Parents

How to organize your disaster of a playroom

Calming the chaos of all those toys might be easier than you think—we asked an expert to share her tips.

Tired of craft supplies on your kitchen table and action figures underfoot? Rebecca Simon of Toronto-based kids interior design firm Maison Ellie shares her tips for finally getting that playroom organized.

1. Purge and sort

Studies show that a less-is-more approach to toys encourages autonomous play and creativity. Make time to purge—I do this four times a year! You can include kids in the process, letting them help decide which toys they’ve outgrown that can be donated to a local charity or school. Once you’ve cut the bulk, sort and organize what you’ve opted to keep. This will help you assess how each type of toy should be stored. For example, smaller figurines in a small clear bin and larger trucks in a floor bin with a lid. Every toy should have a home to return to. When the whole family knows where each toy goes, it makes cleanup time a breeze.

2. Create designated areas

A playroom will function best when it’s broken up into individual zones, so take the time to plan everything out. Creating purposeful areas within a playroom or your living space will encourage your child to play more independently and for longer periods of time. Not sure what the zones should be? Think about what your kid is interested in, such as Lego, reading, or arts and crafts, and make a specific space for it.

3. Pick storage that works

Closed storage is great for maintaining order in any space. Labelled see-through bins that are stackable are a fantastic option for toys you want to be easily visible and accessible. If space is limited, make use of a smaller shelving unit or tall bookcase and fill it with little open baskets and bins.

4. Personalize the space

Showcasing your kid’s artwork will make the space feel like their own. Create a framed gallery wall or string a curtain wire across one side of the room to hang masterpieces that can be easily rotated.

5. Be cohesive with your decor pieces

Playrooms are already filled with tons of toys, so be selective in choosing additional decor pieces. I like to add impact with wallpaper or decals on a feature wall. Textiles, like throws, area rugs or fun cushions and pillows, help create a comfortable and cozy space where kids will love to hang out.

playroom products to help you achieve the desirable look

1. Wooden kitchen, $120, cocovillage.ca 2. Kid’s table and cricket stools, $399, threepears.ca 3. Moroccan Diamonds rug, from $224, potterybarnkids.ca 4. Tiger pillow, $49, crateandkids.ca 5. Storage basket with lid, $30, hm.com 6. Bloomingville White Cloud Pillow with Eyelashes, $34, amazon.ca 7. Blue Ochre Ivory flag bunting banner, from $38, minilogie.com 8. Trofast toy storage, $99, ikea.ca

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