B2S: Decluttering and Organizing a Playroom

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*sigh* Does every mom sigh when she hears about organizing her child’s toys?  I know I do – it’s a never-ending challenge!  And I only have one child, I can’t imagine what it’s like for families with more children.

Toy companies are hearing the cries of moms frustrated with “toys everywhere”.  Hot Wheels® has introduced new Wall Tracks™  that put Hot Wheels race tracks on the wall instead of the floor!  They can still do the stunts, speed, turns, and tricks but on the wall.  Wow.  Great idea and fun way to decorate a kids room!

Here are some of the toy de-cluttering strategies I’ve picked up over the last couple years, but I am far, far, far from reaching a solution.  Please leave your own suggestions in the comments, or if you know of any great toy organization products, share!

1.  My game-plan is to organize and then set a rule that any new toy “in” means an old toy “out”.  So if we’re at the store and Rosie wants a new toy, I remind her the rule is that she will have to donate/throw away an old toy.  Yup, that’s my plan and I’m stickin’ to it.  Sort of. Trying.

Now, the first step of the game-plan – organize.

2.  We have several different types of toy storage and right now I’m using all of them.  That equals no consistency and frankly, a mess.  So my next strategy is going to be to choose one type of storage and stick to it.  Here’s what we have now:

a.  Cubbies

b.  Slanted plastic bins

c.  Basket-type bins

d.  Baskets

e.  Pop-up Hampers.

They all have their good and bad points.  I need to just choose and then just stick to it.  (Sorry, talking to myself again!)  I can narrow it down to two – my two favorites are cubbies and plastic bins.

3.  Out-of-sight means out of mind and a key to toy storage is to have the toys visible for younger children.  Young children can’t remember what is where, if they can’t see the toy.  Choose slanted, open bins or cubbies or…

4.  Put pictures of the toys that belong in a particular bin or basket on the outside.  This will help young children learn what is inside a bin or what should be inside that bin!

5.  Have a clean-up deadline each day.  Usually it’s 1/2 hour before bedtime, but have a set time of day when all toys have to be put away.  And the children are the ones who should be doing the pickup – not mom!  (see #7 and #8 for ideas about when this time should be)

6.  Make pickup time a game.  Barney (I know it’s not popular to love Barney, but I love that guy!) has a great song for cleanup time.  Hum, hum, “clean up, clean up.  everybody everywhere.”  You know the one!  Singing, racing against time, having a competition to see who finishes first.  All these things make clean up time fun, instead of a chore.

7.  Encourage your child to play with one toy at a time and put away toys when they are finished.  If  your kids drag out every toy during the day and never put them away, then you pick up before bedtime, you know the only time your house is going to look uncluttered?  Yep, while your sleeping!  What good does that do?

8.  Have multiple “clean-up times” during the day. To solve the problem of only having an uncluttered house while you are sleeping, set multiple “clean-up times” during the day.  Just before lunch, before dinner, and then before bed works well.

9.  Every month have a purge.  Yes, a purge.  Whether you donate to charity, throw away, have a garage sale or all three, get rid of old and broken toys.  I take all Rosie’s toys and put them in the living room.  With several large plastic bins, we start sorting.  She knows she can only keep whatever toys fit into her storage.  The last purge, I resorted to bribery *blush*.  I only recommend this as a last resort, but I didn’t have time for a garage sale, so I was the customer.  I “bought” toys from her and she could use the money to buy a new toy.  One.  I know, I know, not my proudest mommy momment.  But it worked.  Sometimes you have to go with what works.

10.  Relax and know that it will be soon enough when the kids are gone and you’ll have no toys to step on, trip over, and you what?  We’re going to miss it – and them.

Do you have any tips for de-cluttering and keeping toys in their place?  What type of toy storage do you use?  What do you like/dislike about it?

About Hot Wheels®
Since 1968, Hot Wheels® has been passionate about creating thrilling vehicle experiences through innovative product and content. With a fan base of more than 41 million people, Hot Wheels® is the No. 1 vehicle property in the United States producing the coolest cars imaginable. The Hot Wheels® brand began as a line of 16 1:64-scale die-cast vehicles; today, it has evolved into a true, global lifestyle brand for boys of all ages with segments that range from aftermarket parts to licensed apparel to branded digital content from Team Hot Wheels™, a real-life race crew of professional drivers performing over-the-top stunts.

More on Hot Wheels® Wall Tracks™ sets: http://www.hotwheels.com/walltracks

More info on Hot Wheels®: http://www.hotwheels.com

Disclosure:  I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hot Wheels® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here http://walltracks.socialmoms.com/about.



  1. 1

    hahahaha a clean playroom means the kids are locked out!
    pammypam recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: what ARE they doing?

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