3 Ways to Transform the Playroom to a Tween Space

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A child's organized room with a desk and bins.Our home — specifically the playroom — has recently been the subject of change as children transition from kids toys to tween interests. The play area needed an overhaul not only in organization, but in decor, too. This can get pricey, but there are ways you can organize, rehaul, and decorate to create a new space for the kids without spending a lot of money.

Step 1: Downsize and Declutter

I have found cleaning and organizing the kids’ playroom is actually easier when they aren’t around. But when it comes to getting rid of things as they outgrow them, I like their input.

We start with toys, books, and the other items they no longer want. Sometimes it’s hard (for all of us) to let go of things we were fond of, but in order to make room for the new, you have to move along the old.

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We narrow it down to the items they have played with recently or know they will in the future. There were also those hard truth talks where I have to give reminders that if the toy hasn’t been played with in a year, it’s probably time to let go of it.

Once you have downsized, the question you ask is what to do with it all. There are several options. You can always donate to a local non-profit (such as shelters or community assistance organizations) or sell your items on many of the online sites available for selling toys, clothes, etc.

You might also use your social network to ask if anyone would benefit from your kids’ items. It can be reassuring to give away those fond items if you know the family taking them.

Step 2: Reorganize

Now that you know the items you are keeping, it’s time to reorganize!

Keep function top of mind when reorganizing. Though we tend to create piles or move things to corners, it’s not practical. If your kids’ toys aren’t accessible, they will just continue to sit and collect dust. Instead, make sure all the toys can be reached and accessed.

That being said, don’t stack too much on top of each other. You don’t want anything to fall and cause injury or prevent the kids from playing. Remember, function is key!

Organize and store items in clear bins. Clear bins are super useful because then kids can see inside. I also like to label each bin, but as long as it’s clear or even color coded, then the kids can see inside and decide what they want to play with.

Consider moving items around or doing a light “reorg” every few months. Kids get conditioned to the same toys, and when I rearrange bins, it’s like they have new toys all over again. 

Step 3: Decorate the Space

After all the organizing and decluttering, the fun part is decorating and creating a fun space.

A young girl's room with a desk, chair and day bed.Let your kids help decorate — even do their own decorating! My girls love to paint, so we framed a couple pictures they painted in affordable frames. You can easily find low-cost rugs or other accent pieces to change up the room without taking on big expensive decor projects. 

Make sure to use colors and designs that fit your kiddos’ ages and personalities. The more the room fits and feels like your children, the more they will utilize it. 

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Also consider your kids’ changing interests as you decorate the playroom. As my kids got older, they wanted to add a desk to their space because they were doing less on the floor and wanted a spot for homework and painting.

Taking on the downsizing and reorganization of a room doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You want the space to be functional for your kids and allow them to play and grow. It will be well-worth the cleaning and decorating.

Emily S
Emily is a 35+ year resident of Arlington, having only left for a brief time to attend Baylor University (Sic ‘em!). Her background in journalism/communications has allowed her to share her writing and editing experience in a variety of professional formats from hospitals and software companies to multiple non-profits. As a single mom of two girls, Madilyn (2009) and Camille (2012), she spends her time managing their various activities. When she gets her own time, she loves reading, cycling, and watching her long-time obsession -- the Golden Girls.


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