Thursday, June 3, 2010

Organizing the Play Room

Whether you call it a playroom, gameroom or toy room it is all the same to a child, its an area to play and run around! It is where they go to get out ALL of their toys and leave them ALL over the floor for us to pick up. If this rings true in your home, I might have a couple of suggestions to help keep the some of the toys at bay.

When a client calls me to organize their playroom my heart races, I LOVE, LOVE organizing playrooms or kids rooms. The main goal of organizing your children’s toys is understanding “how they play”. I know that sounds strange but work with me for a moment.

If you have a girl that have Barbies, Bratz Dolls and Polly Pockets…you automatically think…keep all of them together or close to each other because they probably play with them together, right? Well what if Polly Pockets are the only ones who takes care of Little Pet Shop and the Little Pet Shop is all the way across to the other side of the room? And what if Bratz Dolls don’t even play with Barbie because their head is bigger than Barbie and Bratz Girls play with all the horses that you have in you son’s bin mixed in with the farm animals? See where I am going with this?

If you understand how your children play and what they play with together, you can set up zones so that the toys aren’t scattered across the room. If she is going to play with the Bratz Dolls and horses…she is going to have to dig through the Barbie Dolls and the farm animals to get to what she wants. Which means the farm animals and Barbies are going to be all over the floor.

Here are some zone or bin suggestions for you playroom or child’s room:
Kitchen and baby doll area
Dress Up Girls including wands, jewelry and shoes
Dress Up Boys, including swords, construction gear and spy gear
Books, games and puzzles
Actions figures (if you have boys ask if Power Rangers and Star Wars can be mixed or have two separate bins)
Barbies, Bratz and Polly Pockets (again ask if they can be together if they should have separate bins)
Blocks, Legos, Connects

What you are trying to create in your playroom is an easy way for your children to find what they are looking for and an easy way to PUT THE TOYS AWAY when they are finished playing with them. If the cars are scattered across the room to get to the car track then put a bin of cars next to the track.

I love the fabric bins from Target. ($6.99 each) They work perfect on bookshelves, cubbies or even next to a car track or a doll house. I know this sounds strange but sometimes we “over organize” in the play room. We keep jewelry in separate bins of bracelets, necklaces, or rings instead of one bin of jewelry. What four year old is going to want to separate all the jewelry to put it away? She would rather scoop it all up and dump it in one bin! If you have a son that plays with G.I. Joes but doesn’t play with the swords, guns or helmets that they come with, then put the accessories in a Ziploc bag on a shelf in a closet out of his way. Why stick them in the bin to have them all over the floor waiting for you step on them if no one is going to play with them?

To keep your playroom fresh and fun rearrange the toys and zones twice a year. I like to do this right before summer break and right after they go back to school in January. This allows my to “sift” through the junk without them noticing some of the broken happy meal toys are missing.

If you want to really live on the edge you could start to sing the “Pick Up Song” after they are finished playing…pick up, pick up, everybody, everywhere do your share!!! Just a thought….