Mass toy sort out | Project Simplify

The playroom of doom. Literally the absolute joy and bane of my life. We are so lucky to have such a great space at the top of our house but oh my days I must have lost YEARS of my life trying to keep on top of keeping it organised {and sanitary}.

Re-wind to pre-kids. This space {which is essentially 3/4 of the third floor of our house} was used mainly for storage. How two people can fill a four bedroom house with a fully converted attic and garage I will never know! Anyway, once the twins arrived it became a much welcome space to store all their stuff and hand-me-down clothes from friends and family etc.

It then became a playroom probably when the boys were around 2.5 years old and since then it’s been a great space to move around and adapt to their age and stage of development. BUT it has also been continuously used as a dumping ground and a space so full of STUFF that the boys just end up trashing then not playing up there. Which is a huge shame. {Note – I totally get this, it’s overwhelming having so much stuff and when they can’t find something of course they tip EVERYTHING out}.

Then along came little miss P and once again the room was re-worked so she could play safely away from the boys’ toys and have her own little area (of course they are always supervised). As the boys got older they started to take over again and we moved P’s stuff downstairs so they could play independently without worrying about their little sister eating/rampaging through their stuff.

This set-up has worked quite well but the playroom continues to be, well, pretty demoralising. Yes it’s a room we can shut the door on and essentially ignore the chaos but, speaking from experience, it also needs a regular “sweep” to discard of abandoned socks, apply cores, broken toys etc.

Although we are constantly tacking the playroom lockdown has provided the opportunity to really get into Project Simplify throughout the house. We seem to have been de-cluttering since March and, now almost a year on, I still can’t believe how much stuff we have. But it does finally feel like we’re finally getting somewhere. Of course things will continue to adapt as children and tastes grow but I would still like to live as simply as possible.

Which brings me back the playroom. The main aim of my current clear out has been to create space to store toys with a view to starting a rotation system {I know, I know, I’m totally late to the game}. So I cleared out the garage {just because that’s where I always seem to start}, moved on to the “sentimental” cubby hole, which now holds the season stuff from the garage, moved my “to fit back into one day” clothes {yes I know but I can’t help but keep them} into one wardrobe, moved Mr H’s seasonal stuff from our built in wardrobe to where my “skinny” clothes were {still with me?!} so that FINALLY I could utilise our big built in cupboard for toy storage {if that felt like hard work imagine actually having to move it all}.

Of course I’ve also ditched a lot of stuff and now have a good car load to donate/sell so it does feel like we’ve made progress in the battle to simplify but I know we still have a long way to go. I want everything to be used, useful or something we love. I try to think – if we moved to a smaller home would we take it? This helps be decided if I really like something or not.

Anywho, I digress {again}. So the plan for the playroom was this: to keep it clear enough that the kids could actually play. Swap out the fabric cube storage for hardier plastic ones then keep 4-5 boxes of toys they are actually “into” at the moment {namely cars, dinosaurs, two boxes of train sets and the mega blocks for P}. A box of their favourite toys would l go into their room {monster trucks} and the rest would go into storage to be rotated/got out and put away. {Note – this doesn’t include the stuff in P’s room, stuffed toys or the toys downstairs – wow they really do have a lot don’t they!}

Published by Ellie Hully

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