Kathleen shares her thoughts on the “Perfect” Playroom.
Perfect and playroom are two words, in my mind, that should never be grouped together and if they are than you may not be using the room correctly. I would love to have a picture perfect playroom like you see in magazines, but they do not exist if you have actual real-life human children playing in them. I believe playrooms should be used and even messy. However, it is the ease as which items can be put away that should command your focus. Everything should have a home and if there are multiple people who do the putting away- there should be labels. Toys should not be hidden or most likely they will stay hidden and then forgotten. Toys should be easily accessible and in turn easily put away. Shallow shelves, clear containers without lids when possible. I also love me a good theme, have a dress-up area, arts & craft area, and an area for dramatic play.
I set my playroom or play area up so if the situation arises, usually this means someone decides to stop by unexpectedly, I can literally “toss” items away and off the floor in an instant.
As an organizer and a mother of two small children, the most common statement I hear is “your home must be so organized”. My answer? I’m a mom, it’s as organized as I can get it and for as long as they let it stay that way. On any given day our playroom looks like a toddler tornado just hit it. As much as I love having it look”pretty”, I also love (yes I know - the horror of a pro organizer stating this) seeing such a disaster. It tells me my kids are being kids and having a blast playing with all those clutter inducing toys that my family and friends purchased for them. It makes me smile. What might make it different than other homes though is I also smile knowing there are proper homes for all the toys and there is a system in place that I or anyone taking care of my kids and/or home can rely on. I organize for my children but more importantly for me - so I can find things, easily put things away, and also teach my kids how to put things away properly. Will they always do it - no. It is often a struggle and of course frustrating. Kids learn through example and surprisingly they do love being able to find their toys with ease.
Make clean up a game - time them or race them. Show them that putting their toys away can be easy- they will catch on quickly. My children know exactly where their toys live. Do they put all their toys away, all the time - of course not, but they try (in their own way). At 3 and 6, I feel like I win half the battles. Stay strong care givers and let your children play!