours and your childs part, to make picking up after themselves a habit. And, even when they have the habit of picking up after themselves down, they still may not always do it.
They’re human, and so are we; no one’s perfect. It’s important to not unintentionally undermine our children’s hard work by telling them what they did wrong when picking up their rooms; that will just make it so they won’t want to pick up in the future. Focus on everything they did right and let them know how much you appreciate it! Encourage them to love a clean and organized room, and eventually they will!
Expect that they will need Help
Organizing one room may seem like a small task for you, or maybe a medium level task; but for a child, it’s a huge task, and after they play in it for an entire day (and forgets to pick up in between playing with different toys); they will need some help!
I can barely get a day to go by in my home when my girls don’t act like little adorable tornadoes when playing in their room!
Luckily, they have a playroom; if they didn’t, the entire house would look like what their playroom does on a daily basis!
When this happens, which it will with young children, unless you have been blessed with a naturally organized and neat child; be prepared to lend a hand or two during pick up time.
Whether they truly need the help picking up or not, may at first be hard to tell. Sometimes they may just want company while they pick up, so they don’t feel like they’re so alone, or maybe they feel like this is a chance to get more mommy time. Because they know you want the room clean, and they’re clever enough to know that you will help them if it’s too big of a mess for them to clean up by themselves. Kids can be very clever sometimes. And, the only way to tell for sure is by asking them!!
Plus, this is a great time to teach them responsibility and how you expect the room to look after they are done playing. Two very useful lessons to learn as children!!
Learning to Sort!
There’s far more lessons for children to learn when cleaning their playroom, than simply taking responsibility for the mess they make and learning how to follow instructions! They also learn how to sort items!
I still remember how in science class in middle school, they were actually teaching us how to sort animals and plants into the different kingdoms and so on. Other than learning the exact names of each phylum, class, and order; I thought everything else was pretty much common sense. Though, I’ve always loved sorting and organizing things….I guess not everyone does.
So, teaching your children from a young age how to sort and organize their toys will benefit them in the future, too!! And, with more than just picking up after themselves! It’s a lifelong skill that they will use over their entire life, and in the meantime, will help them keep their room organized and looking nice!
Easy to Access Toys
I know, they’re your childrens toys, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have some favorites, or ones you’d like seeing them play with the most. Such as toys that will help them learn, like the laugh and learn puppy from fisher price (that my husband and I bought for our youngest for her first Christmas), or toys that were not-so-cheap and you want them to get a lot of use out of!
These toys should be in an easy to reach spot in your childs playroom, like on a low shelf, or a favorite little chair. They should be some place that your children can easily access it, and see it when they first walk in. Hopefully, this will help your children want to play with it as much as you want them to. This won’t always be the case, but it’ll help!
Maybe you’ll even choose a spot in the room where some toys can be ‘out’ and not always put away. Like for their, or your, favorite toys. Or, for toys they were playing with the day before but didn’t want to get messed up; like if they were building with legos or something similar and didn’t want all their hard work to go to waste!
‘Special Occasion’ Toys
So, there are some toys we want our kids to play with more often, and then there’s the toys we don’t!
These could be those noisy toys you didn’t want them to have, but were gifted to your kids by a relative… Or, maybe it’s craft supplies and toys that make a huge mess!
They may be the toys that your children love playing with, but you can’t stand, or that your children refuse to clean up. At this point, it doesn’t matter what these toys are, but where they are.
Now, believe me, I have tried putting these type of toys up in the closet in my girls playroom, or packing them into bins in the closet in my girls playroom. But, I’ve had no success with keeping my girls from getting to them….until I just removed the toys, or craft supplies, from their playroom entirely!
Kids are smart; don’t underestimate their ability to get to something if given the time and space to figure things out on their own!
For example, my girls have a music mat, they absolutely love it!! But, it’s a bit noisy, and with still living in an apartment not our own house; our neighbors don’t appreciate it either. So, we have to make sure they aren’t playing with it early in the morning or late at night; the only way to do that is by taking it out of the playroom entirely. (And, I’ve recently learned that the top of the fridge isn’t the best place, either. Both my 5 and 2 year old know how to climb up on the counter to get things off the fridge!)
If your kids have a toy that they either need supervision with, or toys that annoy you and you only let them play with once in awhile, Do yourself a favor and take them completely out of the playroom and put them somewhere your kids don’t go, like in your own closet!
Children can get Overwhelmed, Too!
Organizing an entire home can be a little overwhelming for us! So, just imagine how overwhelming one room can be to clean for you children. Especially after they pulled all of their toys out onto the floor!
Kids can get overwhelmed, just like we can. My 5 year old has gotten so overwhelmed with her playroom before that she’s cried while asking me for help. She’s told me before that she has too much stuff. And, I’ve put most of her toys in the playroom closet before, and on a weekly basis; so she doesn’t have as much to pick up on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I’ve realized that this is only a temporary solution…
About once a week my two girls get all of their toys out; the ones in the toy box in the playroom, and everything in their closet!
So, my solution to help her with the overwhelm of cleaning up her room has not helped; it’s reduced the amount of work it takes to pick up everyday. But, once a week I still need to go in and help her conquer her fear and overwhelm of having too much stuff!
What I’ve started doing, and what I’d recommend, is to leave out a few different types of toys. Just enough for your kids to not be bored in their playroom; but not so many toys that they get overwhelmed at pick up time. Rotate their toys every so often. It’ll seem like they have new toys all the time; they may even find a treasured toy they forgot about and get excited all over again for having found it!
For the toys that are not in the playroom; store them where you would store other items, such as holiday décor, or your own closet if you have room. Or, basically anywhere you can store them and your kids not be able to find them. It’ll save all of you the stress from having to pick up a huge mess everyday or every week!!
Give yourself, and children, some Grace!
So, don’t expect your childs playroom to ever look ‘perfect’; don’t even believe for a moment that it needs to be! Know that you will need to help and teach them how to pick up their room. You’ll need to teach them how to sort their toys; that’s one of the first steps in organizing anything! Make sure you put toys you want them to play with in easier to get to spots in their room. And, anything you don’t want them playing with, simply take out of the room.
This room is for your children to play in and have fun. They shouldn’t have to worry about keeping it 100% organized 100% of the time, or even 50% of the time. They need space to play, use their imagination, and make a mess!
But, they also need to be taught how to clean up after themselves and not be overwhelmed doing so!
So, now that you know you shouldn’t be stressing over whether or not your childs playroom is perfectly organized; or looks like a tornado went through it. What are you going to do with the extra time you used to stress out in?
Maybe spend some extra time playing make believe, or another game with you child? Or, simply appreciate the extra head space and relief from not having to worry about, yet, another room that needs to be ‘perfect’!