All Play and No Work Makes for a Very Messy Toy Room!

Author: Shannon Miller

I personally have a touch of OCD when it comes to my sons toys.

I drive myself crazy making sure that all the pieces are back together and in the right places each day before he goes down for a nap. I have a lamb and a pig still missing from one of his puzzles and I can barely sleep at night wondering where they could be.

The idea of a “clean” toy room is practically an oxy-moron.

So how do you keep a room tidy that is meant for play?  Have no fear.  There are solutions.

Talking with a friend who has 3 school-aged kids, I gained great insight on how to keep the toy room clean, and even better, how to make kids a part of the process!

  • Game Time!  Make cleaning into a game. Tell your kids to only put away items that are a specific color or shape, or ask them to put away as many items as possible in 2 minutes (or some time increment).
  • Tupperware is your friend! Store toys away in Tupperware bins that can be stacked or put on low shelves. If you’re feeling overzealous, you could label the bins (i.e. puzzles, cars, board games).
  • Pop Quiz! Tell your kids that twice a day, you are going to check to make sure that the toy room (and for fun, their bedroom too!) is cleaned up. For each time, they ace their “pop quiz,” they get rewarded (i.e. 20 minutes to play a game on the computer).
  • The Redemption Box. When you see toys lying around (not put away where they should be), put them in a box. When they clean up other messes or make some other “good choice”, (i.e. share with their siblings), they can have something out of the box.
So, yes, a toy room is meant for fun and play but with a few simple tricks, there is no reason that it can’t also be clean and organized! 
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