Let's Get Organized: Clean Out the Playroom Before the Holidays

Purge toys now so you're ready to add more after the gifts are opened

By Jenny Dietsch, CEO of Getting it Done Organizing December 1, 2020

The holiday season is upon us! As a parent of three, my worst fear at the holidays is more "stuff." That's why I suggest taking some time now to purge and refresh your playroom before the holidays when grandparents and family will inevitably send your kids more things than you have room for. 

Here are nine tips on how to purge your playroom before the holidays:

1. Take everything out

The first step to getting organized in any room is removing everything from the room to see what you have. Yep, it'll be a big mess, but in the end, I promise it'll be worth it!

2. Sort

Sort items into categories such as games, puzzles, books, LEGOs, and on and on. This way you can see how much you have of each item and identify unnecessary duplicates. 

3. Purge

Now go through all of the piles. What toys do your kids not play with? Which ones have they outgrown? Are there toys that are broken, missing pieces, or came from a Happy Meal? Throw them out! Do you have too much of one thing? LEGOs… I am talking about you!

4. Donate 

Put aside toys and games that are in good condition to donate. This year, no doubt, people will be in need more than ever. Feel good about your transformation! Donate what you can so other kids can enjoy what yours have outgrown. Consider donating to local thrift shops such as Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, and Salvation Army, along with local daycares, schools, and kids' clubs.

5. Clean the space

This is an important step. Before putting things back on your dusty shelves, deep clean the area. It will feel newer, smell fresher, and eliminate germs. This is the only time you will have everything out and have the opportunity to clean. Don’t skip this step!

6. Assess your organizing system

Do you need to make a run for baskets or will plastic bins be a better option? Evaluate your space, the look you’re going for, and also what will be the simplest system for your kids to remember and use. We love smaller bins for toys like race cars and LEGOs, but a large tub for stuffed animals that take up more space. 

7. Leave empty space to make room for holiday gifts

Your playroom should have at least 20 percent (or more) free space. It is nice when everything is not over-crowded and jam-packed, plus you will be leaving room for holiday gifts that are coming your way. In my experience, kids truly like it when there are fewer toys and everything is organized. The area makes sense, they can find what they are looking for, and they have open space to play. 

8. Get gift ideas

While organizing and purging, this is a great time to assess what your kids might need/want/enjoy for the holidays this year. Are the craft paints all dried up? Get them new ones! Are favorite games missing pieces? Time for a replacement! Are well-loved costumes torn and shredded? Time for an upgrade! Oftentimes the toys in the worst condition are the ones that they use and love. This is a great way to get gift ideas without asking for a list!

9. Share the ideas

Once you have identified the necessary upgrades/replacements, make a list of gift ideas to share with your family. This way they can actually give your kids what they want and need instead of more random stuff. Perhaps consider asking for “non-thing” gifts such as classes, trips, or memberships to the local zoo or museum, instead of more toys. Your organized self will appreciate it!

Jenny Dietsch, the owner of Getting it Done Organizing, is a Certified Professional Organizer who believes order and beauty in the home bring peace and contentment. She and her team are committed to creating functional and aesthetically pleasing systems for their clients and their families. Follow her on social media for daily inspiration: 


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