In our sixth Spring Spruce Up article Susie tackles the eternally messy toy area. Check out her toy dump below!

Also, if need some more at-home projects to tackle during the quarantine, check out our last post here, about tidying up your horizontal surfaces.

It’s day “who really knows” of Stay-At-Home for this family of six. Besides a college freshman, we have a 6-, 4-, and 2-year-old who are now at home 24/7. That means we’ve been extra hard on our play room, and by extra hard I mean this:

It’s embarrassing. Just looking at this mess gives me anxiety so I decided it was time to tackle our toy train wreck. If you have younger kids, this is a quick-ish afternoon project that doesn’t cost a penny but makes a world of difference.

Here are my top mom-tips to getting this bad boy done:

1. Include the kids. 

This is their domain, so naturally they feel a little possessive over, well, EVERYTHING. In an effort to avoid a major melt-down(s), I presented the kids the power of choice:

Keep in the playroom, move to the basement to rotate in later, or share with friends.

My kids held a vote and went item-by-item to decide the fate of each. Any toy or book that didn’t get a vote from any of the kids went into the share pile. I wasn’t sure how much they would be willing to give away, but they surprised me with a big pile of toys that are ready for their next owner!

The “share” pile!

2. Less is more.

As parents our first instinct may be to provide as many options as possible, but the reality is that too much stuff actually hampers play. The area becomes more prone to clutter and mess, and when that happens I find my kids avoid the area rather than engage. Once we cleared half the stuff out of there and organized the rest, it became easier to see everything and the kids were drawn in like a moth to a flame. Seriously, I had to persevere over loud, whiny complaining to get in there so I could take my after photos.

3. Consider your arrangement.

In the before photo, you can see that the furniture arrangement wasn’t really adding any value to the room. We had two chairs pushed up against the wall that we threw in there as an afterthought, which usually ended up as a dump spot. The vehicle tent, which was declared non-negotiable, imposed on the floor space in the middle of the room. We ended up keeping the tall cube storage units as-is, but by repositioning the chairs into a cozy seating area and angling the must-have vehicle tent on the edge of the room, we were able to maximize the productivity of the space.

So there you have it!  What do you think of the results?



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