Having a clean and organized home greatly reduces the level of anxiety that you carry around.
Having kids really throws a wrench into the terms of “clean and organized” doesn’t it?
Its like they have all this stuff and we have to find places to keep it all!
Your kids don’t need to have all the stuff. In fact, clutter makes your kids feel anxious too!
If you are feeling overwhelmed with kids stuff I recommend you start with a little decluttering before you hop right into organizing.
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Organizing toys in a purposeful manner will give your children a comfortable area for play without overwhelming them with choices.
Think about how debilitating it is to think about cleaning your house when you have spent a week ignoring your to-do list. You struggle with overwhelm because there is so much to do. You cant figure out where to start, you cant decide where to direct your attention.
Your kids feel the exact same when they have an overabundance of toys and activities to choose from.
Creating specific play areas can give their play structure
I first started creating specific play areas after I noticed how several of the children’s museums we had visited were set up. Each area had a theme but had enough space and specific items for the kids to be able to play for extended periods of time without getting bored.
Doctors offices, veterinary offices, mail rooms, kitchens, markets, orange groves, grocery stores… the themes are endless.
In our house, we have the kitchen area and a camping area. We occasionally create temporary spaces (like a baby care center for example) to mix things up.
Purposeful organization gives you the ability to notice clutter before it gets out of control.
The grandparents are bad about getting the kids new toys. I mean bad as in they spoil my kids as good grandparents will. However, that means that non-curated toys make their way into my home fairly often.
My husband and I generally put a lot of thought into the new play items we bring into the house. The grandparents… not so much. They are yes people.
Somehow we magically ended up with about 15 baby dolls and only one child that plays with them. WAY too many baby choices for her.
Since we only have a specific amount of room allotted for babies we can easily notice when we are reaching capacity and address it before it gets out of control.
Traffic flow and play space are just as important as the items in the playroom
We have lived in our home for almost three years. One of the main selling features was the sunroom on the back which we intended on using as a big playroom for the kids. The place we were living had no space for the kid’s toys except in our living room and we really wanted to have an adult space again.
So, we move in and I start trying to organize with furniture and bins and things we already had on hand. I am never satisfied. I rearrange the room at least every two weeks for the next two years. Seriously. Not an exaggeration.
I declutter time and time again but I just can’t seem to get the feeling that I want. The proper flow for play.
Finally, I broke down and purchased a large cube organizer and everything clicked together. It gives me just enough room to store some of our bigger collections (like those baby dolls) in the hidden bins. It also gives me plenty of space for those larger items too.
Again the key here is not having too much STUFF. You can get as many organizing tools as you want but if you have too many things your organization will never work.
Another lifesaving purchase I made were these little clear bins from WalMart. About $1 each they are pretty good quality and are the perfect size for little toy collections.
I’m honestly thinking of getting another set for my own craft room!
Not only are these great for keeping sets together but its also really easy for the kids to see what they have to play with.
The rule is that you can only play with one bin at a time. When you are done and the toys are put back you can get another one. Such a great way to teach your kids to pick up after themselves.
Lastly the kitchen food. This has been a pain point since the moment we got our girls a play kitchen. This is actually our 2nd kitchen and I had just as much organizational trouble with the first one.
I got this metal organizer at Hobby Lobby and its PERFECT. Its cute enough that it looks decorative, see-through so the kids can see whats in there and gives us a limited amount of room for all that play food.
Fun story, one year for Christmas my husband ordered a 120 piece plastic play food set without telling me. It made it about a month before I lost my mind and threw it all away. 120 pieces yall! Crazy!
So no, our playroom is not picture perfect. It’s not a Pinterest worthy playroom. What it is is functional, organized and intentional.
It keeps my stress and anxiety to a minimum and helps my kids do the same. That is the goal that we try and achieve in every room in our house. Structuring it in a way that keeps maintenance to a minimum and functionality to the maximum.
Create spaces in your home that invite everyone to spend time together. Spaces that aren’t overwhelming. Spaces that are full of love and laughter and not just full of stuff.