Home Organization - Playroom

For this weeks organization challenge on A Bowl Full of Lemons we are doing the playroom. I do not have a separate play room. What I do have is a large family room where all the toys have an area. We don't yet have couches for our family room, so the play area is less contained than I'd like.

I admit that these are not current photos. They were taken in the summer. But things are pretty much still like this. Every few weeks things get really bad and the kids seem to dump out every toy they own. I gather them from all over the house (where they shouldn't really be). And then we sit in the middle and sort and put away.
I have gotten rid of a bunch of toys. Everything broken, or puzzles with more than 3 missing pieces got tossed. A whole slew of toys got donated. And things got put away up in boxes in the tops of the kids' closets to be rotated with the other toys later.
The bottom photo is how it's generally supposed to look. And they do look that way about once a week or so. But it never lasts. When my kids clean up their toys it's only about 2% cleaning and 98% playing with things they just found in the mess.

The train table is rarely used for train tracks, the floor just has so much more space to lay the tracks on. The drawers under the train table house the tracks and building blocks. The stuffed animals go in an old laundry basket. All the other toys are sorted into cloth bins. Each child has a color (purple, pink, blue or green) and has their toys in their bins. They have a matching bin with their other toys up in their closets. And some of the bigger toys go in the empty spaces of the shelf, or on top of it (or the train table apparently).
And please ignore the mess by the sewing machine...I haven't gotten to organizing my craft area :)



Fluff Addicted said...

This would literally make me cry. We have a "play room" in our finished downstairs. It's not really a basement.... Even if my kids pulled out every single toy in our house, it would not look like this. Do your kids actually play with all those toys? I have 3 kids and daycare kids, and there is no way they would play with all those toys. We have discovered less is definitely more and they play with the toys they have. To me, this is just scary! Hats off to you for having the time and patience to deal with all those toys!

Desiree P said...

Like I said, after this we got rid of a bunch of toys. And I put stuff away to be rotated in/out so they don't have this many any more. But, yes they really do play with everything (we don't have TV, so they play a lot).

Anessa Yarberry said...

Hats off to you Desiree, I have 2 girls age 12 and 14. I had the first grandchildren for mine and my husbands family. Looking back I wish now that I had remained TV free at least through their preschool days. My family didn't watch TV at all my hubby however grew up in a TV fanatic house. And well I lost the battle. We watch less that most I guess but too much for my taste. Notice I said we watch, I too have grown accustom to watching more than I should.

Lisa Rusczyk said...

I know the feeling!

Anonymous said...

Finally someone who will show what a real playroom looks like. My basement has been referred to as Toys R Us. I love you for keeping it real.

Anonymous said...'ve definitely kept it's not scary it's's life. I think my children have more but then again there are 7 of I like to put shelves up and place some toys on display. And contain everything in their own containers so when everything gets out of hand everything has its own place. But lately the new rule is no more than two toys out at a time per child. This doesn't work all the time but it helps. :)

mamakat said...

wow!! such judgement!! i shall share my facebook post so you can see i was also looking for a real playroom;
dear organizational people with all your pretty pictures and website "ideas",
i hate all of you.
~ there's no way in hell i'm getting pretty containers to pour all my cleaning and dry food goods into. who has time for that sh*t? why would anyone do that?!?!?
~ you playroom people; clearly, you are delusional. do you really have kids? yes, i do have quite a lot of shelving and baskets for organizing however, i am not buying special cubbies with specific measurements to hold every truck in this house. also, do any of your "children" have large toys such a geotrax? little people houses, farm, figures? HUGE rescue heroes' rescue centers with the various trucks and vehicles from the show? i don't believe so b/c if you did, those cutesy little baskets you insist everyone buy wouldn't even hold one piece of those toys. and let's not even get in to baby dolls and play kitchens and all their various and sundry accessories. oh!, and weapons!! why do you people not have one single bit of weaponry in your tidy little organized spaces? my little girl enjoys a huge semi-automatic machine gun just as much as any little boy. she also enjoys machetes and shields. where is that stuff in your pictures?? just how do you propose i organize those in those tiny baskets? the handles wouldn't even fit in them!! (since i will be redoing the playroom today, it's a good safe bet i will have more irrelevant, to anyone else, rants today regarding this touchy, for me, subject.) ok, ok, my kids, well, all of us really, have a lot of everything but i like variety. also, i have 2 boys and 1 girl and all 3 of them play with guns, trucks, barbies and babies equally.
~ i refuse to organize my books by color OR buy book covers to ensure unity of color for every single book i own and believe me - my library is VERY extensive. in fact, i have this weird belief that bookshelves are actually for (gasp!) BOOKS therefore, i will not be arranging them in cute little patterns to showcase my collection of other items. call me kooky. i've just always assumed BOOKshelves are actually for, you know, BOOKS.
~ obviously, my house will not be showcased in any decorating books in the near or far future b/c i can't believe people actually live in those "homes". i bet ya'll do what i do - crop the pic to hide all the sh*t you shoved to the side. amirite?
so, yeah - thanks for a real playroom!!!