We are lucky enough to have an entire room in our house dedicated to being our central playroom. Little Miss loves to go in there and spend her time, playing with many of her favorite toys. Momma and Daddy love that she is able to go in there and entertain herself while we are busy with other tasks. Unfortunately it does not take much time, or effort on her part to turn the room upside down. In fact, I often think she enjoys pulling out every single toy and scattering them from one end of the room to the next, it's all a part of her fun!
But not part of Momma or Daddy's! Oy!
When we set up the room we even included an armoire with bins to house some of the toys she would play with often, and placed inside the cabinets books and educational materials mostly to keep them organized. Since the introduction of our playroom however, it seems the number of toys in our house has doubled and things are constantly out of control in a once uncluttered space.
Also, Little Miss has gotten to an age that many of her toys have multiple parts and pieces, and I know it's only going to become more so in the years to come - with smaller, and smaller parts. So I decided it was time to take many of those toys and put them out of her reach unless she's being supervised, or at least only playing with a few at any giving time... instead of... All.Of.Them.
So I recently purchased some 12 gallon bins at Walmart and started sorting. Currently I have two bins that are housing some of her Little People. I sorted the people, animals, and parts to each set and placed them into individual plastic bags along with the main toy itself. It not only makes it easy for us to pull out one set at a time, but will help her in keeping some order to the madness that will ensue anyways.
Another bin will house some of her other toys that I find to be major clutter culprits. Puzzles, pegboards, her Mr and Mrs Potato set, etc. It's all about keeping the toys themselves together and allowing her to play with one at a time. We'll then pick them up together, place them back into their bags and bins and get out another toy. In the meantime we will store the bins themselves out of reach in the hall closet which has plenty of floor space.
I know that this won't keep our playroom in constant order, and we'll still be stubbing our toes on something as we pass through, but it's a start. It'll be a nice benefit to have some extra control over the chaos and not feel so overwhelmed each and every time we "Clean up, clean up. Everybody, everywhere. Clean up, Clean up. Everybody do your share".