Pro Tips :: How to Organize the Playroom

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Pro Tips :: How to Organize the Playroom | Houston Moms Blog
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Christmas is over.  The old toys have mated with the new toys and created more toys.  Is that even possible? If you are anything like me, peeking your head into your kids playroom STRESSES YOU OUT.  I sat down with a  Houston mom and home organizer, to learn about how she balances being a mom and working full time as well as get some ideas on how to organize the mess.

How did you get started organizing?

I decided to get out of corporate retail and stay at home with my son when he was born almost five years ago.  After he started in Mothers Day Out a couple of days a week, I was ready for something on my own again, but I knew I couldn’t go back to the hours of corporate retail.  I still wanted to do school pickups every day and have my time with him, so I decided to start my own “part-time” business doing organization {something I have always loved}.  However, it quickly went from part-time to full-time and now I have two amazing assistants who work with me.   

How do you balance being a mom and a full time business owner?

I don’t think there will ever be the perfect balance when it comes to being a working mom. The great thing about being a business owner is that I have more control over it than when I worked for someone else.  I hate disappointing my clients but to me there is nothing worse than disappointing my son.  I cried the entire way home one day when he thanked me for not being the last on to pick him up again, and I always keep that in mind when setting boundaries and my schedule.  Sometimes that means a project gets done over two days, instead of one, so I can make it to his school by 2 pm {NOT 2:05}.  I give my all to my clients from 9-2 and come 2 pm, my focus is on Harry.  I try to plan an afternoon activity for us, whether its baking a treat, stopping off at a park on the way home or going on a long walk in the neighborhood.  But that does not mean our afternoon activity has not included a fair share of trips to the Container Store, at which time he becomes my assistant and likes to be paid in Starbucks cake pops.  My husband usually does the nighttime routine, which is when I get on my laptop to answer client emails, work on proposals, send out invoices, and do payroll.  I know it will evolve over time as my business grows and his school hours get longer, but right now this is working for us!

What are some common “mistakes” you see parents doing in their playrooms?

The most common mistake I see in playrooms is that parents are not continually editing.  Kids outgrow toys as quickly as they outgrow clothes.  So, just like you pack outgrown clothes away for future kids or friends having babies, the same should be done with toys!  I say at a minimum you should do a sweep through twice a year {once before birthdays and once before Christmas/Hanukah}. 

What are your tips for organizing a playroom?

It sounds counterintuitive, but the only way to truly organize a playroom is to pull everything out.  Once its all out, start categorizing {and don’t let yourself get overwhelmed}.  All playrooms are a little different depending on the kids’ ages and genders, but as a good starting point, here are some common playroom categories we use:: pretend play, musical toys, blocks, vehicles, dolls, play food, balls, figurines, and electronic toys.  Once you have your categories, put them in bins and last but definitely not least, label the bins!

What are some of your favorite items for organizing a playroom?

I love using IKEA Kallax shelving units.  They come in a huge variety of sizes and colors, based on your playroom size and needs.  My favorite bins for the Kallax shelves are Targets Pillowfort fabric cube bins.  They fit perfectly in the cubby holes and come in a variety of cute colors and patterns.  My favorite floor bins are the Petit Pehr bins.  I have the pom pom bins in my own playroom for oversized blocks.  I also love container store shoe bins for organizing arts and crafts.  They are very inexpensive and still look great!

Now that it’s organized, how do we keep it that way?

I think a big myth about organization is that once you organize something, your work is done.  I wish that was the case, but like many other things in the house, it does require maintenance.  But, once you have labeled bins, it makes it so easy to teach your kids {and husbands} where everything goes.  Picking up the playroom becomes a much faster and less daunting task.

Are you inspired to tackle the mess?  What are some of your favorite tips for organizing?  We’d love to hear from you, please comment below!

 


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After graduating college, Jessica moved to Fort Worth to pursue her love of fashion, listen to some Texas country music and have a little fun. One night out with a friend, 615 miles would be erased when this small town southeast Texas girl met her tall west Texas boy. Eventually jobs would move them to Houston where they would settle down into suburban life and have two sweet and VERY active boys, Jett {January 2011} and Jay {November 2012}. It wasn’t until having kids and becoming a stay at home mom, that Jessica truly fell in love with Houston. Her perfect day with the kids would begin EARLY at the zoo {because we all know parking there} with a strong cup of coffee, around lunch time they’d hop on the Hermann Park train and head over to Centennial Park for a picnic lunch and then they would end the day checking out the dinosaur exhibit at HMNS. When not exploring Houston, Jessica loves to shop online for amazing deals, watch Texas A&M football and basketball, and plan their next family adventure.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Who is this Houston mom and home organizer? Love the tips but I don’t see her name or any link to her business in this article. Did I miss it?

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