Let me start with a little disclaimer: this might be totally obvious, but it took me 4 years to figure out and when I finally did it was such an “ah-ha “that I just had to share.

I am taming the mess of our playroom with tape.

That’s it.

Ok. There is a little more to it than that.

I try really hard to create accessible play areas for the kids. I have learned that they play independently if they can just go over and pick up what ever they want to play with. Our storage is open and most toys are within reach for the boys. In fact, I blogged about the fact that having an easy-to-access dedicated art space changed the way the kids played.

Lately I have noticed that EVERYTHING is just getting dumped out on the floor. It seems to be Cal’s preferred method of play. That is fine when it is a toy he can actually play with (like ALL the dinosaurs). But when it is a game above his ability he just dumps all the pieces out and moves on to the next thing he can turn over. He is especially fond of dumping out all of the board games and puzzles.


I got tired of picking them up and sorting them daily, and then it occurred to me that I could just tape the boxes shut. The kids can still grab a game if that is what they want to play and all they have to do it ask for it to be opened. So it is still accessible without all of the collateral mess.

So far this new plan is working out great. I only wish I had thought of it sooner. So I realize this isn’t rocket science, but it is making my day-to-day life so much easier. I thought it worth sharing the simple tip in case someone else can be spared the “disaster dump” stage of play.