Fed Up

Yesterday I made the children’s playroom off limits.  Yep,  closed the door and forbade them to enter without permission.  Threatened to give everything to Good Will if they disobeyed.  I’ll spare you the details because it doesn’t reflect too well on any of us.  Let’s just say that despite our best hopes and efforts, the playroom is Out of Control.  Rather than sweep it all into the trash, I just closed the door on it.  I really don’t know what to do next.  It’s clear that a Major Change is needed, but where to start?  We have too many toys and books,that’s for sure.  We need to get rid of stuff, but it’s not going to be easy at all.  Just the thought of it brings Pumpkin Girl to tears.  But we can’t continue like this. 

I’m really going to humble myself and share pictures of this mess.  Maybe it’ll help hold me accountable as I try to figure out where to go from here.  I’m open to suggestions, too, as long as they are helpful!  No laughing!!!


This is the room looking in from the door. There are even more toys in those stacked moving boxes.


Turning a little to the left, you can see the couch, train table and cradle.


To the left of the couch, next to the train table is this mess of a bookshelf.


Here’s the cradle, the little bookshelf behind it and the (white) box of dress up clothes.


Here’s what’s hidden in the first picture.  The white drawers have Playmobile pieces and crafts.

I spared you some of the stuff on the floor. 

It’s almost time to call in Clean Sweep.

More Mac and Cheese, please!


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  • I love to organize, so I am feeling very sad that I don’t live close enough to come and help you, but here is my best long-distance advice. Create ‘zones’ in the room. Craft zone, reading zone, train table zone, etc. Remove everything from the room and only place back inside what you want in your zones. If you have more zones than you can actually fit in the room you could box up one or two zones and rotate them when the seasons change. The kids will think it’s Christmas! Some of the zones could be off-limits when the baby is awake if they have not-for-baby items in them. That would make the zone even more special when it’s ‘open’. You could even have a zone for school where you place dress-up and hands on items that go with your Sonlight studies. (Yeah, I know that’s a little overboard, but that’s the way my mind works.)You could tell the kids they have to clean up one zone before they get into another. That can be hard to enforce, though, especially when you have friends over. Don’t despair, organizing can be very therapeutic.

  • I have no advice I just wanted to say, “PRAISE GOD I AM NOT ALONE IN THIS!”. I simply do not understand how many times it takes me threatening to deposit all the toys in the big trashcan at the curb to get their attention. My 3 year old actually prefers me to just take them away so she does not have to deal with picking up. Two big boxes are currently sitting in the basement waiting to be earned back. It drives me nuts to spend money on “oh so thoughtful things that they will just love” and find said items under the bed or trampled on the floor days later.

    No advice here, just carry on girl! Fight the good toy fight! And if you find out the secret, please fill me in!

  • I went through our basement and toy closet recently with a similar challenge. For me, I found if I have to stack boxes or drawers, the stuff doesn’t get back. I also found that with colored or opaque boxes, stuff doesn’t get put back. With clear boxes, stuff has a better chance of getting back.

    I tackled mine over several days. I had tons and tons of “little pieces”. They went into boxes and we tackled a box at a time. I had a child identify a piece and then go put it where it belonged. I got some boxes from the Container Store and if it needed a box, I pulled one out and put it in there. I asked them if they played with it, and we sorted into “play with” and “not play with”. Maybe it will be easier for Pumpkin to get rid of something if its just “put away” for 6 months and she won’t even miss playing with it.

    I have a huge yard sale pile, priced and ready to go, as a result of my clean out.

    The room has TONS of potential. The key to organizing is containers that work for the kids, they are more inclined to put it away themselves!


  • I can so relate to this issue. I have had rooms like this before. Here is my one suggestion. It is the only thing that ever worked for me. Dedicate and entire day to the task. Take the kids somewhere else for the day or have daddy take them out for a LONG time. Then start. I threw away 2 truckloads. (no kidding, it took one load to the trash and one load to be donated in my dh’s full sized truck) When my kids got back they were not freaked out because there playroom was all nice, clean and organized. I had set up some toys that they didn’t even know they had, It was almost like getting a new playroom to them. Of all the things I got rid of, only one of the items was missed. THey did not even notice waht was missing because they could actually play with what they had and they could see it!

    Good luck on your organizing. You can do it and you’ll feel so much better when it’s done!

  • Hello! First of all you are not alone. Toys are so hard to stay on top of especially knowing where to start. My suggestion would be to remove all the bigger things that you no longer need (ie: the cradle). Once you see the difference just doing that does it will motivate you to keep going. Then keep going on the purging. As hard as it is on us because we don’t want to upset the kids you are helping them in the long run. I also agree that once you get the toys purged down take stock and create your zones.

    I welcome you to join my 30 Day Org Challenge beginning April 3rd. I’ll be cheering you on…you can so do this!!

    Laura (orgjunkie)

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