Once the excitement of the holidays is over and the sun rises on a new year, parents everywhere are asking that age-old question:
Where are we going to put all these toys?
That’s why January is the perfect time to refresh and reorganize your children’s play space. Whether they have a dedicated playroom or a corner of the shared living area, a little organization can make playtime — and cleanup — more enjoyable for everyone.
Start by taking stock.
There’s at least one step of the Marie Kondo decluttering method that is really helpful no matter how you plan to organize: Start by gathering all of the toys from all over the house so you can see them all at once. That way you know exactly how much you’re dealing with. There’s nothing worse than getting through a reorganization project only to discover a forgotten bin of toys with nowhere to go!
Weed and purge.
If it’s been a while since you last went through the toy collection, it’s likely there are items that have become neglected or broken. This is a great time to repair toys that need it, replace parts or batteries as necessary, and donate playthings that have been outgrown. (If you’re not sure whether your children still play with something, hide it away. If no one asks about it for a couple of months, you’re probably OK to pass it along.)
As you organize, keep it simple.
The easier it is to put things away, the easier cleanup will be on everyone in the family.
- For toys like blocks, cars, dolls and Legos, we’ve found the most success with bins and baskets that can be easily taken off a shelf and carried around (our sustainable, handwoven baskets are a perfect toy storage solution!).
- Zippered mesh bags are great for puzzle pieces and games (no more spills or crushed boxes).
- For younger children who can’t read yet, consider making tags for baskets and bins with pictures representing the contents so they can easily find what they’re looking for.
- Cupboards or cabinets with doors are great for storing bigger toys that don’t easily fit into bins — all you have to do to make the room feel tidy is close the door!
Scroll for inspiration.
Half the fun of refreshing your play space is dreaming about the possibilities! Search Instagram hashtags like #playroomorganization, #toystorage and #playspace for inspiration, and check out some of these accounts that we enjoy:
- Looking for ideas to better store, organize and contain your children’s toys? We love the tips and hacks from Courtney at @playroominspo for toddler and preschoolers’ play spaces.
- Melissa from @containedchaosmelissa is a speech language pathologist turned play space designer, and just scrolling her feed makes us feel more relaxed and ready to tackle the toys!
- If you’re thinking about a bit more of a spruce-up (maybe some new paint or decor?), check out @bowinthesky for whimsical, colorful inspiration.
- @grohplayrooms is some wildest-dreams-level fantasy playroom design, and we love thinking about how some of the ideas we see on their feed could come to life in our own homes!