Christmas Clear-Out – The Toy Room (Before/After, image heavy)

Posted In: Home, Planning and Organization

So, before Christmas I am always sure to do a clean-out, ridding the whole house of any unused or broken items. I also do a general deep clean, knowing that Christmas is sure to bring a whole ton of mess, so it’s best to have the house as clean as possible beforehand to lessen the post-Christmas workload.

First on my list? The kids’ toy room. Here are the steps I take when I do a clear-out like this.

before

Clear It All Out
You might personally have a more practical way of doing things, but I personally like to start with a completely blank canvas. Obviously I don’t drag out large furniture items though, but everything small goes out into the hallway. This way I can see what I’m working with. My main aim was to improve the room by increasing floor space for games with trains and cars.

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Rearrange The Space and Clean It (if necessary)
With the room mostly empty, now is a great time to think about the space and how you can best utilise it. I did a few minor changes in the position of furniture and also brought in some new items that will help me and the kids organise things more efficiently. Now is also a good time to do a deep clean of the floors, windows and surfaces.

Sort It Out
Create designated piles for items that are broken or in need of disposal, items that you want to donate, items you wish to store away (maybe for any future children or just for later use) and items that are going to stay in the room. I use large plastic storage tubs for sorting items this way. With growing children, this step was very important and the most time-consuming. I removed a lot of infant toys now that Byron is a toddler. I also spent a lot of time reorganising puzzles and getting rid of ones missing pieces. See this post to see how I store children’s puzzles using large ziplock bags.

Organise It
This is the fun part! For me, anyway. I thought about how my children use their toys, what makes the most “mess”, what things tend to get lost or broken easily…those sorts of questions. It makes sense for me to keep breakable items and items that create a lot of mess out of reach on the high shelving, so that the kids need to request to play with them.

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My sons both love trains, so organising their large train collection was one of my main focuses. I used easily accessible drawers for giving Little People Wheelies their own spot, Chuggington trains, etc. Their favourite trains, Thomas ones, stay in a toybox near the train table, with a white basket hidden discreetly underneath which keeps all the pieces of train track. I also designated a corner for artwork (again, the paints and messy stuff is on a high shelf) and a reading corner.

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I love cube shelving and using baskets and boxes for storing toys and keeping them together. The drawer organiser that I used is brilliant and can be used for all kinds of things from storing pencils and crayons, to Lego and toy cars. I haven’t filled all of the boxes on mine yet, still lots of room for Christmas goodies!

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The hanging blue organisers are also very useful. We use ours for storing dinosaurs, “baby toys” that Byron still loves, balls, felt pictures for sticking on Blake’s felt board.

Overall I’m so happy with how the room turned out; it is so much more spacious now and the kids keep it clean with ease. Even Blake loves it, he’ll spend all day in there now whereas before it was far too cluttered and just had a negative vibe of mess! I really thought about what and how such mess gets created and consciously worked to eliminate or at least improve those problems.

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  • Jennifer Cepero

    Love the way the room turned out. Very nice.

  • Marije

    Great job! My house is in need of some clearing out, badly. 

  • http://twitter.com/heatherface Heather Haft

    Those hanging basket doohickies are amazing, I’ve never seen that before. Closest I’ve seen here is basically just shoe organizers. What’re those called? I bet I can find them on Amazon and just add one to my wishlist. 

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