Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Home Tour: Playroom

We got lucky with the layout of this house, and while Ez doesn't technically have a full room dedicated to toys, there is an alcove off to the right of the front entrance that is perfect for him to use as his "kid office". One of the great things about it is that there's a nice big window that lets in lots of natural light and lets him watch all the vehicles that drive by. As soon as he wakes up in the morning he generally asks to "watch cars??" which means he wants us to open the window. 

Here's a little peak at his, and now Declan's, play area:

This is how we've currently got stuff organized:

We put this storage bench under the window, which was a Christmas gift from my dad and the perfect addition to the room. We were looking for something that was sturdy enough for Ez to climb on, but also functional as far as toy storage goes, and this bench was exactly the right size for the space. I will say that when I put the bench together some of the holes for the screws were stripped and the screws kept falling out. I called Wayfair and they sent me another one and told me I could do whatever I wanted with that bench, so I finished putting it together and decided it was still sturdy, even minus the missing screws, so now we have two, one under each of the front windows. The second one has already been taken over by Declan's toys, and is also a little coffee table for the reading nook I set up for myself. Here's a closer look at how we've stashed Ez's toys and books:

Growing up I was a total bookworm and I really want Ez to love reading too, so of course he needs his own little reading nook:

Ez's favorite part of the room is his Radiator Springs table. He loves that thing and plays with it daily. Unfortunately  Declan is drawn to it too, and loves grabbing any of the pieces he can reach and then chewing on them. I call him baby Godzilla because he's always terrorizing the town.

As moms we all face a lot of the same battles, and one of the top ones has got to be toy clutter. I doubt I'm the only mom that's stepped on a Hot Wheel and cursed then threatened to throw every last toy away. Right?? Please tell me I'm not the only one. 

I'd heard of rotating toys long before I finally got my act together and gave it a try. Not only does Ez have a collection of toy vehicles about 40k strong and growing, but he actually knows all of his cars, and heaven help us if one is missing when he decides he wants it. So I can't just sneak toys off to Goodwill. I also can't leave them all within his reach, because it's no fun to play with toys unless you take out every single one and scatter it across every seating area and major walkway in the house

Most of Ez's toys are cars so they thankfully don't take up that much space. For now I'm able to sort them all into backpacks, based on what type of car it is (aka - motorcycles, monster trucks, Disney cars, hot wheels, and mini cars). Then I allow Ez to have one backpack at a time. If he wants a different backpack he has to put all the toys back in whichever one he currently has out. So far this system is working pretty well for us. There is always still clutter all over the house, but it's only 1/5th of what would be there if we didn't rotate out his toys. It's also much easier for him to put them all away when he knows exactly where they go. And there's the very important added bonus that when I need a few moments of peace I can just bring out a new bag of toys and they're like brand new and much more interesting than if they were available to him all the time.

Here's a little peak at Ez's vast toys collection (sadly, this isn't all of them, he's got more in his bedroom):

So that's our current toy organization system. It's definitely not perfect, and it usually looks like Toys R Us has exploded in my living room. And dining room. And kitchen. Especially now that Declan contributes to the mess as well. But the fact that all the toys do have homes, and Ez actually knows where they go and how to put them away is a huge improvement for us. If you've got any magical tips that make toy cleanup even easier, please share! I'm always interested to hear how other people organize all the kid clutter that can so easily take over your house.


  1. how fun! Great graphics. Oh and I looked at Cars stuff we have and it's too small for!

  2. Very neat and organized. Looks great! Love that storage bench.

  3. This is the perfect room! And kuddos to you for having this so organized!!

  4. What a great play space! Kudos to Wayfair for replacing the unit and now you have two! I do a loose toy rotation but not as cute, ziplock bags for the win ;)

  5. This is awesome! You guys have such a cool space for play! I'm jealous of your organization skills! Please come help me!

  6. That's such a cute idea with the backpacks! Did you purchase all of those backpacks specifically for that idea? I loved taking a peek at all of your boy toys! I love that train table.

  7. oh my gosh he literally has every single car every made. I love that backpack system. That's a great idea. Since we are moving I just did a big purge and got rid of a bunch of those misc toys that are tiny and annoying but Aria loves to play with. Like tiny Sofia and random mechanical inchworms (tiny too) and bracelets. I just kept her favorites and made sure they all fit in one box of misc crap. The rest are bigger and have places to be, so I don't mind them as much. Also thank god Aria doesn't notice when a toy goes off to live at the consignment store. Although heaven forbid she sees it before it goes off. Stealth is totally key. Never misses it after. I'd rotate too but I have no idea where to store the extra things...did I just write a novel?