6 In Kid Spaces

How to Organize a Playroom: 5 Tips that Truly Work!

Playroom organization ideas
Playroom organization ideas

* This post may contain affiliate or referral links for your convenience. Clicking on these links directs you to a website to purchase the product. Nurture and Thrive receives a small fee for this service. Thank you for your support!

Tip #1: Everything has a Home, Yet is Easily Accessible

This is truly the number one thing you must do if you want to keep the clutter at a bay in the playroom: everything has a place.

Here’s the thing though — if we have huge bins that have a ton of things dumped in them, then your kid’s won’t know what goes where and they won’t be able to find things.

A part of this is simply having less stuff all-around so your kids can see the stuff they do have. In fact, research has shown that too many toys can actually disrupt children’s creative play, and hence their learning.

I’ve found that the IKEA TROFAST units (pictured above with the green drawers) are a great option for kids. In fact, we have had this same unit since my son was about 2 and we are still using them in an updated Makerspace playroom now that he’s 7-years-old.

The drawers are not too big and you can have a place for everything. even when my son was a toddler he knew that a row of three drawers holds all of his building sets. Another one has cars and trucks, one has musical instruments, and some hold play-food and dishes for his play kitchen.

how to organize a playroom

Tip #2: Toy Rotation: Have a place to put things away

This sounds like what I just said but it’s different. You want a place you can put toys and supplies away that isn’t accessible or as accessible.

This also helps keep the number of toys to a minimum.

If your child has a few similar kinds of playsets, only have one out at a time. Put the rest in a bin in a closet and every once in a while switch the sets out. Rotating toys like this keep their options fresh, without having too many choices and thereby limiting creative play.

It is also good for storing things you don’t use all the time or that you don’t want your kids to use without at least some supervision (paint or small pieces).

Somewhere in your house designate a closet or cabinet that can house toys, crafts, party supplies, seasonal items, wrapping paper, supplies, and so on.

I took over a closet to make our storage center.

The closet was a standard double door closet with a wire shelf/hanging rod. We took that out and painted over the holes.

We used the IKEA ALGOT system to maximize storage space. The system interconnects so you can choose what components work best in your space.

We connected two of the frames with six baskets so that we have a tower of twelve baskets on one side and the large frame with shelves so that we have twelve shelves on the other side.

Then we have extra space to the side where I use IKEA VARIERA basket to store wrapping paper and the IKEA VARIERA dispenser to store seasonal decor items. 

Algot Craft Closet

This space isn’t FULL of toys. It has a few bins for toy rotation, arts and crafts items, and family stuff — Easter baskets, Halloween Trick or Treat baskets, wrapping paper, party supplies, my camera equipment, and seasonal decor.

I even have children’s books that I take out depending on the season in the wire baskets.

The ALGOT baskets are awesome. The mesh is small enough that nothing falls through and they are large, about 5″ deep and about 20″ long.

toy rotation storage

Tip #3: Put Art Supplies in Easy to Move Bins

I want art to be easy to do, but yet not so easy that my son can decide to paint whenever (or wherever!).

Actually, he’s just gotten tall enough to reach the supplies on his own, but they aren’t right in front of him all of the time.

I keep playdough and playdough tools, paint and supplies, and various other things in a set of bins and caddies so we can easily start a fun project without digging through drawers.

These have a home on the shelves in the closet.

ideas for playroom organization

Tip #4: Use Wall Space for Storage

Related: STEM Makerspace Playroom with Open Shelving

My son LOVES trains. Everything about trains.  Whatever it is that your kids’ love, make that the center of the play area and make it the easiest to access.

Trains are kind of easy, you have a train table with storage drawers and you can put picture shelves on the wall to store the trains.

If your child loves the play kitchen, maybe have shelves in for extra plates and pots. Or maybe they love toy animals? Picture shelves that are a little deeper could store the large plastic animals.

We used picture ledges like these, which fit perfectly. Matchbox cars fit on these too. Another way to use wall space is to put up colorful hooks.

Wall storage for toys

Tip # 5: Create an Art Wall for Kid’s Art and an Art Storage System

One of the biggest challenges with keeping my house clutter free is ALL THE PAPER!

I heard an organization expert at one of my mom’s group meetings and she said that with paper she has a “touch it once rule.” Which means, if at all possible — sign it, file it, hang it, or recycle it right away — the first time you touch it.

While I haven’t been able to quite keep to that rule, I try to follow it. And when it comes to artwork I take a picture of it and add it to an online album. I date the back of it and then I either hang it up or recycle it.

Once we have too many on our art display, I either recycle it or add it to our art bin.

To create our Art Wall, we used two of the IKEA FINTORP rails together to create a space for artwork on the wall.

I used these curtain clips to hang the art, they work great for different sized art projects.

Kid's Artwork Display

For our art bin, I have a dual letter size and legal size plastic bin —> like this one. I have an accordion letter size file for each grade and a legal file folder.

The legal file folder is handy to have to larger pieces of artwork you want to keep.

I label the front of each folder with a school picture, the grade, the school year dates, and the teacher’s names.

Organize your kids' stuff!

I hope these ideas for organizing your kid’s playroom help keep your space decluttered, help you keep your sanity, and encourage creative and independent play in your kids!

See all My Playroom Ideas!

Create A Playroom that Will Grow with Your Child: Ages 3 to 5

Create a Montessori Play Area for Your Baby or Toddler

Create a Makerspace Playroom for Big Kids

playroom organization

You Might Also Like

  • Natasha@ Anxious Toddlers
    July 15, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    These are great suggestions. I have noticed that my children play longer when I have their toys organized.

    • Ashley Soderlund Ph.D.
      July 19, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      That is a great point Natasha, too many things out or too many things in disarray can be overwhelming for some kids.

  • Carolin
    July 17, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    So many great ideas. The basket system looks fantastic. I completely agree that putting the right storage system in place really helps kids keep their room tidy. I’m seeing it with my little one right now. Thanks for linking up with Parenting Pin It Party x

    • Ashley Soderlund Ph.D.
      July 19, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      Thanks Carolin! I see that with alot of little kids, it depends on temperament, but lots of kids like having a place to put things.

  • Lego Creations Photo Book - Busy Moms Helper
    September 4, 2015 at 6:00 am

    […] children’s artwork and I do some of those things. We have a little art wall (here’s a tour of our playroom) and I take pictures of some of my son’s artwork to place in our photobooks. My son has fun […]

  • How to Create A Playroom - Nurture and Thrive
    January 31, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    […] Think about your child’s interests — which toys or activities will they love for years to come? My son was three when I designed this space. He loves “going things” and building things. We’ve focused birthdays and holiday presents on building his train collection and various building materials. Keeping this in mind, I designed the space to accommodate the train table. The older he gets (he is now just turned 4) the more he designs the tracks himself. I imagine that track design will hold his interest for a few years more. I made sure the extra tracks and trains are easily accessible and interchangeable. Don’t miss the train wall organizer my post on Playroom Organization! […]