Articles, Blog

How to Declutter Kids’ Toys and an Organized Playroom Tour

February 25, 2020

hey it’s Abby and if you can’t guess by
my surroundings today we’re going to be talking about purging and organizing my
boys playroom. A couple weeks ago we showed it all nice and neat and picked
up on our home tour but today you can see that it definitely doesn’t look that
way all the time so today I want to walk through the process that I try to go
through every six months or so to clean out and purge as much as we can from
their playroom get rid of anything they’re not using anymore anything
that’s broken or stained or old just get their playroom in tip-top shape so they
can really make the most of the toys that they have and play with things that
they really love. Before we get started make sure you subscribe so you don’t
miss any organization inspiration and get our free bonus by going to So believe it or not the process of
purging this space actually started a couple weeks ago I pay close attention
to what my boys are playing with what they’re not using so much anymore and
kind of how the systems are working in their room while they’re in here playing
and so when I’ve kind of identified some things that I don’t think they’re really
using and could maybe be donated somebody else who could appreciate them
I start bringing that up with the boys ever so subtly and saying, “you know Caleb
I haven’t seen you play with your Imaginext toys in a while. Do you think
that’s something that another kid would be able to get better use out of or do you
think that’s something that we could pass along for now since you’re more
interested in Legos these days?” and that gets them used to the idea that some of
their toys might be on their way out. Of course I don’t try to do with anything
that they’re still loving and using all the time definitely those things are I
feel like they’re outgrowing or not using anymore
I try to plant those seeds early so it makes it easier for me in the long run. I
usually try to do the first pass of cleaning out the playroom myself while
maybe the boys are at school or just when they’re downstairs because that
allows me to just pull out anything, any junk, anything that needs to be thrown
away, anything that’s broken. They’re not here saying no I need that little piece
of yarn that’s really trash and needs to be thrown away so once I mean my first
initial pass then I bring the boys in and we dump out each bin we look through
every one and we decide what to keep what should be thrown away what we can
donate or sell on Craigslist or a Facebook yard sale group or something
like that and we try to go through every single thing they’ve gotten pretty good
at recognizing you know what’s important to them what they’re really gonna use
and what we can pass along to somebody else who will appreciate it more of
course there I would probably still get rid of a lot more things than they’re
willing to part with but that’s okay you know we make progress and we pare down
their items and it works well for us to go through it together okay so know you
know how sometimes when you start a project it’s just going to be this
little small thing we were just gonna declutter in here
but once I got all of the toys that we didn’t need anymore cleared out I
realized that we could really have a better configuration for the playroom
that would give the boys more room to play and make more sense from an
organization perspective as well so let’s take a look and see what we came
up with so as you can see it looks quite a bit
different in here than it did before we rearranged just about everything but
what I love is that with the exception of one of the Lego towers and these two
chairs that I’m standing next to we were able to do everything with items that we
already owned so we didn’t have to spend a lot of money to get our playroom
organized and working in kind of the best way possible so that our boys could
enjoy it so right when you come in the room you’ll see the tower with our big
toy storage this was just an Ikea piece I
whitewashed it we actually used to have two of them in here but once we went
through the toys with the boys they got rid of a lot of their larger items so we
were able to take it down to just one of these units to hold their bigger toys
now in the corner we have a small little bin for the stuffed animals that the
boys love and just couldn’t let go of and then we have a kolaks
shelving unit from Ikea if you remember in the before pictures we actually had
two smaller units like that and this one actually used to be in Donny’s office
which we are redoing at the same time he wanted to get it out of his space so we
brought it up here because it works a little better with the setup that we
were going for in the space. On the bottom shelf we have our bins. They all
have a little adhesive book plate on it with a label that I stuck in it I try to
put on the labels both the word and a picture because little Caleb isn’t
reading quite yet so that the boys when they’re cleaning up know exactly what
goes into each of the bins on the row above that we have some board games we
have some plastic bins that have different types of toys that we kind of
wanted to keep together all their Imaginext stuff and one, all their connects
in another etc and then we have this little divider it’s divided into three
parts I found it at the Container Store and it holds all the ammo for the boys
nerf guns which are right here in this taller Striped bin on the third shelf we
have more games we have the books that Caleb is more interested in down a
little lower so he can reach them and we also have a little cubby that has all
their Pokemon which they’re really into right now and finally on the top shelf
we have all of Connor’s books which he can reach easily because he’s a little
taller then above this unit we did a little art project that the boys helped
me with we took some of their comic books that they already had and some 8 by 10 frames that were just sitting in my office and we framed each of the comic
books putting a little colored piece of paper behind it to make up any space
that they didn’t quite fill in and then just hung them on the wall so it was
free it was easy art and it’s fun for the boys because they are things that
they love to look at and are interesting to them. In the room before we had a big
card table in the middle of the room the boys needed some sort of surface because
they’re always doing art or putting together Legos or something where
they like to be on a surface but I didn’t love that they didn’t have a lot
of floor space to play on so we got rid of the card table we brought in this
desk that I already had in my office it was gonna extra just sitting in there
and we created this little art station behind me with the desk these chairs
were from Ikea I found them in the as-is section so I got a really great deal on
them I used the rolling cart I already had to hold all the boys art supplies
they’re nice and neat and organized everything has a spot. It’s a little
rolling art station they can move it around if they need to to reach
something they can take the little bins out and put them on the desk so
everything’s really easily accessible the white magazine rack is also from
Ikea I just put some colored duct tape on it to make it look a little prettier
we already had that from the boys playroom in our last house and it holds
all of their coloring books and paper that they can use to color on and then
finally we hung up some of these wires these are certain holders again from Ikea. We used them in our last house as well but they are the perfect thing to
hold the boys art so we can display it proudly and they can show off their
artwork once they’re finished with it then finally this side of the room is
our Lego area Legos are one of the main things that the boys are playing with
right now so I wanted to make sure they had plenty of room to store the Legos
they have and we wanted to make an area where they could display all the LEGO
sets that they put together so first we have the towers that hold their Legos I
could probably make a whole entire video about my theory behind LEGO
storage so let me know in the comments if you would like to see that if that
would be helpful right now we just have two towers the Legos are just all thrown
together from the different sets that the boys have already put together and
then disassembled the only bin that is separated is I did go through quickly
through each bin and bring out all the Lego guys because especially Caleb our
youngest really loves the Lego guys and so it was easier to have those separate
that’s the only one that’s labeled so they know all the guys go in that bin and
then they can put the other Legos back in any of the other slots where there is
space. In the closet we use the IKEA ALGOT system to create a Lego display
area for all of their completed sets we didn’t really have something like this
before so they would complete a set there was really nowhere to put it
inevitably it would get broken and they would get upset so we really wanted to
make a dedicated space to display their items where they could be proud of them
and enjoy them for a little while after they spent all the time building them
along with the Lego display we also have some boxes that hold some of the boys
keepsake items I’ll probably do a separate video on how we handle the boys
paperwork and those boxes are part of that system so that’s our new set up.
Obviously it’s not going to look this neat and clean all the time we want the
boys to enjoy it and to use it and to really get the most out of it
in fact the other day I was at Target and Donnie texted me and said Caleb has
rediscovered so many of his toys and it’s true because when they’re toy room
is uncluttered and they can actually see everything that’s in here they are more
likely to come up here and play with it because they know what they have and
they can easily find what they want. There are going to be times when the
playroom gets messy. When it’s time to clean up they have a spot to put
everything back in and it’s easy to get it back looking neat and clean now this
setup that we have in this room is perfect for our specific kids at this
specific stage of their life we only have two kids they’re six and eight so
they’re pretty self-sufficient at this point they’re heading out of the little
kid toy phase a little bit so I’m sure that we have less toys than
some people and way more toys than the other. Every family, every situation, every
kid will be different so it’s all about taking whatever space you have and
making it work for the needs of you, your family, and your kids. So I hope seeing
our set up and our systems were helpful for you if it was hit that like button
and let me know in the comments what systems you’re using that have been
really good for helping keep your kids toys organized.


  • Reply Abby Organizes September 26, 2017 at 2:37 am

    This room is now organized (yay!), but I think I would still like to do a little more decorating. We definitely need to add a cool light fixture and some sort of window treatment… and maybe paint the walls? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

  • Reply Mama Life September 26, 2017 at 2:55 am

    I love your home and the way you organize everything! Gave me fresh ideas for my own home!:)

  • Reply Jaeden lieberher September 26, 2017 at 2:58 am

    Great video with lots of useful ideas and tips. Fantastic job. U have a beautiful home and a beautiful family. Best wishes from Australia:-)

  • Reply T Romine September 26, 2017 at 3:17 am

    Would love to hear more about Lego organization!! My son has around 150 set and my daughter just started her collection. It's overwhelming storing them!!

  • Reply Stacie Murray September 26, 2017 at 3:50 am

    This is exactly how I declutter with my older two… they’ve even come to recognize on their own when going through their toys what they would like to donate👍🏼 I would love to see what your process is for managing paperwork/drawings or keepsakes!

  • Reply Helen Parry September 26, 2017 at 6:18 am

    Hi Abby, Lego storage advice is desperately needed here! I will be updating my son’s room before Christmas (he’s 15!!) and he will not part with ANY of his Lego sets. He has bits of Lego everywhere! He wants to be an engineer in the future so you never know where a love of Lego will lead! Loved the playroom tour.

  • Reply Nancy H September 26, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Looks Great! Yes a memory box video!

  • Reply A D September 26, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Lego storage ideas please!.. legos are the Bain of my existence lol. Thanks for the video!

  • Reply sharon cresenzi September 26, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Love your channel!

  • Reply Patrice Young September 26, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Kids don't need so many toys, but that's the way it is now. Rotating their toys is the best way to keep things fresh and is easier for them to keep neat. Not everyone is lucky enough to have an entire toy room, so paring down what is allowed out at one time keeps you from going toy mess crazy. You can rotate on a weekly or monthly basis. The kids will look at old toys with excitement when it's been out of sight for awhile. Also, don't be so quick to get rid of things. Kid's need to take a break from certain toys, but will come back to them in time. This also saves you money. You don't have to keep buying new things. They can be super sad if they are looking for an old favorite that is now at Goodwill. Take this advise from a granny who has raised 3 children, and now has 3 grandchildren. (My grandmother gave away my tin tea set that I wanted to keep for my children, just because she didn't see me playing with it anymore. My 10 year old granddaughter felt pressured to purge toys, and later was super sad about some of her decisions. Luckily I had tucked some of them away at my house in case she changed her mind. Was she happy and grateful.) ❣️🌞❣️

  • Reply Kari Loughrey September 26, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Lego storage, please!!

  • Reply Journey to Home Sweet Home September 26, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Definitely would love to see how you organize legos. I also have one of those 16 cube kallax shelving units.

  • Reply Lisa6812 September 26, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Its fantastic! I would LOVE to hear more about Lego! My daughter loves Lego and I recently organized her playroom to house it all. Before I did that, they sat on my dining room table…lol I know right. And although I miss her sitting there playing I wanted my table back. I searched and searched for ideas and came up with my own, I basically set the closet the same as you and any smaller pieces I bought large bins to sit them in. She doesn't take them apart, once they are built they stay built and she plays with them. I love the new layout of the room, it make more sense this way to give the boys what they need. I look forward to your upcoming videos! xoxo

  • Reply GENEVIEVE CO September 26, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    👍for Lego organisation

  • Reply Lorri Bowers September 26, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Hi Abby! What a great organized area for your little guys and a great time of the year to go through older toys. With Christmas approaching, it will surely help with the new influx of toys coming in! I am enjoying your videos so much! 😁

  • Reply Andrea Bowersox September 26, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Yes! Help us with Lego storage!

  • Reply Andrea Bowersox September 26, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    We go through a similar process with pairing down toys. I also try to rotate toys and books, so that the kids can rediscover toy sets and forgotten books in the garage and aren't overwhelmed with all of their stuff all the time.

  • Reply Marj M September 26, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Lego organization please!!!

  • Reply Kathie Hamerik September 26, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    so Happy i found your Channel… im a new subscriber…

  • Reply It's a Wonderful Real Life September 26, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    legos are driving me crazy.  please share your tips

  • Reply Kendra Olivares September 26, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    Hi Abby!!! your videos inspire!!!! and I really enjoy all your tips and videos 🙂

  • Reply renee skoyles September 26, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Another amazing video! I'm expecting my first baby so I'm sure I'll keep your tips in mind for my own children. But this also gave me some great ideas for my sisters 3 children and helping them declutter and organize their kids area.

  • Reply Ronnie Pearce September 27, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Yes to a Lego video please

  • Reply Gladys Gomez September 27, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Interested in lego storage idea! I have a 7 and 6 year old. We have basically every toy your boys have in that room!

  • Reply Kim Jay September 27, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    So helpful. Was just lamenting our toy storage today. Would love to hear about you lego advice. We have a huge table with ledges but the lego still ends up spilling over and infiltrating our house.

  • Reply Deanna K September 27, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Yes please to a lego storage video!! They've taken over my house lol I have two boys who both love them!

  • Reply Terry Elisabeth Too September 28, 2017 at 12:33 am

    LOVE the transformation. Very thoughtful for your boys 🙂

  • Reply Lin Bron September 28, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Great video, have you thought of ikea long floating shelf it’s great for displaying the boys toys that they build. Don’t forget to take a picture of them with what they builded . It’s great to look back when he’s 25 and an see what he did when he was little. Just a suggestion .

  • Reply Rachel Olsen September 29, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Yay! It looks so good! I have a zillion legos at my house as well and I love the way you've organized them. I am interested in your theory of how you might separate them even more! Thank you!

  • Reply Emma G October 3, 2017 at 5:47 am

    Would really love to know how you organise the kids paperwork xx

  • Reply Dawn Simpson October 4, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Help with Lego Storage!! 😆

  • Reply Heather R Alexander October 18, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    What do you do with stuffed animals that your boys are willing to part with?

  • Reply Ritz Cracker December 7, 2017 at 2:15 am

    Your sons got a toy room! I didn't even get a dollhouse when I was younger!🙂

  • Reply Melissa Williams December 12, 2017 at 4:14 am

    I️ would like a video about kids paper work organization please

  • Reply Aholibama Alcala December 28, 2017 at 3:24 am

    Love how you reorganized the boys toy room😊 it would be nice if you found a tall corner organizer and but it by the window to display their LEGO creations:) that way you can use the closet for something else.

  • Reply Tashanda Myrick January 3, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    Yes please do a lego organization video. And where did you get the yellow lego head from?

  • Reply Lin Bron March 2, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    Please think of donating toys to daycares or foster agency’s ..They appreciate books, toys, clothes.

  • Reply SUZANNE HAMID April 3, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    Hi where is the art table from please? The one you said was in your office?

  • Reply Alan Graham July 23, 2019 at 10:17 am

    Hey Abby ! I share a room with my Brother and it would help if you could help us organise our paperwork, it’s taking over our shelf lol 🙂 Thanks🥰

  • Reply christinemisch January 6, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    Your videos are great! I feel like you teach me how to actually execute all my ideas, which is where I get stuck. Do you have more books, manipulatives, and games stored elsewhere, or is everything you have out? I'm trying to figure out a way to organize a secondary storage area so that I can rotate the stuff in my boys' playroom, because my Gifted ASD son has such a BROAD range of interests and an extremely short attention span. Any tips?

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