CREATIVE WAYS TO ORGANIZE YOUR CHILD’S PLAYROOM

Use creative strategies to organize your child's playroom and keep it organized!

Organizing your child’s playroom can become a tedious, and sometime endless, project that results in a constantly messy playroom.  Although your good intentions lie with the child's enjoyment of the playroom, you may be going about organizing the playroom the wrong way.  By looking at the playroom, and the organization of the playroom, from your child's perspective, you may find that your system for organizing is neither practical nor functional.  The toys and other objects in the playroom should be labeled for simple identification, and in a way that makes it easy for your child to put toys away.  Your child should also not have a problem finding the designated area or zone in the playroom where a particular toy belongs.

Rather than constantly cleaning and organizing your child's playroom with no sense of strategy or system, find a creative way to organize your child's playroom that allows your child to have more fun playing with the toys they enjoy the most and less time cleaning up after the mess.  Remember that your intention when organizing your child's playroom should be to make the toys accessible to your child, not to hide the toys.  If your child knows where everything belongs, they are more likely to place each toy in the proper place.  This article on Organizing Playroom Spaces Using 4 Zones offers a wonderfully creative organizing strategy for a child's playroom, one that incorporates the creation of different playroom zones for different activities and related toys.


Toy Zone

This is where all the toys live, including board games, interactive toys, puzzles, stuffed animals, doll houses, etc. For this zone, consider:
  • Toy chests -- These are actually more efficient for bigger toys. Small toys get lost in the pile and when you do finally find that superhero, he’s usually missing an arm! I suggest filling toy chests with big toys such as balls, blocks, skates, trucks, etc. Another option is to place accessible containers inside for smaller toys. For example, maybe you can a few smaller plastic boxes inside. If the playroom is being used by more than one child, make sure you label the boxes either by person, or by items stored inside.
  • Toy nets -- These are ideal for storing soft and light toys such as stuffed animals, dolls, and balls. They lift the mess off the ground, giving your children more floor space. The same concept can also be used with a hammock.
  • Shelves -- Shelves are ideal for storing smaller toys or toys that could be broken easily. Just make sure that the shelves are clearly labeled for person or item. Shelves could come in the form of bookcases, cubbies, or even lockers. Just make sure that the toys—especially the high-demand toys—are within reach. Use the upper shelves for toys that aren’t used as much.
  • Plastic bins -- These are wonderful, particularly when they are clear and labeled well. For example, you could have a Barbie bin that includes a separate container for all the dolls, all the clothes, and all the accessories. Depending on the size of the bins, you could stack these on the shelves, or line them up against the wall.

Arts and Crafts Zone

This is where your children can stretch their creativity! Because kids usually like to work with lots of art supplies at a time, a round table works nicely. There are different options for keeping the supplies together, but the key is to keep them together.
  • Rolling cart -- A rolling cart with integrated organizers is fantastic! This can be stored against the wall when not in use. It is nice because the kids can grab the supplies they need for a particular project without making a mess.
  • Craft caddies -- Another option is to have separate craft caddies. (Bathroom or cleaning supply caddies work well too.) One caddy could include crayons and colored pencils, one could include scissors and glue, one could include paints, etc. Label accordingly.
  • Plastic boxes -- Shoe-size boxes are another very practical alternative. These can be stacked nicely on book shelves. The trick to making these useful is to keep separate boxes for separate tools (as described above in craft caddies.) If all the supplies are just tossed into the box, it will make finding the midnight blue crayon all that much harder! Label the outside so the contents can be easily identified.
  • See-through plastic shoe bags -- These can hang on a wall or the back of a door. They include several individual slots that are just the perfect size for small supplies. Label each slot so the supplies get placed back into its proper home.

Reading/Schoolwork Zone

This is where your children can get lost in a wonderful fairytale—or buckle down to do some homework. The following items make this zone a comfortable area:
  • Desk -- You want a desk that isn’t too big, but is big enough for your children to grow into. For example, they may not be ready for a computer yet, but when they are, you’ll want plenty of desktop space available to accommodate.
  • Comfy chair -- If the desk chair isn’t comfortable, it most likely won’t be used!
  • Bean bag -- While a chair is nice for the desk, a big bean bag is great for reading books.
  • Bookshelves -- What reading zone is complete without bookshelves?
  • Supplies -- Make sure that the desk is supplied with the necessary school supplies—pencils, rulers, calculators, etc.

TV/Electronic Game Zone

You may or may not choose to have a TV in the playroom, but if you do, you can stock it with educational DVDs and electronic games.
  • DVD and video game organizers -- These are essential to protect DVDs and games. Place them in alphabetical order to easily locate them.
  • Bean bag -- This is another location where a big, squishy bean bag comes in handy.

When sorting through your child’s toys in the playroom, decide which toys are worthy of being repaired and which should be tossed out, given away to other children in your family or circle of friends, or donated to less fortunate children in your area.  Make sure your child’s favorite toys that get the most use are in an easily accessible area in the playroom, while valuable items are kept in an out-of-reach area in the playroom.  To do this right, be sure to involve your child in the organization of their playroom.  You will be able to implement a creative strategy to organize your child's playroom, and keep it organized, by finding out what your child doesn't like about their playroom and what toys and activities they enjoy the most.  You may also find it beneficial to rotate toys in and out of the playroom, giving your child a few toys at a time, so that they will not become bored with, but instead be surprised by, their old toys.