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When I became a mom, I decided the best way to handle the mess that inevitably comes with children was to create a designated play space where they could have all the fun they wanted without interfering with the “aesthetic” in the rest of our house.
I thought I could ignore the mess because it was their spot.
I believed I would remain unbothered by a floor space littered with blocks, crayons, and Barbie clothes.
Even my neat freak husband assumed that we wouldn’t flip out when they got slime all over the floor because it would be out of sight.
Let me tell y’all something: we were wrong.
While I encourage our girls to have fun and exercise their creativity, I still found myself frantically searching for playroom ideas that would provide some semblance of organization and style.
The mess, even out of sight, was too dang much.
I flung myself down a rabbit hole of playroom furniture, toy organization, craft cubbies, and more. I was hellbent on creating a kids’ playroom space for entertainment and fun while ensuring we could easily clean it up.
Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks that have helped me do just that. While our playroom won’t win any interior design awards, it offers everything our little ones need for enjoyment without the clutter. And it saves my sanity. Win/win.
Please feel free to stick around if you’re getting ready to design or organize a playroom. We will review what’s worked for us AND provide insight from our favorite organization expert, Corinne Morahan, from Grid & Glam!
Below you’ll find a list of our top 20 favorite playroom organization ideas to make sure your children have a play space that works for the whole family!
What Are the Most Common Things You’ll Find in a Playroom?
First, if you’re designing a playroom from the ground up, what should you put in it? While the answer might seem obvious (toys!), there are many other things to consider.
For starters, think about how much space you have. Not every home has an extra room that can easily be converted into a play area for kids. In that case, your little one’s primary play spot might be their bedroom.
Think about how you want to use the areas you have. If, for instance, your living room will double as a playroom, what do you want them to have access to? Dolls, blocks, toy cars? You’ll need to figure out how much storage you can use for playthings.
Some other standard playroom features are craft areas, book nooks, doll houses, play kitchens, and more.
The Top 20 Playroom Ideas to Foster Fun, Creativity, and Organization
Now that you’ve thought about where your playroom will be and how much “kid stuff” the space can hold, it’s time to organize everything and design an area your littles will want to enjoy.
Below, I’ve included 20 helpful playroom ideas to get you started!
1. Buy Plenty of Baskets or Bins to Organize Toys
Before you start Project “Organized Playroom,” there’s something you need– baskets, baskets, and more baskets.
Baskets, storage bins, or crates will likely be the pièce de résistance of your play space design or makeover. They will help you improve toy storage and make it easier for your kiddos to clean up at the end of the day.
Just be careful not to “micro-organize” their playthings.
“My tip for the kids is to tidy up every day. But don’t make them micro-organize. By ‘micro-organize’ I mean that it’s easy to look at their toy bins and think you should sort them into even smaller categories. This often just results in more stress for everyone. Keep the categories broad and simple. This way, they can maintain them themselves.”Corinne of Grid & Glam
2. Purchase Multi-Use Playroom Storage Furniture
Often, we only have a little space in our play areas. As we said earlier, some homes don’t have separate rooms and must utilize their living areas for play and relaxation.
Buying multi-use furniture is always a good idea to make the most of what you have.
3. Create a Reading Nook
While we’re talking about bookcases, let’s talk about book nooks! Putting a special “reading zone” inside your child’s play area is one of my favorite playroom organization ideas.
All it takes are a few bookshelves and a cozy place to sit.
4. Remember to Include Stuffed Animal Storage
Kids always seem to have an ABUNDANCE of stuffed animals, whether they pick them out while on a family vacation, receive them as gifts, or purchase them from the local store.
However, there isn’t usually enough space to store the aforementioned ginormous stuffy collection. We LOVE the Creative QT stuffed animal storage bean bag!
5. Add a Rug to the Room
To create a comfortable spot for your little ones to play, why not add a rug to the center of your playroom? You can even pick one that doubles as a creative play area or learning activity!
Some top-rated options include:
- City Life Play Area Rug
- Round ABC Rug
- ABC Playmat with Roads and Pictures
- Letters, Numbers, and Shapes Rug
6. Design a Dress-Up Area
Most of us think it’s cute when our kiddos dress up as astronauts, mermaids, race car drivers, or princesses. What’s NOT cute, however, is trying to find a place to store all of their costumes and accessories.
I’ve also read articles from bloggers who will repurpose an old entertainment cabinet and turn it into a storage area for dress-up clothing. If you’re handy, why not give that a try?
7. Label EVERYTHING!
Once you arrange plenty of storage in your child’s playroom or area, it’s essential to ensure they know how to find what they want and then put it back away.
Labeling containers and shelves is the best way to do this. If your children can’t read yet, you can put pictures on the label to help them identify things. Many storage containers even come with label holders you can write on yourself, like these.
You can find some super cute, kid-friendly label makers online, like this one, that has fun fonts and its own blue-tooth-enabled printer!
8. Be Strategic with Your Color Choices
In a perfect world, we would all have tons of extra space to create a gorgeous playroom with bright colors, chalkboard walls, quaint alcoves, and a solid dose of whimsy.
Realistically, many of us don’t have the square footage (or bandwidth!) for projects like this.
It’s common for living rooms or family rooms to double as a play space for kids. If this is how things work in your house, consider what you pick to house their belongings.
You likely won’t want your main living area to resemble a children’s museum 100% of the time. To avoid this, pick neutral color baskets, containers, and storage furniture that will blend seamlessly into the rest of your room’s aesthetic.
9. Declutter on a Regular Basis
Before searching for playroom ideas, why not begin your redesign project with a decluttering?
That way, you only have to organize the items you truly want and need. Once finished, however, you’ll want to keep going through things on a routine basis.
I like to declutter our girls’ rooms and play area a few times yearly to clear things out. Pro-tip: get your kiddos involved! Give them three baskets and charge them with putting items they want to keep, donate, or trash into their respective bins.
This gives them some ownership in the process and will potentially stave off a meltdown when they figure out that you trashed something absolutely precious to them, like a Lego piece from 2019 (insert eye roll here).
10. Eliminate Boxes
Am I alone in having a child with a serious attachment to the boxes her toys come in? This kid wants to hold onto the box forever, no matter how big it is.
This, however, is not functional for organizational purposes, and I’ll be honest: it drives me absolutely bonkers.
If you can, eliminate the boxes toys come in, or ask your child which three they can hang onto and which three they can break down for recycling. This will make putting things away much simpler in the long run!
11. Utilize Mesh Bags with Zippers for Storage
Would you like to eliminate the boxes that your child’s puzzles and games come in, too?
You can purchase mesh zipper bags that are perfectly sized for most game boards and small pieces!
12. Make Use of Your Corner Space
If you’re dealing with a small space but still want to maximize your playroom storage potential, you can invest in a corner cabinet that doesn’t take up as much room.
This cabinet will hold books and toys making it an ultimate space-saver.
13. Choose Easy-to-Clean Materials
Keeping up with your child’s playroom is more than just picking up toys off the floor. There’s also a good chance your family will spend a fair amount of time wiping up spills, stains, and unknown substances.
Do what you can to choose items for your child’s play space that make cleanup quick and easy. This goes for rugs, too.
Sure, those fluffy shag area rugs are cute and cozy, but they’re also a PAIN to clean when needed.
14. Add a Toy Box or Storage Bench
Organizing bins and baskets can also be more challenging for younger children.
15. Make the Most of Your Closet Space
Do you have a closet in your play area or living room that you’re not doing much with? Why not repurpose it into a space for toys, crafts, and other playroom goodies?
Some families will even clear out a closet to create a small play “alcove” if they don’t have another designated playroom location.
16. Put In Open Shelving
I love open shelving in playrooms because it provides versatility in using the space. In fact, one of my favorite products for playroom storage is Ikea’s BILLY bookcase and shelving collection.
These units come in several styles and sizes. They also offer some flexibility in how you use them. Whether you want to store books, toys, baskets, or blankets on the shelves, they provide much-needed extra space.
17. Create an Area to Display Artwork
There’s nothing better than watching our children take pride in the work they create and use their imagination to develop something that excites them.
The only issue, however, is that when inspiration strikes our kiddos, they want to make sure there’s a place to display their masterpieces.
I’m slightly obsessed with these art frames to do just that. Not only do these cute frames let you highlight the tiny Picassos in your home, but they also double as artwork storage.
We also love hanging wall storage that lets you display multiple pieces at once!
18. Organize Craft Materials
Listen, I’m all about letting my littles exercise their creativity and coming up with craft activities for kids.
The management and organization of craft supplies, however, can send my anxiety into the freaking stratosphere. If you’re setting up an arts and crafts area in your child’s playroom, include lots of storage items.
One of Corinne’s favorite organizational tools is Lazy Susans. Pairing these with some small cups or pencil holders makes excellent craft storage options because your kids can easily retrieve whatever item they need for a particular project.
These are perfect for storing craft items!
19. Include a Table and Chairs
Whether they’re reading a book, creating a painting, or playing with Legos, your little ones will appreciate having a nice play to sit and work inside their playroom.
Here are some of my top picks for children’s activity table sets:
- Utex Wood Round Table & Chairs
- IKEA Latt Table and 2 Chairs
- Milliard Art Table with Storage
- KidKraft Round Table with Mesh Storage
20. Make Sure It’s a Comfortable Space for Kids AND Adults
And finally, our last and most important tip for a comfortable and organized playroom: make it a space you’ll want to enjoy WITH your children.
Sure, the main objective in designing a playroom is to put together an area ideal for children’s free play. That doesn’t mean you can’t join the fun, too! Why not add a small sofa with some cute throw pillows you can lounge on while you’re hanging out?
You can also choose playroom decor you’ll like looking at just as much as your children or plan out areas for activities that you love, too.
Make your playroom a spot for the family. And as your children grow, you can all find new ways of enjoying the space together.
Do you have any playroom ideas you’re excited to try?
Thank you to Corinne Morahan and the rest of her team at Grid & Glam for sharing your incredible playroom organization ideas. If you want more suggestions on decluttering and organizing your home, check out their website!
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.