5 Rules of Playroom Organization

Any parent knows that it’s no easy task to organize the one place that the kids are supposed to play and go crazy in. But this room is the monster that can grow and grow into other rooms and take over the whole home if you don’t have a system in place. Here are a few things I’ve learned that can help get the playroom organized and under control:

1. Group things that are alike

When you are arranging things in the room, first start with grouping all similar items together in piles or areas (doesn’t really matter what area at this point). This includes grouping small and large items together, such as a play kitchen, a pretend cleaning set, and all the play food. Starting with grouping will make it easier to figure out what type of storage is required. It will also help keep the mess contained once your little ones are using all the things. Once you have things grouped, decide what areas of the room these groups will fit best and place the items in their “homes”.

2. Use pretty containers…and lots of em.

That brings us to the next rule…decorative storage. It’s pretty amazing. Once everything has a general home in their respective areas of the room, we can look at the pile and determine how much storage (and what kind) we need. Some things will fit well in baskets while others may be better suited for a shelf. There are enough containers and storage furniture out there that look pretty, that you shouldn’t have too hard of a time finding ones that fit your decor.


I think any professional organizer would agree with me…no organizing system is complete without labels. If you expect yourself or others to follow this system you spent so much time on, you have to take that extra step and label everything! Trust me, your future self will thank you. Tenfold. There are also lots of pretty labels out there, whether it is printable labels, chalk labels, stickers, etc. the possibilities are endless! And don’t even get me started on pretty fonts. If you don’t have the time right away to print out or make pretty labels, that’s ok. Don’t wait. Use the good ole’ sticky note to label it for now and then replace it with the actual, pretty label later. It’s not ideal, but what’s even less ideal is having to re-organize everything all over again (after the kids play with all the stuff and don’t know where it’s supposed to be put away) before you can place the pretty label on it. I know, you perfectionists are cringing (I cringe a little myself) but the only thing I hate more than mediocrity is wasted time.

4. Bottom to top…youngest to oldest

If you’re going to have shelves in your playroom (which I highly recommend and don’t forget to anchor them to the wall), arrange the shelves in order of age-appropriateness. That is, put the toys that are good for the younger kids, on the lower shelves and the toys for the older kids (ie. legos, small Barbie accessories, paint) on the higher shelves. Other than the obvious fact of safety (for the kids and the room), this makes it easier for your kids to put the toys away once they are done playing.

5. Leave room to grow

We have all experienced it…a birthday or holiday happens and everything explodes. You suddenly have all these toys that have no home. I always like to leave a couple baskets or containers empty in anticipation of that, so you have a sort of interim storage solution until life calms down a bit for you to find a real home for these things. It’s much easier to decide how to make space for new stuff (like donating old toys) when you’re not wading through all of it.