Let’s organize your playroom!

The never-ending conundrum, how to neatly store kids toys? Try as we might, containing all the blocks, dolls, puzzles and more can be a never ending challenge. Social media is full of inspiring images that may look amazing but are not necessarily effective or practical. As a professional organizer, I am continually experimenting with new ways to contain the chaos at home.  

Parents take on the burden of coming up with a toy containment solution, but it occurred to me that I am not the one playing with the toys or having to clean them up (wishful thinking sometimes). Why not ask my children which of my storage experiments has worked best for them to find and put away the toys? Here is what they said:

#1 Clear bins. They said it is much easier to find what they want to play with when everything is put into clear containers. Also, they do not have to tear apart the playroom looking for the right toy. When I switched to clear bins from opaque soft-sided cubes, I noticed an overall cleaner play area because they didn’t have to take every cube out to search for the desired toy.

#2. Labels. My kids preferred when the labels were on colorful paper in large print pasted to the front of the bins. Over the years, I have tried various labeling methods, from beautifully scripted Cricut printouts to bin clips. While their preferred method isn’t Pinterest-worthy, it is sanity-saving because there has been a noticeable difference in the cleanup. For parents with younger kids, I suggest printing pictures of what should be inside the bins.

#3 Mesh Drawstring Bags. My kids prefer when I put legos, puzzles, and smaller toys in mesh bags. I am a big fan of these because they take up less space and presort the toys by type. The mesh bags also prevent all the small pieces from making their way to the bottom of the bin. Yes, I will then put the bags into clear plastic bins that are labeled.

Do I think the above storage methods are attractive? Not at all. But after years of experimenting and battling cleanup, I’ve decided that sanity is more appealing. Remember, this isn’t forever. Before you know it, your kids will be grown, and you’ll be using the clear bins to pack up their stuff for college.  

Kira Vanderlan is the owner of Zestful Design, a home decluttering, organizing, staging, and design company. She loves helping busy families get organized! Visit her website at www.zestfuldesign.com 

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