After countless evenings of the boys going totally wild in the play room, trashing it, tripping over toys, and losing items in the mess, I finally had enough! There were so many toys out at that point they weren’t even playing with them. The fun of the play room was pouring all of the toys out onto the floor and making a mess; you literally couldn’t see the floor. So we finally decided to organize the play room to make it a place our boys actually played! Imagine that.
Unfortunately we didn’t snap a “before” picture, but I’ve included some “after” pictures here along with some descriptions of what we did.
This is literally ALL we have out. We packed up all of the toys and stashed them away into the closet. I separated the toys that would be best for when they’re a bit older and the rest went into boxes for rotation. Once we feel they have gotten tired of these toys or it would benefit us to switch them out, we will pack these up and swap them out with a different box from the closet.
This is a closer look at the small bookshelf. These are the main toys they have access to whenever they want. Up top we have 3 different toys which I thought would entertain them at both age levels (1 1/2 yr and almost 3 yr). The middle shelf has the musical instruments. The bottom shelf is the vacuum (both love it). Since we put away most of their toys last weekend, they have begun discovering these toys and have had a lot more fun with them than they ever did before.
This is the large bookshelf in the corner. We removed the bottom shelves (to remove part of the temptation to climb) and chose a few fun toys that we don’t want them to have full access to. They enjoy the toys with a lot of blocks and pieces and I think it’s a necessary fun challenge for them. However these are the toys that require supervision, since in the past they only dumped them out then moved onto something else to dismantle. They enjoy these the most since now they are a special treat. Before the Great Downfall of Our Play Room, David and I really wanted the boys to have full access to books, to read whenever they want. They do love to read, but we found that in the huge mess, even the small hard paged books would just get destroyed. So for now we’ve put the books up top, so we can choose when we’re going to read together.
This ball and truck basket is at the bottom of the large bookshelf. The boys have access to these all the time, since they’re probably their most favorite toys. Even so, I just chose a couple trucks and balls to have out, and the rest got stored away.
Overall, I think this was a really positive change for us. Every time I walk in the play room I feel a sense of relief that there isn’t a huge mess to clean up. It’s much easier for us to help introduce the good habits of picking up after yourself and it’s not nearly as overwhelming for them to practice it. And if one night we forget to have the boys clean up their mess, it takes me about 2 minutes to make the room spotless. Almost daily either David or I say to the other that we’re really glad we made that change. Even if you can’t have all the cute labeled boxes with all the toys neatly stashed away (like I see out there), I highly recommend just downsizing your play rooms. You don’t really need a lot of organization gadgets when there isn’t much to keep organized. I think it has really helped all of us, and my mom (a professional organizer) would be proud!
Let me know if you have any tips for organizing play rooms, I’d love to hear them!