I’ve loved watching as my kids grow and get older! The transformation from snuggly newborn to free-thinking, imaginative toddler is honestly magical! Any parent with young kids undoubtedly understands how joyous, exciting, and at times, hilarious, it can be when your kids reach the stage of truly interactive, imaginative play!
If you’ve ever had a child walk into the room wearing underwear on his or her head, triumphantly announcing that they’re heading off on an astronaut mission equipped and ready with their “astronaut helmet,” you know what i’m talking about! It’s honestly amazing how truly engaging a box of dress up clothes or a few tubs of Play-Doh can be.
But let’s be honest, those first few years can also be messy, chaotic, and disorganized! If there is one thing that all young kids are universally good at, it’s making a mess.
Puzzle pieces are great for throwing, markers are perfect for leaving uncapped, and stickers obviously belong on the wall! Play time can go from a beautiful moment filled with laughter, to a frustrating hour of clean up while our precious, playful babies sleep.
It’s easy to spend those moments grumbling, tired and annoyed, knowing that tomorrow, you will probably be cleaning this playroom again.
I’m not going to sugarcoat things, to some extent, the reoccuring cleanup is unavoidable. It’s important for kids to play, but they’re not good at cleaning up after themselves, so inevitably, Mom and Dad are probably going to help out.
However, this cleanup process does not have to be as labor intensive or frustrating as we often make it out to be. What’s the key? Organization.
Having a well organized playroom not only makes things easier for you as the parent, it actually makes it possible for your children to be more helpful and involved in the cleanup process! What an incredible opportunity to teach your child responsibility while also making your job as a parent a little easier.
Here are 5 of my best playroom organization hacks:
- Clear Plastic Drawers and Tubs – These drawer sets and tubs are amazing! First of all, they are incredibly inexpensive. Who doesn’t love that? You can buy them for less than $10 at most major retail superstores.
- I know these drawers might not be as aesthetically pleasing as cute shelving units with colored plastic drawers or patterned boxes, but the fact that the plastic is clear is actually a good thing! If you want your child to learn where items go and be a helpful part of the playroom cleanup, having drawers they can see into and clearly identify which items go where, is incredibly helpful.
- Label drawers and boxes with words AND pictures – Again, this tip is aimed at making cleanup easier and accessible for young children. Kids attach quickly to visual images, so a plastic tub labeled with a picture of a dress and shoes will remind them where to put their dress up clothes. If you have access to a laminating machine, that’s a great way to keep your labels from falling apart! For a cheap and easy alternative to laminating, buy a pack of sheet protectors from Walmart, stick the pictures you want to use as labels inside the sheet protectors, and tape your label to the box.
- Hanging Sweater Organizers – If you’re lucky enough to have a closet in your playroom, hanging sweater organizers are excellent for storing board games and/or puzzles. These organizers can free up precious shelving space for other items.
- Over the Door Shoe Organizers – These organizers can be used in many way, such as storage for barbie dolls or small stuffed animals. I personally prefer to use them for storing arts and craft supplies. It’s an easy way to separate and organize different types of art supplies (spot of crayons, another for glue sticks etc), rather than having one large messy bin where everything gets mixes together or inevitably, dumped on the ground when a child is looking for a specific colored crayon. Once again, I’d recommend the clear plastic type.
- Magazine Holders – I find one of the hardest areas of the playroom to keep organized is the bookshelf. Books fall over, they are thrown haphazardly onto the shelf instead of being stacked upright, and this inevitably results in books spilling onto the floor or book covers being torn. Magazine holders do a wonderful job of holding the books upright and on the shelf. With fewer books falling over, it actually frees up space for more books to be added.
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I hope these hacks help you regain some organization for your child’s playroom!