Playroom with an Ocean View

· Purging · , , , , , , , , , ,

When I first set foot in in this Montauk playroom, I almost missed the view of the ocean. Although the room boasted ample storage for the family’s four children, it was drowning in toys. The perimeter of the room was lined with bins. Deep storage areas filled one wall, flanked on either side with bookshelves that were half styled and half filled with junk. A comfy couch in the middle of the room faced both the television and the ocean outside.

The organization of this playroom was simple, and the cause of the clutter was a common one. The existing storage was filled with toys the children had outgrown, so toys they regularly used were relegated to counters and storage bins that kept multiplying.

Using my FOUR STEP METHOD, the playroom was restored to order in just a few hours.

I PURGED the toys that hadn’t been touched in months, if not years by first emptying every bin and storage area. Working with the client, we discarded or donated the contents as appropriate. Once the purge was complete, I sorted toys by type and category.

Toy Purge

Once I could see how much of each type of toy remained, I could DESIGN the storage areas. The youngest child loved cars, so instead of throwing toys into each drawer, I created vehicle drawers where his cars and trucks could be “parked”. I also designated zones for train tracks, building blocks, games, and arts and crafts.

Toy Cars

To ORGANIZE the space, I repurposed the bins that had been used on the floor to separate some of the toy categories. I cleared all of the counter spaces and used the now empty drawers and cabinets to store everything that had been piled on the floor and counters.

Ocean View

To MAINTAIN organization, I labeled all of the areas.



  1. When your children’s toys are overwhelming your space, it’s time for a purge. The younger your child, the more frequently this needs to be done. Typically, holiday time, before your child’s birthday, and the end of the school year are natural times to purge.
  2. Large bins and toy chests encourage disorganization. Throwing things in a bin generally results in lots of random puzzle pieces, game pieces, and missing items being thrown together into a black hole. Instead, separate toys by type, and use smaller bins.
  3. In order to maintain organization, build in 10 minutes at the end of every play period for cleaning up.
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