CW Tips: Organizing the Playroom


Children, like most adults, must be taught organization. They’re not going to magically put every single game piece back in the box before putting it away and if we’re being honest, they’re probably not even cleaning up the game. But, fear not, there is hope for your playroom! When you have functional storage that is kid-friendly, they’ll take pride in keeping their toys organized. The most common mistakes we see in playrooms are organization systems that are too difficult (or non-existent) for kids to maintain.


Choose appropriate storage for toys.

  • Bulky items (stuffed animals, large toys) – store in a large floor basket (blanket baskets work great!), or in an open, moveable bin on a shelf. If they’re too big to contain, have a designated area for them (parking lot for large trucks in a corner).

  • Games - consider transferring board games and other boxes games into gallon size ziploc bags. Then, store the bags file-style in an open bin. This eliminates those falling-apart, never-fully-closed cardboard boxes AND is an easier way for kids to get all of the pieces put away with the game. Label bags with Sharpie or label maker tape, or for younger kids, cut out part of the box and tape to the inside of the bag. Make sure to stick the instructions in the bag, too!

  • Small items (legos, barbie accessories, shopkins) – group “like with like” and store in lidded, stackable bins with a label.

  • Art Supplies - keep in a portable caddy that can easily be transported from a shelf or cabinet to the area where they want to color.



Regularly maintain the space.

Kids save and collect things. Things like old candy wrappers, rocks, broken toys, and endless amounts of scribbled-on papers. Make it a habit to go through their toys with them on a regular basis.

  • Toss any toys or games that are broken or missing pieces

  • Donate anything they have outgrown or no longer play with

  • Toss or donate small, “junky” toys that have accumulated (birthday party favors, prize box toys)

It’s really important to involve your kids in this task. Take the time to talk with them about making room for new toys or about donating items to children in need.


Organize by color when possible.

Keeping books organized by color is both aesthetically pleasing and very easy for kids to maintain. They don’t need to be able to read to see that the blue book goes back in the blue section. For large lego collections, we love to use rainbow-colored drawers to separate the pieces by color.



Be realistic.

Set your kids up for success. It might take a little time to create an organization system but, you will reap the benefits of it almost daily. It won’t look like a bomb went off every time they finish playing with their toys. They’ll enjoy being able to find everything and you’ll enjoy not cringing when you walk by the playroom, win-win!

  • Keep it simple - don’t over-organize. If it requires more than two steps to put a toy away, it’s not going to happen. Barbie shoes don’t need to be sorted by type, just have one small, lidded bin with all shoes. Same with other small toys. Use categories like “cars & trucks,” “animals,” “people,” and “action figures.”

  • Use clear bins when possible

  • Use labels that you kids can understand. If they can’t read yet, try using picture labels. If they can read, use simple language, not “Miscellaneous” or “Outfit Accessories.”


Labels, labels, labels.

Labels are your friend when it comes to toy organization. Most adults can determine that if a bin contains only Magna-Tiles then you should put only Magna-Tiles in the bin. On the other hand, your child will decide that all their Matchbox cars and one of their socks belongs in the bin with the Magna-Tiles.

  • Use bin clips labels for baskets, fabric storage bins and other things that don’t allow for a stick-on label. You can write on the paper that fits inside the label and easily change, if necessary.

  • Use large, easy-to-read, changeable labels for plastic bins. We love these Smart Store labels. Write on the paper and slide into the sleeve. You could also print a small picture of the item and glue or tape to the paper.

  • Consider using larger, printed labels for different “zones” in the playroom. If there’s an area where you want them to do crafts or art, type and print out a letter-sized paper that says “Art Area” and attach to the table or nearby wall. If you have a corner of the room where you’d like them to line up all of their firetrucks and cars, make a sign that says “Truck Parking” or has an image of a firetruck. If you don’t want to attach anything to your walls, grab a few cheap 8x10 frames from Target and hang on wall with Command hooks or set them on top of cabinets, shelves or tables.



Looking for more ideas? Check out our Shop page to buy products featured on our Instagram.

- Whitney + Caroline