Playroom Purge

When Spring arrived I had the itch to purge and organize. I’m not as much into the “cleaning” but I love a good declutter to start off the summer.

One of the biggest and messiest areas in our home is the playroom. No matter how many times I organize, label, tidy, it can be destroyed in a matter of minutes with the right amount of kids. Most of the time I don’t mind, I mean, that’s what it is there for, right? But it got to the point that new toys came in for Christmas and birthdays and nothing was going out. Those new items did not have permanent homes on the shelves or in the cubes, so the kids didn’t know where to leave them once finished with them.

I decided that I would take my Spring fever and channel it into organizing their toys. I already had put a lot of time into the storage ideas down there but it was long overdue for a refresh.

We went through all the toys, one by one. We created a box for donating and a box for garbage. Anything broken, torn, one time use, etc would be thrown away. All the “baby” toys that the kids no longer played with, we boxed up to donate so they can be loved by other children. Once the purge was completed it was time to organize and label for all the leftovers.

My wall to wall shelves made room on the bottom for all of our “Little People” sets. The kids still really enjoy them and our collection has grown. Craft supplies continue to be at the very top to avoid unnecessary messes. We added an “appliance” shelve for imaginative play, we also needed to make room for the new Home Depot toolbox set.

The day bed got all it’s bedding put in place. And some rogue accent pillows made their way onto it for a comfy place to play or watch cartoons.

Our Lego table got a new, fun rug added. This is the most popular play area when kids come over, and because there are only two stools, it can get crowded. Having the rug all around makes it a bit easier for everyone to play together and be comfortable, even when not on the stool. This entire table now stores Lego on one side, and Mega Bloks on the other. Previously it had imaginative play items (wooden food, pots and pans, etc) but that was integrated into the cubes under the TV instead. It seemed to work better with all building blocks in one place.

The kids had a new circus tent added this year so it was placed by the window as it needs quite a bit of floor space. Because all of the walls have designated spaces or centers set up, there were limited options for that.

The Barbie area got shuffled a bit to make room for the tent, and the car carpet now has actual ramps and cars to play with. When the carpet was originally purchased we had very little for vehicles, mostly the kids would use it to land their Little People plane.

And that is pretty much it for the purge and refresh. A few small tweaks here and there to the original plan made it work much better for the kids. And if you walked into our house today and headed down there, it looks identical to the pictures. Every toy now has a home, making it easier for clean up. (It also helps that Kennedy is now reading and can read the labels put in place for easy organizing).



Spring Cleaning – Purge

As mentioned in my previous Spring Cleaning post, we live by two rules: Purge & Organize. Purging is a must! You can only be so organized before junk takes over all the work you just did. Purging is something we have gotten really good at, but I completely understand that it can be hard for others.

When we are cleaning or going through items I keep in mind a few key things. And they are a great place to start if you are new to the whole “purging” thing. Here is what you need to ask yourself:

  • When was the last time I used this?
  • How much did this item cost?
  • Will I need this in the next month or so?
  • Could this item be of use to someone else?

The reason these questions are important is because it helps bring into perspective the importance of the item. If you haven’t used the item in the last year or so, do you really think you will use it going forward? Chances are you have replaced it with something else that you DO use!

When it comes to the cost of the item, I’m thinking in terms of replacement. If I give it away and all of a sudden need one, what would my loss be. For example, the kids seem to collect character cups (Plastic cups with Paw Patrol and Disney princesses on them). Sometimes they crack or get worn out and the pictures slowly fade and peel off. When going through them, it’s easy for me to say “Yup! I got my .99 out of this!” and throw the bad ones away and replace. You need to look at all items in this way. If you’re not sure if you will need it or not, maybe have doubts about getting rid of it, then hold onto it and grab it on the next round of purging. 6 months later when you come back to the same item, you will be more certain with whether or not it has been used or is worth the storage space.

When you are looking at an item and deciding on whether or not you will be needing it in the near future, here are some things to think about. Is this a seasonal item? For example, plastic cups for the patio. Annoying to store, and maybe don’t get a lot of use. If you’re coming up onto summer months, it’s a great time to revisit the idea of using them. Do you have an upcoming BBQ that will require cups? Did you forget you have them?

Lastly, couldĀ this item be of use to someone else? This is big for me. Old blankets that we never use anymore that are just collecting dust, could be a goldmine to a shelter or homeless person. The bottles of shampoo and body wash that you didn’t like, could be a luxury item to an abused women’s shelter, filled with people starting over with nothing.

What about clothing that no longer fits? They could be clothes to a family who just lost everything in a fire. Check around your community! Help out people in need! There are tons of organizations that will even pick up donations or have drop off zones for things like that. Pick up a coffee, drive through the city and make some donation stops. You will feel great for getting your space back AND doing something good for someone else.

Old rags and towels that might have holes or are fraying, make a great donation for animal shelters who go through endless amounts of rags and towels.

So now that you have completed the purge step and have thinned out your belongings. It’s much easier to organize and “home” everything.