As a parent, it can feel like you’re constantly drowning in a sea of laundry, packed lunches, toy and more – the list (and mess) can really feel endless!
Get a handle on the clutter and bring some organization to your kids’ lives by refreshing their play area. Use some clever storage solutions and a stress-free tidying system, and you’ll end up with more space and more time to relax – it’s a total win-win!
If you love the idea of ditching the mess but don’t know where to start, follow these simple steps to enjoy a clutter-free play area in no time at all!
Designate a Play Space
Not everyone has the luxury of an entire room dedicated solely to playing. With more of us than ever working from home, lots of rooms have had to double or even triple up on uses. For most of us, space will always be at a premium in our homes, and it’s a nightmare trying to stop our homes from being completely taken over by the kids’ stuff.
The first major step is to carve out a specific area just for toys and games. Whether this is in a room of its own or is part of the living or dining room, this is the place where all your kids’ toys will live and be returned at the end of the day. No longer will there be leftover game pieces or action figures waiting to be stepped on the way to the couch!
Plan Your Storage
Take stock of what your kids play with and how they play. This will inform the sort of storage you need. If your children are all about imaginative play, fitting some child-height clothes rails is a great idea. If your kids love their cars or small action figures, make sure you have plenty of storage bins to clear these away into at the end of the day.
Choosing a range of sizes and depths of storage to maximize your play area’s clearing capacity. Planning and assembling storage that will accommodate your kids’ current interests but also can be adapted as they grow and their tastes change will help increase the longevity of the space and save you money in the long run.
Don’t Forget the Small Stuff
If your kids love building with small bricks or are crafting kings and queens, remember to get creative yourself when it comes to storing them. Grabbing some extra small storage caddies and boxes will help keep tiny bits and pieces ordered and to hand.
Using lipstick caddies to organize marker pens or Tupperware to sort brick colorways will prevent big jumbles of stuff. These smaller solutions can then be packed away into larger boxes or bins for the next time they’re needed.
By organizing these smaller items, you can encourage play activities without making the setting up and tidying away a slog.
Rotate the Toys
The number of toys kids accumulate can be overwhelming – particularly when looking at a sea of gifts come birthdays or the holidays!
Rotating toys in and out of circulation is a brilliant way to tackle this. Select a core set of toys that your kid is currently interested in and pack away some others. Then bring a new set of toys out after a while and store some of the ones that they’re getting bored of. It’ll feel as if they’re getting brand new toys, and they’ll rediscover old favorites too!
Vacuum bagging soft toys that have fallen out of favor frees up loads of space, and they can be popped in the closet and brought out at a later date. More hardwearing toys can be boxed up and placed in the attic or garage for the time being.
Try not to hold on to toys for sentimental reasons. While you might have fond memories of certain toys if they’re no longer played with, they’re taking up valuable space. Consider donating to charity, local preschools, or friends with younger kids.
Don’t Overcomplicate Things!
It can be tempting to construct an amazing storage system where every item is accounted for and labeled. Whilst this might be the organized adult’s dream, it’s unlikely to wash with the kids! Don’t set them up to fail by creating a system that is so complex they’ll struggle to understand it and lose interest in sticking to it.
Keep your system simple and understandable. Big toys go here, dress-up here, figures here. And don’t sweat it if things get a little mixed up. At the end of the day, the play area is meant to be FUN! Worrying about whether everything is in its rightful place will remove some of the joy that the area is designed for.
Storing toys in one particular area of the home can help a house feel less cluttered, but it can be tricky to keep this area from looking like one big garage sale.
By taking stock of what your kids play with and designing storage that reflects this, create an easy-to-maintain area that your kids will love to play in. By rotating toys to cut down on the amount that’s in use and ensuring you have a range of storage solutions to suit toys both big and small, you can easily cut down on clutter and enjoy your home (and playtime) once again!