Playroom Organization

Playroom organization ideas for a duel function playroom and family room space. 

Hello friends! It is now Week 8 of the Ten Week Organizing Challenge and our entire upstairs has been purged and organized. This includes the bathroom, both boys’ bedrooms, and now, as of this week, our playroom/family room. I’m pretty thrilled to know that at least one floor is completely finished and that there is just one room left to deal with on our main floor. Next week I’ll be tackling my office/craft room.

Our Playroom / Family Room:

Our current playroom setup in the new build was designed as both a hangout/play space for our two boys (now 11 and 14) as well as a family space to use for movie nights etc. With our primary bedroom on the main floor, the whole upstairs is basically the boys’ zone. They have their bedrooms, their shared bathroom, as well as this playroom/family room space. We actually had this bonus room added to plan, as our house plan originally only had 2 bedrooms up.

It’s fabulous when your playroom organization systems can last for several years and throughout the developmental changes that your children go through over time. Investing in quality organizational bins and baskets can seem expensive at first. But if you choose quality organizing systems and products, you can get years of use out of them. This makes the investment worth it.

The playroom organization ideas that I’m sharing today are still the same methods that I used back when I originally completed the challenge back in 2017.

a playroom family room space with playroom organization using Ikea Kallax

To tackle a playroom space, you definitely need to begin with…

Step One: PURGE

Go through and get rid of all toys, books, and decorative objects that you are not using or that you don’t truly love.  It is very easy for toys, books, and games to build up over time. Children’s needs and interests change as they grow and develop so it’s important to revisit what they are using and playing with fairly frequently.

Another option, if they have just too much stuff, is to pack half of it away in totes and store them in the garage or basement. Then after a month or two bring the stored toys and books back out and pack away the ones they’ve been using. This keeps their items fresh and new and gives you less to manage on a daily basis.

Now, as you are probably aware, purging children’s toys, books, and games can be difficult for both kids and for parents! We often have good memories that are tied up in these objects. Remind yourself that holding onto things that aren’t used creates clutter. And clutter doesn’t allow room for new activities and adventures yet to come. You also may find it easier to purge without your children around, depending on their age.

I went through our games closet and purged unused games from it. All of our books are now kept in the boys’ bedrooms so I dealt with those last week. We also still had bins with a variety of toys and electronic-related items in them that I had to sort through with my boys to figure out what could go and what should stay.

closet with wooden shelves in a playroom used for playroom organization and storage
bins used to store electronic items in a playroom family room

Step Two: Sort Items by Category and Determine Storage Needs

Place like items together and figure out how much space you need to store them. Make a list of your storage needs, as well as a list of what you already have/own that will work. For example, if you have a lot of larger toys, you may need to source some shelving.

If you don’t have a closet with shelves in it, you could consider purchasing a pantry or toy storage cupboard. To save money, search out storage cabinets on Facebook Marketplace and refinish or paint one!

Ikea is also a fabulous source for inexpensive shelving and storage solutions. We ordered two of these Ikea Kallax back when we originally moved into this house, as I knew they were the perfect size to create a faux window bench in the alcove in our space. You can also use the Kallax vertically, and it comes in a variety of sizes.

Ikea Kallax shelving with storage bins used for playroom organization

Ikea Kallax unit used as a window bench with storage bins used for playroom organization

Step Three: Setup Systems for Storage 

We have eight good quality bins that I ordered from Land of Nod back when I tackled organizing this playroom. They are still in amazing shape, and the thing that I love about them is that they fit perfectly into Ikea Kallax units. The bins are now available through Crate and Barrel Kids (the store has been renamed) and they are called Stripes Around Cube Bins. I highly recommend them – they’ve lasted so beautifully for us!

Crate and Barrel Kids Stripes Around Cube Storage Bins

Here are some other bins and baskets that I’ve gathered that might work for you. In the past I have used larger and deeper bins for toy storage of items like stuffed animals, dress-up etc.

Here are some other types of baskets and bins that I’ve gathered for you:

For our current needs, the items that the boys wanted to keep and that they use were sorted into bins by category: 2 for lego, 1 for music toys, 2 for costumes, 2 for electronics, and 1 that is empty! Empty! That’s good news, right?

Crate and Barrel Kids Strips Around Storage Bins used for playroom organization

Obviously, if your children are younger you are going to have more toys and different playroom organization needs. I highly suggest that you read the following article about playroom organization. I wrote it when my boys were younger and we had different toy storage needs.

labeled image of playroom shelving organized

Step Four: Keep it Up!

After you have purged and figured out what kind of storage systems you want to put into place, it’s time to teach your children how to take care of their play space. As I said in my original take on playroom organization: your children will not naturally and magically figure out how to keep their toys in these neat little categorized bins just because they’ve been set up and organized!

Teaching Kid’s to Help Stay Organized

This is where the teaching comes in. Children need to know what belongs where, so show them. Work together on it. Not just once, but several times. Kids need support and refreshers as they learn new skills; and how to clean up and put their toys away neatly is definitely a new skill for most. Offering encouragement as well as tangible rewards at first can go a long way towards cementing in these new skills.

Once you’ve gotten the toys purged, sorted, organized, and done the teaching and support as your children learn the skills to be tidy and organized then it’s much less likely that your playroom will become quite as messy and scary as it was before the challenge. Or at least, when it does, everyone in the family knows how to tackle it!

Keeping It Up Over Time

Kids will generally be able to pick up after themselves easily on a daily basis after they’ve been taught; but over time things will likely migrate into the incorrect category. Labeled bins (words or pictures for younger children) can definitely help with this process. For me, I go downstairs with the boys every month or so and we re-sort out the bins together.

Our Playroom Organization System

We have such a great amount of storage in this closet, that we can keep most of the ‘clutter’ out of site. Our games, puzzles, and stuffed animals that my boys want to hang on to are stored in here, as well as a little stool to help them access the upper shelves.

closet with wooden shelves used for playroom organization and storage of stuffies, games, and puzzles

The other side of our space is a great space to relax as a family and this space also functions as our ‘media room’. We used our rug, sofa, and art work from the forest house – if you haven’t seen our family room makeover reveal in that house, it’s definitely worth it for the awesome before and after!

family room with grey sofa

large grey sectional in family room with beach theme gallery wall above it

I’ve gathered some playroom organization tools that might be perfect for your space!

Want to remember this? Just PIN it for later!

playroom organization ideas using Ikea Kallax and storage bins


So far in this year’s updated version of the challenge, I’ve shared:


Want this in an easy to digest e-book form? You can learn more about that here!

You can see all of the posts related to my original take on this Ten Week Organizing Challenge by visiting my challenge Intro article here.  

AND…the first time I tackled this challenge back in 2017, I shared these posts for Week

Week Eight: Playroom / Family Room /Rec Room 

How to Completely Organize a Playroom or Kid’s Play Zone

25 Fab Ideas for Organizing Playrooms and Kid’s Spaces 

Each week over the course of this challenge, I’m going to be sharing my process of working through this challenge in our new home with updated tricks, tips, and organizing systems. If you want to follow along with my new version of the challenge, sign-up below for my new email list! Ten Week Organizing Challenge 2022.



Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.