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These simple playroom storage ideas will help you to organize and declutter all the toys, games and other small pieces in your kids playroom, making it easier to find and put everything back in its place – and finally be able to keep the clutter under control for good!
How do you Organize a Large Playroom?
The purge and organize bug is strong this year. And boy, did our kids’ playroom badly need to be tackled. Not only was it overflowing with toy clutter and lots of toys, but we had run out of storage and nothing was getting put back into its right place. When that happens, toys get thrown aside, broken and forgotten about.
An organization day was in order! Since our playroom is of good size, there were some strategic things I did to optimize and quickly improve the space.
While there are plenty of ways to redesign your playroom, I’m sharing my tried and true favorites for organizing a large playroom! Regardless the size of your room, I’m sure you can create something you and your kids both will love with these easy toy storage ideas.
1. Declutter and Organize
The first step to organizing a playroom is to evaluate the toys you have. Before Christmas, we did a massive toy purge. It took an entire weekend to declutter.
Thanks to very generous grandparents and four years of birthday parties, we’ve built quite a toy collection. But did we still need all of them? Absolutely not.
The easiest way to get started is to find all the bits of broken toys and games with missing pieces. Throw those straight in the trash.
Second, I pulled out all the baby toys that Conor no longer plays with and put those into a storage tote that went up into the attic in case we have another baby down the road.
And finally, we made a donate pile of gently-loved (or barely used) toys that could get a new home.
That considerably paired down the amount of toys that were in the playroom to an amount that I knew we could handle on a toy rotation.
By keeping just his favorite toys, it simplifies things a lot. We also made a new rule going forward – we are doing “fiver” birthday parties instead of receiving lots of new toys.
This is basically where a five dollar bill is placed inside the birthday card in lieu of a physical gift.
That way our birthday boy can chose a gift or two of his liking at the store and it helps contain the amount of unused toys that come into the house.
We were also very conscious about what Santa brought this year and limited the boys’ “asks” to one big gift and a small gift (or a surprise).
We will never limit books or craft supplies but you can only have so many toy garbage trucks in one house (Cian may or may not already own 7 of them!).
2. Use Playroom Storage Units
In my opinion, the best approach for a playroom is cube storage units. I love the fact that you can put totes, baskets or crates into them and the toys are instantly hidden. It’s a really easy solution for keeping a playroom looking decluttered and organized.
Unfortunately, my old cube storage unit was not hacking it any more. Despite being 9 years old, it was still in decent shape but the storage bins that went into it were so deep that the kids would end up pulling out every single toy to get to one little thing.
So, I decided that a cube storage unit that held smaller little totes would be better since they could have easy access to what’s inside. I love an open shelving concept for these reasons!
That made 12 cubes in all just along that wall which should be plenty of storage for their toys for the foreseeable future. The furniture was simple to put together and the striped rugby totes that I got match the decor in my playroom perfectly!
Finally, I can’t forget to mention the little drawers along the top of the cube units. These plastic bins are full of small parts such as Lego, Lincoln Logs and magnetic wooden blocks that only require a small space.
Since the drawers are clear I didn’t bother labeling them – Cian can see exactly what’s inside and just grabs the whole drawer and brings it to the floor or the table when he wants to play with them. Similarly, it’s easy for him to put everything away when he’s done.
I love these belly baskets for storing soft animals and other toys that won’t fit into bins (like my boys’ golf clubs, guitars and larger “tools”). They flatten down into a small basket when you don’t need the full large size and would be a great idea for other parts of the house where you are short on storage space.
3. Label Toys
I whole-heartedly believe in the importance of teaching kids to clean up after themselves early on in life.
It’s a great life lesson that will stand to them as they grow older. In order to make this as easy as possible for little kids, I suggest adding picture labels to their toy bins.
It’s a great way to get them easily involved. Dare I say that this may be my favorite hack ever as it doesn’t require me to lift a finger!
I’ve created this set of toy bin labels that you are welcome to download and edit as you please. They are index-card sized so they will fit perfectly on the Bin Clip Labels from The Container Store.
While neither of my kids can read (they are 4 and almost 2), the picture labels are enough for my 4 year old to be able to put away all his toys in the correct spot AND for him to be easily able to find whatever toy he wants.
I made sure to also add words because they will eventually become sight words for him as he begins to read over the next few years. Who knew putting toys away could also be educational?
If you are on a budget but want to get the biggest bang for your buck when decluttering and organizing your playroom, definitely invest in cube storage and some labels. I promise they are a great storage solutions and will save your sanity!
4. Hang a Shelf
You can see that I also chose to add a floating shelf above the the cube units to utilize wall space. This was mostly for decor and wall storage as we don’t actually do any art down here (carpet!!) but it gets the markers, pencils, and other art supplies out of my kitchen and reminds my kids that it’s another activity that we can do.
The “glass” canisters are in fact acrylic so they are perfect for a kids’ playroom. This is the medium sized but they come in a larger size, too, that would be perfect for storing blocks, little toys or loose lego pieces.
5. Create Zones
Setting up a designated space or different zones such as a reading nook, puzzle corner, or free play areas will help kids keep the clutter at a minimal and help the clean up process.
If your kids enjoy a play kitchen, set up a designed “cooking” station. I wanted to build a focus around reading, so a book corner it was!
It’s not really a “nook” per say but I created a little reading area that really makes the boys want to sit down and read children’s books. I used these 2 foot ledges as well as this pretty removable wallpaper that I got on Etsy.
It’s a great place to add a large pillow for them to sit on and relax. Floor cushions encourage kids to get comfy with their books!
Book ledges are perfect for displaying books for a younger kid who can’t yet read. Being able to see the front cover means they quickly know what they want and are more likely to grab a book than when they can only see the spine.
It’s the perfect book storage and also eliminates the need for a bookcase, which saves floor space.
The whole thing took me an hour to do from start to finish and I just love how it turned out! All you need is a small corner to recreate this for yourself.
I’m going to rotate the books every few weeks and add in seasonal ones, too. I’ve already noticed a huge difference in how often they want to read during the day, which I’m so happy about!
6. Repurpose Old Storage
This is one of my favorite playroom ideas! If you can, repurpose furniture. It doesn’t have to be from an old playroom either. You can repurpose old storage shelves from an office, unused family room and living room chairs, or older toy storage units that need a new role!
I’m so excited to share what we did with our old storage cube. Originally I thought I was going to have to sell or donate it, but luckily it fit perfectly in the back corner of the playroom.
It’s the perfect spot for the HUGE trucks that Cian and Conor have that will never fit into a cute little storage tote. It’s also the perfect spot for storing all their jigsaws and puzzles.
I found these large zipped pouches that their puzzles fit nicely into and now I don’t need to worry about broken boxes and missing pieces!
They match my color scheme to boot, how awesome is that! I just popped them right into these toy bins that I already had since they are deeper than the new ones and a better fit for large puzzle boxes.
7. Organize Kid’s Artwork
Do you see those white boxes up there? Well that’s where I’m storing the kids’ artwork.
Conor doesn’t have much right now but Cian comes home with something from pre-school every single day. And while I’m not keeping ALL of it, the special pieces get stored in there. These art boxes are really large so even his biggest masterpieces fit!
Finally, this wouldn’t be a Jenna space without a little DIY. I’ve wanted somewhere to display my kids’ artwork for some time so I came up with this quick and simple display for it.
I’ll share the tutorial for it next week (it’s already saved to my Instagram highlights if you can’t wait!) but it’s basically just a scrap piece of wood with some letters stuck on and string attached. The artwork hangs on the string with mini pegs. So simple but so cute!
Shelves are also an easy way to display kid’s crafts. Whether floating or with brackets, they are an easy solution for displaying artwork or objects and even if you just need to keep certain things out of reach (markers, etc.) they will work wonders!
8. Add a Desk
Kid-sized desks and chairs are perfect for drawing, reading, doing puzzles or having a tea-party!
Not only will this provide a space for focused reading, but can double as a space for them to sit and do puzzles, work on building with legos, or practice writing when the time comes.
Even if it’s just a single armchair, it’s a good idea to have some adult extra seating too. Grandparents who find it difficult to sit on the floor for long periods of time will thank you for it!
That’s it! Our fully organized and decluttered kids playroom. I’m so happy that the kids are playing more with their toys as a result of our efforts and now are able to clean up after themselves, too. That makes for a less-stressed and very happy mama!
You don’t need a huge budget to organize your playroom! With a quick clean out, a few simple organization units, and play room zones for the kids, you’ll create a welcoming environment for your little people.
I’d love to know in the comments which tips you’re going to implement in your own child’s playroom and toy organization soon!