I remember years ago during one of the first days of summer after my girls had started elementary school that I heard the dreaded words: “I’m bored”. As school comes to a close, I’m hearing these words more often than I would like and am sure you are too (and if not, please tell me your secrets!).
As adults, it’s common to walk into our closet and complain that we have “nothing to wear”. I’ve been there, my clients have been there, and chances are you’ve been there on a regular basis as well.
See, for kids, their version of our closet complaints is oftentimes their play space. So many options, but for (what seems like) the majority of the time nothing seems appealing. More than likely, there are dozens of toy options at their disposal and yet as parents we hear the dreaded “I’m bored!” more often than we would like. It can be frustrating to stare at a room full of puzzles, board games, dolls, legos, and more, and think about how they can’t find something to do, but it’s possible that it’s not what the options are but how they are being stored. Yes, believe it or not organization–or lack thereof–could be the culprit behind your kid’s boredom.
With school coming to a close for the year, there will be longer hours spent at home and inside, so I wanted to share what’s worked for me and my clients over the years when approaching how to set up playrooms/spaces. I know that tackling kids spaces isn’t always exciting, but this is a place where you can get the kids involved in the process by having them group like with like, create labels, etc. Trust me, a little bit of incentivizing will be worth your sanity!
Here are my tried-and-true tips for creating a playroom (or any kids’ space) that is not only super functional, but well organized.
4 WAYS TO ORGANIZE YOUR PLAYROOM TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY
Rotate out the options. Decision fatigue is real! When there are too many options to choose from it can be difficult to make a decision with what to do. Reduce the size of the selection on a regular basis so that kids can narrow in on the current options and you can rotate in toys that may not get played with as often. Plus, this is a great way to test out toys before they get donated. If your kid hasn’t been interested in playing with it after a certain amount of time, it may be a sign that it’s not going to be played with and would be better suited on someone else’s toy shelf.
Keep everything accessible. I’ve talked about the benefits of maximizing vertical storage time and time again, but with kids it’s important to lower your available height range. Limit yourself to storing options within their eye level and reach (or lower) so that they can be accessed on their own and are front and center for their little hands. Reserve higher shelves for group/family games, activity kits, or other choices that may require adult supervision or extra help.
Categorize and display accordingly. Creating a home for everything–down to the ever growing collections–is key. Use small clear bins to keep categories contained and dedicate “zones” to encourage play and display for said categories.
Weed out the clutter quarterly. Spend time every couple of months to review what’s being stored. Chances are your kids may no longer be attached to the headless doll or broken truck that they’ve buried at the bottom of the bin, and the missing puzzle pieces that never turned may be better off in the garbage bin. The same rule goes for books that may no longer be appropriate for their age or reading level, so make sure to sweep the bookshelves to identify options to clear out real estate.