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Quick Guide: tidy the playroom

Playroom look more like a warzone? Even if the kids wanted to play, they probably couldn’t find a space to set up a game! For lots of families, clutter and playroom are almost synonymous.

If the playroom is a mess and your little ones can’t play, they’ll end up taking games and toys to other rooms. This just worsens the problem, as your cherubs will just spread the clutter around the house!

Is your battle against the army of toys never ending? Closing the door on the mess not cutting it any more? If your answer to either of these questions is ‘yes’ and it’s causing a disruption to your home’s harmony, know that it doesn’t have to be the way.

Here’s our quick guide for making the playroom fun again!

1. Limit the choices

Children are often spoiled – by us, our families and at the myriad of parties they go to at occur.

If children have too many toys, they can become overwhelmed and unable to decide what to play with beyond their few favourites. From time to time it’s useful to have a ‘toy-audit’; this is when you sit with your child or go through their toys alone (this approach tends to work better!) to remove the toys they’ve outgrown, broken or no longer play with. Give back and donate them to charity if they’re in good condition.

2. Rotate on the regular

If your child has toys they aren’t ready to part with yet, or that they’ve yet to grow into, rotate toy bins on a regular basis and keep the toys that aren’t in use in cupboards, or even the loft.

3. Keep it kid-friendly

A toy box is a traditional go-to for keeping toys out of sight, but that’s also part of the problem. They tend to be big and solid – with no way of telling what’s inside unless you empty the whole container. Small, clear containers or open-top fabric bins can help children see what’s inside – this will remove the need to tip everything out just to find one toy!

If you want your child to return toys back to somewhere in particular when they’ve finished playing with them, make it easier for them to do this by labelling containers with words or fun pictures. Also, be sure to keep categories broad (dolls, animals, cars and play food) and put the containers on shelves low-enough that they’re easily accessible.

4. Avoid an assault on the eyes

If the decor in the playroom is extremely loud, then adults have no-one to blame but themselves if it makes everything look extra cluttered!

Plenty of shapes and colours are really important for a child’s development, but it’s easy to balance the noise out with neutral-coloured furnishings, curtains, rugs and shelving. If you prefer a bare wall, have bright furnishings and textiles, but co-ordinate them with no more than two or three colours.

5. The trouble with tech

Because tablets, iPods, iPads, handheld gaming devices and Kindles are so portable, most people don’t give them a defined home. As a result, they end up scattered throughout the house, with their corresponding cords and chargers nowhere to be found.

Choose a place for electronics the accompanying accessories in the playroom, and then support the kids by plugging in their electronics each evening to keep them functioning and out of the way.

6. Play fair

Particularly with smaller children, it’s unreasonable to set expectations for how tidy you’d like the playroom to look if you don’t make it possible to keep things tidy in the first place.

Maintain realistic expectations for your child’s age and abilities when it comes to tidying up, because high standards will frustrate your child and they won’t be engaged enough to do it in future.

Even though we’re into March, the weather is still really miserable, which means that if you devote some time over a weekend to making some changes, you won’t resent staying in the house.

If you, in collaboration with your children (they can help!) create a fun and functional playroom free of mess, the entire family will be more relaxed, and your kids will be excited about their toys (many of which they probably haven’t seen for a long time!) again.

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