Wednesday, September 28, 2011

10 Tips For Decluttering Play Areas

I am a member of SocialMoms and they have teamed up with Hot Wheels for this fun and informative blogging program. I am a momm who lives in toy land so I have decided to take them up on this great opportunity.

I am a mom of 2 school aged children and I understand that play is a very important part of childrens daily lives. Play time is a great time for children to be creative, unwind and even learn. When we are through playing with our toys it is then time to play the picking up game. Lately, since school has started back, my kids and I have been slacking in the clean up game and now it is time for us to declutter the play areas in our home. I have come up with 10 tips that I plan on following. Maybe some of you will find these tips useful too.

1. Break your toy area down into 4 parts. I like to declutter one corner of the room at a time. This way my job isn't overwhelming and I can see the results more clearly if I just focus on one area at a time. If I only have an hour a day, I would still be able to clean and organize one corner and then focus on another corner the next day. Over a 4 day span, I will have the room complete.

2. As we clean, we have 3 laundry baskets and a bag set aside. One basket is for items we are keeping, one basket is for resale items, the last basket is for items we donate and the bag is for trash. As we clean our corner we drop misplaced items into the propper basket or bag. This makes cleaning a little more fun and we stay on track. I like to focus on one area at a time and we can put up the basket items later on our list.

3. I like to keep a laundry basket in my children's room for their dirty clothes. This gives them a permanent place to leave their dirty clothes each day. They understand that the clothes don't go under the bed or in the floor, plus it makes laundry day a whole lot easier on me!

4. I love plastic shoe boxes! They stack well, hold a lot of little items and you can see through them. I use the plastic shoe boxes for holding my daughter's polly pockets, little ponies and even legos. As we declutter her room, we will sort the pieces and place them in their box and then place the full boxes back in her closet where they belong.

5. I like to use an over the door coat rack on the insides of each of our closets. This allows us to hang belts, jackets, robes, play costumes etc. on the inside of the door and it creates a lot of extra space for us. On the inside of my daughter's closet, I have all of her play costumes hanging. It makes it easy for her to find them and it looks so cute!

6. I have canisters in my children's room that are for art supplies such as colors, pens, markers and paints. I also have their coloring books and papers set on the same table as the canisters. It is easy to find these items when you know where they are at and it may even keep the items from being broken or misused aka drawing on the walls when bored.

7. Under the bed storage is "Awesome!" I have a few of the under the bed storage totes that I use for storing extra off season clothes and toys. I love that you can fit several of these totes under the bed and they are kept out of sight. Just be sure to label what is in the tote. You don't want to find it a year after your children have outgrown the contents.

8. Be creative: There are a lot of fun ways to organize your play area and to save space. I love the toys boxes that are also a sitting bench. My children have a play center that is wooden and it is hollow on the bottom so we use it to store books. The books are kept out of sight and yet they are still available when needed.

9. I like to have a timer handy in my play area. As the play time is ending, I will tell my children that we need to start the clean up game in 5 minutes. I will set the timer and after it goes off, I will help remind them to start cleaning up. As we clean we try to make it fun and a challenge. The game is to clean it up nicely and as quickly as possible. Can we beat the clock?

10. Did you notice that I said "As we clean"? I involve my children when we clean up the play area and their rooms. They created this mess and they need to appreciate how long it takes to clean it up again. I want my children to realize that if they do their part daily, a major overhaul wouldn't need to be done as often.

Have you heard that Hot Wheels® has been listening to moms and found that we couldn't stand the mess from our kids’ toys? As a mom, I can appreciate the Hot Wheels all-new Wall Tracks™ sets. These sets are made so that moms everywhere can clean up toy clutter and their children can still have fun. Kids can now take their Hot Wheels® races where they have never gone before: off the floor and onto their walls! Now they can even perform stunts, speed, turns, and tricks, powered by gravity and set up any way you can imagine it: off of the floor! Kids can mix, match, and combine with other Wall Tracks™ sets to create all-new Hot Wheels® track layouts. And the best part? No more clutter for us moms! Yay! And this is out just in time for Christmas.

Please feel free to leave me a comment about how you declutter your children's room and play areas.

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hot Wheels® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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