We’ve had a few weeks of the boys dragging toys down the stairs to play in the living room instead of making use of our huge playroom. I didn’t think much of it until I was getting tired of cleaning up all the toys in our living space after the boys were in bed for the night. Why weren’t we using the playroom as much? I went in there and saw how junky everything had become. We had a lot of baskets and tubs for organizing but when you looked in them there was no sense to what was inside. All the toys were mixed up, if you wanted to do a puzzle you didn’t have all the pieces in one place, if you wanted to play with the kitchen you had to search the whole room for the dishes and food.
It was time for a playroom overhaul!
After lunch I motivated the boys to go upstairs and told them we were going to organize our playroom. Then I said “Okay, let’s dump everything off the shelves!” They didn’t react at first, but when I started to dump baskets out they got a devilish smile on their faces and were off to the races. In a matter of a minute we had everything dumped out and in one big pile on the floor.
I moved around a couple shelves and brought out some new containers. Then it was time to sort everything out again.
On one wall we put fine motor skill toys – cubes and tongs, buttons and pipe cleaners, gears, pom poms, music toys, empty boxes and cups as well as our big trucks, take apart cars and play tools.
I picked up some dish tubs for less than two bucks each and put five of them in the cubby slots making new homes for all the small toys. Play dishes and play food for the kitchen, die cast cars and trucks and an empty tub in anticipation of new toys for Christmas. On the top I put all the little people stuff and our stacking/nesting toys. After the boys were down for their nap I got out the label maker and put labels on the white tubs so it’d be easy for adults to reorganize everything.
The boys are getting more elaborate with their imaginative play and having the little people over here next to the trucks with lots of floor space makes for a great play area.
Our bookshelves made from IKEA spice racks are still on the wall and I shuffled around the selection and swapped out books from the shelves in their room.
We hung oversized ornaments in the window for a touch of Christmas in the room (and oh look there’s laundry waiting to be folded).
Now that the boys are getting older they’ll sit at the coffee table and do activities where before they’d just plop down on the floor. I moved the puzzles to this side of the room thinking they’d pick out a puzzle and sit at the table to work on it. IT WORKED! They both immediately picked out a puzzle and sat and played with it. Then they swapped puzzles and took turns until they had both done all seven puzzles.
It was so comical how moving things around just a little bit made everything seem like new again. Once again everything has a home and we don’t have baskets full of random toys all mixed together anymore. It doesn’t matter how much space you have, if things aren’t organized or tidy – or at least have the ability to be – then the space will feel chaotic. If you have more toys then will fit in the play area then perhaps it’s time to retire some toys or create a rotation system where toys are put away in a closet for a week or two and then swapped out with the toys out in the open for play.
How do you keep your play space organized?