Guest post from Bethany of Little Homeschool Blessings
Our playroom was…well… OUT. OF. HAND. Do you know about those play spaces that just keep accumulating toys, toys, and more toys? One time I tried to sit down with the kids and weed things out (about a year ago). I found several duplicate toys. Not similar looking or the same brand, but the SAME EXACT TOY! When I suggested that we keep one and get rid of the other, I was met with astonished faces. “Mommy, we can’t separate twins!” Oh, my.
Then at Christmas time, I suggested that we consider donating some things. I received a very unlikely compilation of items that filled up a shoe box.
So I went about tackling the mess a different way. I started by creating 3 types of piles: Trash, Yard sale, and Keep. Once things were put where they belonged, we set about sweeping and dusting. It is a completely new feeling space now. A coat of paint may be the only thing left to complete the room.
Are you ready for your playroom spring clean?
Trash bags for the trash (broken toys and bits of string and papers lying around)
Boxes for the yard sale pile (things that you can sell and/or donate)
Tags and stickers, markers and pens for labeling the yard sale items
Baskets or bins for the items you are keeping
General cleaning supplies for dusting and sweeping
Paint and painting supplies (if you are feeling adventurous)
Anywhere from a solid afternoon to several days (we needed several days)
Getting to It:
Start by making a general organization of the room. Books near the shelves, dress-up clothes by the chest, puppets over with the stage, etc. Don’t worry about putting them away. It is much easier to leave them out and only put away what you will keep. If your kids are not eager to part with their toys, this is a good time to have them help. They can sort the toys according to where they belong. I like to give my kids a toy on wheels that they can load up and deliver the toys in the proper place.
Once all of the items are organized, begin with one of your piles, sorting it until you are completely finished. I find it helpful to have a trash bag, yard sale box, and storage container next to you. As you are working through each pile, you simply place the item where it goes. It can be overwhelming at times, so I recommend that you ask yourself these questions:
1) Is this toy, book, or play thing broken or in disrepair?
2) Is this a favorite toy, book, or play thing that my child goes back to again and again? Or is it special for another reason?
3) How many toys, books, or play things like this one do we have? Are there others that do the same thing?
4) Does this toy, book, or play thing inspire creativity, allow them to practice daily tasks, or spark interest in something worthwhile?
When you’ve gone through the first pile, move onto the next. Stick to one pile at a time and see it through to completion.
To complete the job, remove the yard sale items to storage (or the yard sale) and take the trash bags out. Dust the shelves and toys and sweep the flowers. Painting could easily be arranged by pulling things to the middle of the room and covering shelves and bins with drop cloths.
And you’re done!
When the play room is looking great, it is a good time to get the yard sale items priced and tagged so they are ready for the sale when you are.
Bethany spends her days looking for ways to simplify and discharge of the clutter that builds up. You can visit her at Little Homeschool Blessings where she shares her family’s adventures.