With Christmas right around the corner it’s a great time to clean out old, unwanted toys to make room for new toys. I try to do this a couple of times a year when the once nicely organized playroom gets cluttered beyond control. At one point it was easy to get B to choose which toys he no longer played with or wanted. It was the transition between “baby” toys and “big kid” toys. Unfortunately, now he wants to keep everything. But, I’ve developed a method for keeping the clutter at bay.
I’ve heard of toy rotations where people keep some toys out for their kids to play with and the rest are stored away and brought out or rotated periodically every few months. I’d probably forget to rotate the toys so I’ve never given this system a try.
I’ve also heard of people just boxing up the toys and getting rid of them altogether!
My Play Room Clean Out Method
- First off, everything has a designated place in the playroom (see below). When things start to overflow it’s time to clean them out.
- I observe what B plays with the most and what hasn’t been touched in months.
- I ask B what he no longer wants or is ready to pass along to someone else. Unfortunately, he usually says he wants to keep it all.
- I pick a time when B is not home to go through the playroom, throwing out anything that is broken and moving toys that are no longer played with to the spare room upstairs.
- I have a bin to put toys & books that I want to keep for sentimental reasons and give B when he is an adult. My mom kept some of my toys & books and it was pretty neat to share them with B. Chad also had some matchbox cars he passed down to him. Vintage toys are awesome!
- Once the toys have sat upstairs untouched for a while (6+ months or so), I know they are ready to be passed on. There are a few occasions toys have made it back downstairs. We usually pass toys to family or friends so it’s nice knowing we could always get them back if we needed to.
Play Room Organization
The most important thing to keep your play room organized is having a place for everything and making it easy for your child (and their friends) to know where everything goes. I used three ClosetMaid Storage Benches (the same one I used to build my Mud Room project) with fabric bins to store toys out of sight. The benches are sturdy enough for children to sit on.
Click here to download my playroom label template.
I used labels to print both words and pictures to show what goes in each bin. Tip: The labels don’t stick to the bins, I tried, they fall right off. I ended up using some twine and sticking two labels together.
I like to group similar items together.
The playroom has a set of shelves on each side. On the right side we keep games, puzzles and a basket for miscellaneous toys.
On the back side of the shelves I’ve attached clips for B to display his latest artwork.
On the left side we keep B’s crayons, markers, pencils, coloring books, paper, etc.
I’ve also made him a homework caddy with all the supplies he needs to do his homework. When it’s time to do homework he can just bring the caddy to the table and have everything he needs to do homework: pencils, scissors, glue and a ruler.
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