Go big; Decluttering a play room

After completing a few small decluttering projects – drawers, cabinets and bookshelves, I decided to do a project outside of my home. I asked my friends if they had an area that needed decluttering.

My friend Laura enthusiastically said ‘Yes!’ 

So, we set a decluttering date.

When I arrived at Laura’s home and saw her daughter’s play room for the first time, I ran.


OK I didn’t run, or cry. At first sight I knew it was going to be a long and rewarding day. This project was big. Where should we start?


We started with the big stuff; the furniture. Was all the furniture needed? What would be the best layout for the room? Since it’s a small space, we decided to remove one piece of furniture; a green shelf and drawer unit.

Sorting and purging

Next came the sorting and purging. We purged little kiddie stuff (like Teletubbies and Sesame Street toys) and sorted everything. We put all the art supplies together, the costumes, Polly Pocket, littlest Pet Shop toys… you get the idea. Once sorted, we organized everything and put things away.

In the end we removed four large trash bags full of kid stuff and donated them to goodwill. We threw away two bags of miscellaneous junk toys – broken toys and random pieces of plastic.  

The finished space

Ah, much better!

We found…

  • Decluttering is more fun with a friend
  • Big projects are smaller when you have help
  • You purge more when someone else asks questions like: “does your daughter play with this?”
The desk space is inviting now
Playroom closet - before and after

I left Laura’s house exhausted, happy, and completely inspired to declutter my office. I came home, purged a few books from my shelves and sat on my tushie the rest of the night; satisfied with a job well done.

The next morning Laura spent time in her daughter’s play room because it was a peaceful and inviting place – the space was transformed. We added nothing to the space, instead we removed things so that what was there could shine.

How about you? Have you taken on a big decluttering project?


  1. Wow, that playroom looks terrific! We had a flood this spring so we cleaned out the basement play room that my kids out grew. The kids actually helped me because I’d forget they don’t play with certain things anymore. They were a lot more practical then me who was being more sentimental.

  2. Thank you again, Kate! The playroom has gone from being the most cluttered, to the most clutter-free space in our house.

  3. Great job!

    A friend and I used to meeting monthly to declutter, taking turns at each other’s house. It really was more fun and more productive to have help. I’ve recently set a date with another friend to declutter at my house. She’s bringing a box of papers to sort through and I’m going to go through one of my paper piles. I don’t know why I can’t seem to deal with it the moment I bring it in the door…sigh.

  4. It seems as though we are constantly decluttering my sons room on a monthly basis. You are definitely right once the cleanup is done it is SO much more fun to be in their room playing with them. Just cant seem to have as much fun when you are surrounded by mounds of little things. Now if we could just get some help once in a while.

  5. I’m impressed – and your friend must absolutely *love* you. I still have a long way to go in decluttering my own home ( though I’ve made a ton of progress this year )… I don’t think I’ll be volunteering my services to any friends.

    Though, if you want to help out at my place, I’d be glad for the help :)

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