20 Brilliant Kids Playroom Organization Ideas
Your kids’ playroom might be the room they love to be in the most, but it’s also the one that’s hardest to keep clean and organized! It seems like the toys, books, and arts and crafts supplies coming into the playroom each day are ENDLESS, right?
Well, get ready for the most inspirational and fun playroom organization ideas! I’m going to share with you some of my top storage and declutter tips, that will work regardless of the size of your space. Let’s dive right in and learn how to create a neat (but fun!) playroom that your kids will enjoy!
Both my kids can spend hours in their play area. My little girl will play with her dolls, play pretend in her kitchen, and color and paint. My toddler basically follows around his older sister and jumps from toy to toy. By the end of play time, the room is usually a mess and toys are all over the floor.
Because of this, I’ve made it easy for my kids to know exactly where everything goes so they can help clean up with me. I’ve also designed and organized their playroom in a way that I can easily clean and store all their toys in 30 minutes or less.
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Playroom Organization & Storage Ideas
Here is an exhaustive list of playroom organization ideas for your kids’ playroom:
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1. Have a dedicated playroom or “toy room”
Even if you live in a small space, it’s a good idea to have a dedicated area where you store all of your kids’ toys and where they can play. In my experience, the right place would be a space near where they already spend most of their time, unless you want to end up with toys spread out in multiple rooms (no one wants that!).
For example, if your child enjoys spending most of their time in the living room, then you can create a hybrid playroom design where your child will have their toys accessible to them.
If you have a small space, create a mixed-use designated play area by:
- Making the play area in a corner of your living room or family room.
- Making the space playful by adding a colorful rug or mat that is easy to clean and will hide spills, like this beautiful one from Ruggable.
- Create “boundaries” of the space using your furniture, for example with a low desk, bookcase, or bench.
2. Use play room furniture that doubles as storage
A great way to maximize a small space is to use play room furniture that also doubles as storage. Here are some examples of furniture that serves both purposes:
- a bookcase and toy storage in one,
- a bench that also serves as a toy chest,
- or a cozy reading nook that includes compartments for storage.
3. Maximize wall space
Utilize empty vertical space on your wall by adding floating shelves, chalkboards or whiteboards, hooks to hang things like instruments, coats, and bookbags, and hanging wall file organizers. It’s also a great place to show off your kids’ artwork, which brings me to my next point…
4. Pick favorite artwork pieces and toss the rest
I know we feel bad about throwing away our kids’ artwork but do you really think you need to keep 50 art pieces that were made with your baby’s footprint in daycare? No.
Choose some of your favorites, or your child’s favorites if they have a preference, and recycle the rest. If you really want to keep more than you can showcase, then create a fun scrapbook with some of their remaining artwork or designate specific folders or storage drawers for art.
Once you’ve narrowed it down, get creative in hanging up your child’s artwork. For example, I strung little clothespins on some twine to hang up art:
It’s my favorite corner of the room! Some other great ideas for artwork display include magnetic clips, wire picture hangers, and front-opening frames that allow you to hold numerous pictures in one frame like the ones from Li’l DAVINCI.
5. “Everything should have a home”
One of the most crucial things I learned to maintain long-term organization in my home is that absolutely everything should have a home and a place. It was one of the key teachings of Marie Kondo’s “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” book that I used to do a full declutter of my house.
Basically everything in your home should have a space where it belongs. No more junk drawers or “catch-all” buckets of toys. Just figure out where you want all your kids’ trucks to go so that there’s never any confusion about where something is.
6. Use toy organizers with open bins
Instead of just one giant toy box, buy a fun toy organizer that has open plastic bins, which allows your kids to easily see what toys are in them. This makes it more likely they’ll play with those toys and makes cleaning up easier.
This one has worked pretty well for me and my kids. I especially love the playful colors it comes in:
7. Have a multi-use sitting area for your kids
Have a small table and chairs where your kids can sit and do art & crafts, play with their blocks, eat their snacks, etc. Make sure to buy one that’s easy to clean because there will likely be lots of spills and stains. You may also want to get a mat that you can easily place on top of the table for arts & crafts time.
I swear by Melissa and Doug for their innovative toys and kids’ decor and this playroom table is a perfect example. It comes with storage space including shelves and 4 cup holders, as well as a paper roll dispenser perfect for art projects. Genius!!
8. Create specific categories for toy storage
One way to give everything a home and maintain long-term tidiness is to sort your kids toys into categories and store them accordingly. For example, I keep a separate container or bin for the following categories:
- toy cars
- stuffed animals
- baby toys (my 9-month-old’s toys)
- coloring and activity books
- crayons and markers
It’s a good idea to label the bins too so you and your child can remember where everything goes.
A better way to store smaller toy pieces, like puzzle pieces or doll-house accessories, is to use small zip-loc bags and label them so the small pieces don’t get lost.
9. Create learning centers for organized play
Many preschools have learning centers in the classroom where kids go to designated areas to engage in independent learning activities using hands-on materials and tools. If you have enough space, why not incorporate them at home as well?
Here are some great ideas for learning centers:
- Building Blocks and Legos– arguably every kids’ favorite center, where they get to create and build things like towns, cars, and planes. There are even specific Lego tables you can buy if your child is really into them.
- Pretend play– great options include a play kitchen, a box with costumes and accessories, and other props to encourage creative play.
- Art– keep this center supplied with crayons, markers, construction paper, play-doh, and other craft supplies. I also have an easel/chalkboard I bought from Melissa and Doug that gets hours of use from my daughter and all her friends.
- Math and Science– the math center could include board games (or my personal favorite, dominoes), fake money and coins, a kaleidoscope, their own little indoor garden…you’d be surprised how many items could fit into this center!
- Reading– you can place a comfy nook with some books that are easily accessible. Just make sure to rotate the books to keep the options fresh.
- Writing– have cute stationary, colorful post-its, activity books, and pencils and pens for your child to practice their penmanship at their table.
- Water play– I try to keep these activities outside because practically speaking, it would be a mess indoors. Usually this will include bubbles, sprinklers, or this awesome Water Park play table.
- Music– gather up some guitars, pianos, horns, drums, maracas, whatever you got, and make a nice music center for your child to explore.
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10. Keep art supplies portable
It’s generally a good idea to keep your kids’ art supplies in easy-to-move bins or baskets that they can carry around the house if needed. I also like to put away crayons and markers when we have young kids over unless I want crayon writing all over my walls and floors!
You can also use a handy rolling cart that can be easily wheeled right out of the playroom.
11. Rotate toys
You’ve probably already noticed that your child might only play with a new toy for a few days or hours before the novelty wears off and they lose interest. Honestly, most kids today have so many toys, they are overwhelmed with all the choices.
To increase your kids’ engagement and get more use out of each toy, divide their toys in half and store the other half out of sight. Then you can switch around the toys that are in the kids playroom periodically. Watch your child light up every time they see a shiny “new” batch of toys appear. Works like a charm!
Of course, the added bonus to rotating toys is that it’s easier to keep the playroom neat and organized when only half of the toys are out at any given time. Win-win.
12. Keep furniture and decor kid-proof
Sometimes, in our excitement to make things cute in our kids’ playroom, we forget that furniture and decor also has to be practical. After all, there will be rambunctious kids playing in there.
Here are some tips for creating a functional and safe playroom:
- Stick to furniture and rugs that will hide messes and stains and are easy to clean- so a white couch is probably not a good idea.
- Make sure furniture is kid-sized and comfortable. Use a soft rug or mat so your kids can play on the floor. Most of what’s in the room, especially storage items and organizers, should be accessible to a child. This will encourage your child to clean up after themselves.
- Child-proof the room if you have babies and toddlers, like using outlet covers and safety cushioning for sharp edges, and keep fragile decor out of the room.
- Use overhead lighting instead of free-standing lamps.
- Supply your child with washable kid’s paint like Crayola’s Washable Kids Paint Set and use old blankets to cover the floor when painting.
- Keep cleaning wipes and paper towels in the playroom to wipe up messes quickly.
- Paint the walls with finishes, like eggshell and satin, that resist stains and are easy to clean. Avoid using flat finishes in play rooms (and honestly if you have kids I would avoid flat finishes in the entire house).
13. Use household items to organize toys on a budget
There are so many things you can use from around your house to organize your playroom on a budget. Here are just some cool ideas:
- Solo cups and plastic mason jars– for storing paint brushes, crayons, markers and other art supplies and small toys;
- Travel soap containers– stores flash cards and playing cards well;
- Wooden crates– great for storing books and bigger toys, and you can even add wheels to make them mobile;
- Shoe boxes- versatile and easy to decorate;
- Mesh laundry bags for storing puzzle pieces;
- Over-the-door shoe organizers– perfect for storing small toys and action figures;
- Hampers– great for storing stuffed animals; and
- Hanging plant hangers– also ideal for storing stuffed animals.
Decluttering Tips for Your Kids’ Playroom
Feeling overwhelmed with the amount of STUFF in your playroom? When you’re ready to start decluttering, follow these tips:
14. Declutter without your kids
At least for the first pass, it’s a good idea to leave your kids out of the declutter process. Otherwise, they won’t want to part with any of their toys, and might convince you to keep more than you intended to. It will go much smoother if you go at it while they’re not around.
15. Pile up ALL of the toys
Instead of going bin by bin, take all of the toys in the room and pile them in the center of the room. This is another tip I learned from Marie Kondo’s book and one that has stuck with me forever. This way you get a concept of how many toys your children really own and whether there are any duplicate toys you can donate.
16. Create 3 piles: keep, donate, toss
For each item, put it in one of 3 piles: keep, donate, and toss. Take each item individually and decide whether it still brings your child joy. Is this a toy they still play with? Does it serve a purpose? Will they miss it? If no, then donate it to a child in need, to your kids’ daycare or school, or to a children’s hospital.
17. Toss broken toys
If it’s broken or missing little bits and pieces, then it’s probably time to toss it. The remaining toys should be toys that are “whole”, meaning that have all the necessary pieces to be useful. No point in holding on to a board game where half the pieces are missing.
18. Put batteries in toys that require it
I know sometimes we makes excuses to keep something, like “My child would play with this if it had batteries!” I suggest you put batteries in all the toys that require it and you plan to keep. Keep some spare batteries handy.
And if you notice that it’s too hard to maintain, get rid of those toys too. No need to keep anything that your child doesn’t play with anymore, that takes too much effort to maintain, and that takes up space.
19. Declutter periodically
To keep clutter to a minimum year-round, commit to declutter the entire room seasonally, for example for fall and spring cleaning. I’ll also do a declutter after my kids receive a lot of toys as birthday or Christmas gifts, to make room for the new toys.
20. Encourage loved ones to gift non-toy items
If you don’t want or need more toys for your kids, encourage people to gift other items like clothing.
I also send out a direct link to my friends and family to my kids’ 529 plans for birthdays so that they can donate to their college savings. This has been hugely effective in minimizing the amount of toys they get and increasing their savings.
Benefits of Organizing Your Kids’ Playroom
Believe it or not, there are actually some great benefits to decluttering your kids’ play areas. Research shows that fewer toys can actually help a child focus more and engage in more creative and imaginative play.
Children were found to play longer with their toys and in more varied ways when they had less options. This can lead to major developmental benefits for your child in the areas of:
- Fine motor coordination
All of this makes sense from an adult’s perspective. Just think about how much better you’re able to focus when your space is clean and organized.
I definitely find that my daughter is much more likely to play in her playroom longer when it’s clutter-free. She’s also better able to find and discover toys she hasn’t played with in a while.
Kick Back and Enjoy
It takes some elbow grease to declutter and organize your kid’s playroom, but so worth it! Your children will appreciate and benefit from a clutter-free space, and you’ll enjoy your tidy house once again.
If you found these playroom storage solutions helpful, don’t forget to Pin and share with a friend!
Frequently Asked Questions
Hi, I’m Yesenia
Hi, I’m Yesenia! As a working mom of two kids. I’ve experienced all of the beautiful and crazy moments of early parenthood: breastfeeding, picky eaters, toilet training, balancing work with kids, and the list continues!
I created Hard Knock Mama to help working moms navigate through their child’s early years and find a successful balance in their home, work, and life.