We have a guest room that we have turned in to the playroom at our house, so we have to maximize the usable space. The best way to do this is to keep it clean and organized. Admittedly, this is not my strong suit. My kiddos have always been pretty good at picking up their toys but there was really no method to our madness, so the place was still a bit messy.
After a while, the kids were showing less interest playing in their room with their toys. They would pick a few favorites and drag them to the family room. I finally figured out that they were only picking toys in their immediate view; they didn’t want to dig through the piles of other stuff. I realized their thoughts were probably much like mine when I claim I have nothing to wear when I probably just need to clean and organize the closet (which is a project for future Shanna). I decided to get that room organized and more desirable for play time! Plus, I would like that room presentable if we have last minute guests to stay with us.
The timing was perfect because it was just before Christmas and I needed to do a little purging anyway. Organizing the play room while putting some old toys away for donations was probably my best chance for the kids not to notice things may have gone missing.
There was just one problem. I had no idea what to do.
I had baskets, bins, etc. I had general “areas” where I would put things, but the kids couldn’t read my mind. Then it finally dawned on me. I would mirror the system they are accustomed to at school. Everything is organized and arranged by “centers.” I honestly can’t believe it took me this long to make the connection. It was really very simple.
I grouped together like-type toys. We settled on a music center, blocks center, cars/trucks center, art center, computer center, books center, and puzzles center. The dresser that was part of the original guest room serves as some of these “centers” which has freed up the limited floor space. I still have a small basket for miscellaneous items, but for the most part each toy has a home. It has been one of the best things I have done for myself and the kids. They love knowing exactly where everything is and they clean, sometimes with no prompting or singing the silly “clean up” song. Another bonus is that I can easily identify when they have outgrown some things and I can easily change up the centers as they grow.
Now, on to that closet…
How is your playroom organized?
What method works for you?