10 Tips to De-Clutter the Play Room or Toy Room

If you have kids, you have toys—and more than likely you have lots of toys with lots of pieces, parts, and accessories! Toys have a way of taking over not only the kids’ room or play room but the whole house without an organizational plan of attack. How can you de-clutter the play room and keep all of the kids toys organized? There are 10 tips to help you keep the toys in check.

Open baskets and bins are kid friendly storage containers. Kids are usually “tossers” rather than “placers”—meaning they are far more likely to toss toys into an open bin or basket than strategically return them to proper shelves or order.


Keep storage at kid friendly heights. If a bin, basket or shelf is placed at your child’s height, he is far more likely to return the toys when finished playing. Plus—this relieves the need for mom or dad to be the only one tall enough to clean up after play time!

Create storage areas in the play room. Rather than storing toys in an obscure closet or an out-of-the-way cubby hole, maximize play time and minimize clean up time by creating storage in the play zone if possible. 

Confine play to the play room. If you do this consistently, it will help cut down on those Barbie dolls and stuffed animals posing tripping hazards on the stairs or taking up residence at the dining room table. As a bonus, when one activity is finished, the kids may be forced to put away all of those toys in order to have space in the play room for the next activity!

Use those play room walls for play space! Walls are not just for shelves and storage cubes. There are lots of toys, games and activities that offer both an on the wall play space and a storage space all in one. Check out Hot Wheels® Wall Tracks™ sets for a creative wall play space idea!


Plan toy storage areas while toy shopping. Think ahead when buying those sets of blocks, toy cars, beads or dolls—and consider how and where the item will be stored when not in use.  Buy something for storage along with the toy whenever possible.

Combine and conquer toy clutter. Rather than maintaining ten smaller containers of Polly Pockets or Hot Wheels—combine them into larger containers or storage units by toy type (such as dolls or cars) rather than by special sets. Even when sets come in a mini storage unit—combining often saves space and allows for faster, easier, kid-friendly, toy clean up!

Get creative with toy storage. While books look nice arranged on shelves, a large fireplace basket or pocket style shelf may better suit your family’s needs or household style. Organizers intended for the garage may work better for beads or craft supplies than some products intended for crafting—it all depends on your personal needs and space constraints. 
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My girls have at least a zillion stuffed animals--and I love The Zoo "cage" from LittleZooKeepers.  It stores a lot of stuffed critters--using valuable vertical space--the kids can access the animals easily for both playtime and clean up time!

Reduce the stuff. While this is a tough one for kids, sometimes the only way to de-clutter is to create a space with less “cluttering” stuff! Frequently sort the toy stash for broken, unwanted, and unused items. Toss, recycle, or donate finds—especially before gift receiving holidays! Even the most organized space becomes cluttered when left to grow at large!

Make the kids accountable. “A Place for Everything, and Everything in its Place” is really a motto to live by—and the sooner the kids learn it, they happier and less cluttered your home will be! If you plan toy organization well, even the little ones should be able to participate in clean up.

As we gear up for a new season of toys—now is the perfect time to either design or redesign your toy storage. Planning a de-cluttered toy space now will save lots of anxiety—both for the holidays and throughout the year!

Disclaimer:  This is an updated post. I wrote this blog post originally in 2011 while participating in the SocialMoms and Hot Wheels® blogging program.  I was compensated for my original post.
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