Do you Allows Toys in the Living Room?

Renting a small apartment means limited space and no playroom. In our home we have a living room, spot for a dining table and chairs, kitchen with hardly any counter space, and two bedrooms. That’s it…no playroom, den, or office. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my small apartment. It keeps me from overloading it with unnecessary items and we have a garage, driveway, lawn, and we’re close to the center of town. clean living room collage

Now with a small apartment, my office is a spot on the couch…which is NOT comfortable, but it works. I prefer the other couch, but I have the roll-out electric fireplace that I use as a make shift table. office couch

AJ has a nice sized room, but never plays in there. I can hear AJ in his room and see into part of it from the kitchen. He even has a TV and DVD player. Despite all that he tries to drag all his toys into the living room.

his room collage

I put my foot down while cleaning and organizing this summer. I made it very clear that no toys are to be brought in the living room, it’s only for watching TV and movies. I set up a play space for him on the side of the couch near his bedroom door…that was working…for a bit.

messy living room collage

Well as you can suspect it only lasted two days…soon toys were everywhere in the living room, cushions were down and made into forts, and it was a mess once again. Hubby is frustrated as wants to enjoy the living area as do I, but at the same time I understand our son doesn’t want to be cast off in his room. At this point, I have given up fighting him on the toys and mess, though I have limited the amount he brings in the space.

basement door

If we didn’t have that basement door between the bedrooms, we could set up a play area there. That would make a perfect spot for AJ to play while keeping our living room clutter free…but we need to have access to that door at all times.

Where do you let your kids play with their toys?

About karen

Karen is married to a big kid and mom to a head strong, only child. She is happy with her family of three, along with their spoiled fur baby. Karen works full time as a teacher and still finds time to blog, read, crochet, and cook. Follow along as she enjoys this life.


Do you Allows Toys in the Living Room? — 8 Comments

  1. Wa so an issue here, too as the girls share a bedroom and we really don’t have much of a playroom here either. But I worked hard to organize their bedroom better and now they aren’t to bring more than a few toys at best in at a time and must clean them up when they are done. It is getting better as they are getting older, too. But still we are also a work in progress and get it completely still.

    • I agree that it does get better as they get older. I remember you posting about organizing their room. I have done that with Anthony, but just wish he’d play in there…but I understand he wants to be closer to us.

  2. This is a great topic, Karen! I have found that everyone wants to be in the space where Mom is… kids like doing their homework in the kitchen, Dad likes to set up at the island or on the couch… there is something about us that simply enjoys the community. Your struggle is a common on. Here a few thoughts: 1. The time is fleeting. Before you know it, AJ will be a teenager retreating to his room, so remind yourself that the situation isn’t permanent. 2. You can set up “boundaries” by space, rather than by object. So show him where his stuff can go when it is cleaned up (i.e. give him toy storage), rather than telling him what particular objects he may or may not bring in. The key is to have him return items to his area at the end of each day so that it doesn’t get out of control. He can keep a few items in his “space” in the living room, and the rest goes back to his room. While he is playing, the toys will probably take up more space, but knowing they can go back and you can regain some control helps your state of mind.

    • That is so true Seana, one day he’ll be a teenager and I will pray he comes out of his room. We do have a toy chest in the living room…which I clean out and organize about once a month. We do make him clean up before going to bed. I guess I should be flattered that he wants to be around me all the time.

  3. The days of him wanting to be where you are will end soon so enjoy them while you can. Maybe a good option would be to allow him one thing to play with in there at a time. If he wants to play with something else, he has to put the first toy away first.

    • I know, I should just enjoy it…one day he will never want to come out of his room… We’ve been working on just playing with a few things and cleaning up before bedtime and leaving. As you can see from the fly on the wall post…it works well..sometimes.

  4. Toys are in the girls’ room, the living room, by the kitchen table, in the family/playroom downstairs…they’re everywhere around here! Part of the problem is the kids’ small room, so it gets to be a disaster quickly when they’re in there. And the little one is still too small to play by herself in the downstairs playroom. So we have several baskets and pretty totes that corral the toys in the living room. Eventually they will be banished, but not until I can trust that all kids can play (fairly) well without constant supervision. Perhaps a pre-dinner pick up rule would help? All toys brought out during the day need to be put away before coming to dinner?

Would love to read your thoughts