The Never-Ending Mess

It seems that every mom has that one room she just can’t seem to keep up on. It’s the room that dirties itself in a matter of minutes and never makes her feel anything but overwhelmed. Aside from the kitchen, it’s usually the room most lived-in by the kids, making it nearly impossible to keep clean.

This room is called, in our house, the playroom. I’m not a neat freak, but I enjoy a clean home. When my house is organized, my mind is organized. When it’s clean I feel like superwoman- on top of the world and in charge of life. This is a rare and fleeting feeling. Allow me to show you why.



This was our playroom. Yep, this area of my house actually looked like this most of the time. What’s the point in cleaning it every day? It’s just going to get dirty again the very next day, before 8:00AM even arrives. To be honest, I picked this room up about once every two weeks. My kids were allowed to just let it rip and have a blast in here. I think that’s how it should be, for the most part. Of course, I think it’s important for even toddlers to learn to clean up, but the playroom shouldn’t bring stress to kids- it should be fun! The problem was, it was no fun for me. It was actually a huge burden. Every time someone knocked on my door, I prayed they looked straight ahead into my hallway and kitchen, not to their right. As you can see, the playroom is next to what is supposed to be a formal living room, but it’s all been meshed together by piles of toys and Veggie Straws.


My husband, Brian recently took six days off of work. At the start of his mini vacation he asked me to tell him one thing he could do for me that would be helpful. I told him a morning to myself, and help with the playroom. I got my two wishes on the last day he had off. We got our sweat pants on, put the kids down for a nap, and got to work. We made the playroom a playroom with a toy system, and the formal living room is now off-limits to our littles. Here are the results…




This toy-bin-rack is awesome because the kids can get into their toys easily. They can see what’s in each bin so they’re not pulling everything out searching for just one thing. The colors pop and make it super cute.



A book shelf is a must-have for Bella, who loves to read. The green bins are another pop of color and hold our Mr. Potato Head collection and Leeland’s cars. The see-through lids allow them to see which bin holds what.


I don’t allow my kids to have TV’s in their bedrooms, but I also don’t always want the living room TV on, so putting one in the playroom is a happy-medium for everyone. I don’t have a place to sit in this room because I want them to play when they’re in here!


These button trees were painted by a friend of mine. I got the idea from Pinterest, of course:)



A low, rectangular coffee table works great as a kids’ table. Bella kneels and Leeland stands as they color and create. The glass top makes the table double as a display for their artwork. Make sure you have stickers underneath to keep it from sliding off though!


The time-out chair goes in the corner near the kitchen, where I can see the perp really well ;)


The bottom shelf of the bookcase is Leeland’s zone. Trucks, blocks, and learning toys. The perfect height for a one-year-old.


Along with a bright new playroom, our house now has a few new rules:

1) We all clean up together before nap time, and before bed time.

2) Messy snacks are not allowed anywhere but the kitchen table.

3) If there are more toys than bins, it’s time to get rid of stuff.


A great idea that my handsome hubs gave me is to donate old toys to your church nursery! I never thought of that before, but it works out great because they could use the toys and my kids still get to play with them once a week.


Having the playroom cleaned up and having a system for dealing with the daily toy grind is a huge weight off my shoulders. Now I walk into that room and feel proud. My formal living room is being used to hold my prized vintage furniture and not played in by my little maniacs. How’s your playroom situation? Organized or chaotic?


  1. says

    Another great place to donate toys is a local non-profit child placing agency. A place where children in state’s custody go to have visits with families- the toys there are usually pretty old and limited (I work at one!). Just search “how to become a foster parent” and you should find an agency. Also your local SRS/DHS/ whatever it is called in your state has visit rooms for the time children are removed from their parent’s home until they get to their new home. Toys there would be good too. Great post- and great work on that room!

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