We’ve been tagged in enough playroom pics on Instagram to know that it’s possible to have a playroom that’s both functional and beautiful. (Some of you are serious about your playroom decor). But as parents of littles ourselves, we also know that even in the prettiest playrooms, the mess can be a constant battle. We’ve got some tips to help you balance it all and keep your playroom beautiful, fun, and tidy (at least most of the time!)
Start with One Toy/Activity per Bin
If your goal is to get kids to clean up after themselves more in the playroom, it helps if your toy setup is 1) visible and 2) simple. By visible we mean that toys are displayed in open bins or open shelves, not hidden in organizing cubes. And by simple we mean that there’s only one toy (or set of toys such as a pretend doctor’s kit) per bin or per space on the shelf. This is a principle of Montessori-style toy setups because it helps kids develop more independence in their cleanup. When your child gets an activity out, the empty bin or empty space on the shelf acts as a visual reminder of that toy’s proper place, helping them figure out where it should go when it’s time to clean up.
Start a Toy Rotation
Too many toys can make even the most carefully decorated playroom descend into chaos in 5 minutes flat. Leaving out just a handful of choices at a time cano help kids focus longer on one activity at a time and keep the room calmer and cleaner. But we know keeping toys under control is easier said than done – especially if you have a slew of high-quality toys that you don’t want to declutter because your kids do play with them! We love toy rotations for this reason! Keep your current selections in the playroom and other toys stored in a closet. Swap them out weekly or as your kids lose interest in the current toys. For a larger-scale toy rotation, you can store toys in a large plastic tote in the attic or garage and rotate them in quarterly or bi-annually.
We find that kids are a lot more receptive to the idea than they are to completely saying goodbye to toys. It makes old toys feel like new when they come back into the rotation, and it keeps the playroom organized and happy. Win-win!
Organize Bookshelves by Color
Organizing books by color is an all-the-rage trend that gives your bookshelf a colorful Insta-worthy aesthetic and helps kids easily put the books back in the right place. Since most kids can’t read the spines but can remember the color of a favorite book’s cover, they’ll have an easier time finding the book they want and putting it right back into the correct color section.
Make a Craft Corner/span>
Crafts are engaging, fun, and great for creativity and fine motor practice. But craft materials are notoriously messy! A dedicated craft table in your playroom can at least help contain all the glue sticks and glitter, especially if it has built-in storage!
Bonus tip: opt for a craft table that can double as a train table or building brick table to keep Legos and trains contained too.
Store Stuffies in Seating
Nothing takes up playroom space like your child’s stuffed animal collection! To tame the stuffie sprawl, we love larger storage solutions that double as seating like our cozy toy box/ bench combos.
Add Plants for Color & Responsibility
Thanks to their ability to brighten even the tiniest rooms, plants appear on pretty much every list of interior design tips. Plus they give kids a fun chore they’ll actually enjoy doing! Watering their plant daily will give them a sense of responsibility and accomplishment and add a touch of color and cheer to the playroom – just be sure to choose a plant that's resilient and easy to care for!
Create a Cozy Reading Space
For adults and kids alike, we think good books and a cozy spot to read them are a must! Even if they’re years away from truly reading, creating a positive, fun relationship with books early on will help them become a lifelong reader. We love fun seating options like kids’ book shelves that double as comfy reading nooks. Or for that magic “hideaway” feel, try a kids’ teepee or our Book Nook Tent with Shelves – add a flashlight and favorite snacks to make book time feel extra special!
Hang Dress Up Clothes
If you have the space, a mini open wardrobe for dress up clothes is a cute, whimsical way to make costumes a part of the playroom decor. Plus, it prevents the littles from dumping an entire bin of dress up clothes onto the floor when they’re looking for the right costume!
Add Gross Motor Toys
Playrooms are usually all about pretend play and fine motor activities – and that’s great! But adding a few gross motor toys can be a lifesaver for rainy days when kids can’t get out on the playground. Obviously a full swing set isn’t going to fit in your playroom, but some indoor climbing toys and balance toys are the perfect way to help kids get some active play and gross motor practice inside!
And for more tips to tame the chaos that kids’ stuff can create, check out our Kids Bedroom Organization ideas.