A Playroom Fit for a Trio of Modern GirlsTransitional Kids, Orange County
An all-encompassing playroom for a trio of lucky little girls. This Orange County family gave up their large living room in order to create the ultimate playroom. Photos by Brian Claassen
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2. Toys. Moving is the best time to clean out the things you haven’t used and the things that won’t serve you in your new space. Toys are a major clutter culprit, and often many of them just aren’t being used anymore. My motto: Keep the favorites and toss the rest. Once you’re in your new space, you can buy a special new toy to celebrate the move. Pro tip: If you feel too guilty about getting rid of your child’s toy, pack up the ones you think your child may miss and leave them in a separate box in the garage. If they don’t ask for them after a certain amount of time, get rid of them.
4. Donate What They Can Part With Ask your kids which toys they would be willing to donate to children who don’t have as many toys as they do. Phrase it like this: “We are going to make bags for donation to children who are not as fortunate as you. Can you please help by putting the things you don’t play with anymore in this box?” In my years of being an organizer, I have never asked a child older than 4 this question without their parting with at least some of their toys. Many local charities will come and pick up donation items. I recommend setting up a time to do this and leaving the donations in a designated area of your home until pickup. Having to take the items to a local charity can be overwhelming, as it adds another item to the moving to-do list.
Kids’ room and playspace. If you crave a simpler, cleaner and better-organized space for your child, this can help. Learn how to tackle a big mess, rotate toys, start an art portfolio and deep clean — especially important for kids with allergies or asthma.Getting started: Remove clothes and shoes your child has outgrown and set them aside to give away, sell or store.Remove toys that are broken or have missing pieces and can’t be fixed.Remove toys that your child has outgrown and decide whether to store, give away or sell them.If your child has a lot of very similar toys, remove enough so that what’s left can be easily stored and enjoyed.Get the 7-day plan
Day 2: Sort and conquer.Key concept: Top 10. If you are working with your child to pare back belongings, try introducing the concept of the top 10. This will gently shift the focus from the things your child is giving away to zero in on what is most important. Kids older than about age 4 (depending on the child, of course) can really get into making lists and picking favorites. For instance, have your child pick out his or her top 10 favorite stuffed animals and display them prominently — meanwhile, the other 40 stuffies can be shifted into a box in another closet or given away. There’s no need to be superstrict about it … 11 or 12 is fine. Just trying to stay within a certain number can be a great help. Decluttering tasks: After the big work of decluttering on Day 1, your child’s room should be looking noticeably better. Now is the time to make some refinements and find a home for everything that’s left. Continue winnowing down toys, games, and clothes, using the top 10 method.Make a separate stack of clothes your child hasn’t quite grown into yet and put them somewhere accessible — but not mixed with the clothes that fit now.Store like with like. Board games on one shelf, puzzles on another and so on.Categorize small toys and put them in separate bins or baskets. (for instance, small plastic animals in one, racecars in another).
“I love chalkboard labels, because they are so flexible,” she says. Here larger sculptural items (the horses) and toys that come in their own boxes (games) are grouped together, while smaller objects (such as tea party accessories and cars) are stashed in opaque baskets with chalkboard labels.