Part 2 In Our De-Clutter Series: The Play Room

A stuffed animals mountain, books strewn everywhere, puzzles with missing pieces, child art adorning the walls, half-assembled Lego Star Wars kits and stacks of board games…no, not a scene from Toy Story. This is a scene from the typical playroom if you are the norm. Whether our HVAC tech is doing an air quality test, or our plumbing tech is unclogging a utility sink, we tend to see a lot of playrooms and craft rooms.

We all dream of having that museum-quality playroom, right out of a California Closets photo shoot. In reality, we’re all stepping on Legos pieces in our bare feet, the toy wrangling is a full-time job, and the moment our backs are turned, the kids are already sabotaging our efforts.

Here are some suggestions for regaining control of your playroom, to reduce the clutter CHAOS (the acronym for, “Can’t Have Anybody Over Syndrome”) affecting many of us.

The 10-Toy Rule: If you cast an objective eye on the kids’ toys, you’ll find most are ignored and haven’t been played with in a long time. These ignored items should go into storage in the garage or the basement. Once they’re out of sight, they’re also out of mind. That’s when we move to the next stage in purging: Goodwill, Salvation Army or whichever second-hand store of your choice takes these items, while your taxes take the write-off. If the toys are in excellent condition, convince the kids to sell them on eBay and pocket the money for the next hot fidget spinner they’re convinced they must have. There are also eBay brick-and-mortar stores that will take items in great condition.

Rain Gutters to the Rescue: Rain gutters make great reading corner “shelves” – take a corner of your room and install rain gutters, meeting in the corner, in horizontal rows, without enough space between each horizontal row for taller books, like your favorite Dr. Seuss books.

Ikea to the Rescue: Ikea, Sauder and similar shelving companies have white shelving (or other colors if you prefer) that can be filled with baskets for storage. Use clear glass (or clear plastic) cookie jars to fill with markers, colored pencils and crayons, and clear, plastic dollar-store square tubs filled with coloring books, colorful construction paper and puzzles.

The Hanging Zoo: In one of the corners of your playroom, you can place netted material, tack it up into the wall and create a hammock to store your child’s menagerie of stuffed animals. If necessary, make several corner hammocks.

The Magnetic Wall: Buy an oil drip pan from Walmart or any auto supply store, and attach it to your wall.  An oil drip pan makes an enormous, square metal surface to turn into a magnetic bulletin board to display art projects, your child’s magnetic alphabet and your family’s favorite magnet collection.

If you have favorite tips, we’re all ears! Feel free to share your ideas and comments. And if you need help with your air quality or plumbing, we’re here for you at 1-888-MY-ROSCOE.