playroom - Boston Moms

It had become too much of a burden for me. I couldn’t stand it any longer. My children did not appreciate it, and it was ALWAYS a mess. There was more stuff in that one room than my childhood house had in its entirety. It was the playroom, and it had to go.

I got rid of my children’s playroom. It was a decent-sized playroom, taking up up half of our basement. Let me be clear that my kids have not yet aged out of a playroom. In fact, they are the perfect ages for one. The oldest of my five children is 8, and my youngest is 9 months. I mean, we actually have a good five or six years left where we could provide a separate space for play. But I’m not doing it. I don’t ever again want a playroom in my home!

I decided it was time to clear it out because I no longer wanted to manage an unnecessary amount of toys. I did not want to organize them into the correct bins and boxes to be played with again. I did not want to spend an hour or two recleaning it after a playdate that resulted in the removal and destruction of Every. Single. Toy. I did not want to have a yearly purge to make room for more. And finally, I wanted more reasons to send my kids outside instead of downstairs to the playroom.

Here’s what happened after it was gone.

My housecleaning load was significantly reduced.

Three-quarters of the toys were purged or stored for future purging once officially forgotten about. The number of hours I spend cleaning up and organizing the playroom has dropped to a whopping 0!

There are fewer toys, and there is more productive play.

The toys in the playroom were never really “played” with. Instead, they became victims of a reaction to an inappropriate amount of stimulation, which resulted in significant destruction of the space. Now my children have just the right amount of toys that fit the storage space provided, and the same toys are played with daily and with so much creativity.

Their imaginations are running wild.

The toys they have now have all become open-ended and serve multiple purposes. My kids repurpose stuffed animals, shoelaces, boxes, blocks, plastic food containers, cups, hair accessories, and pillows. Now, everything can become something new. They also play outside so much more. They greet the neighbors and pet their dogs. They scooter, bike, and jump in puddles. They run, twirl, and build houses out of boxes and umbrellas. They set up a picnic under a tree and play horses on a collection of rocks. All of this requires minimal cleanup.

We argue over one less thing.

I no longer get upset at them over a destroyed playroom! I also no longer have to ask them to clean up a room that was always impossible for them to clean up. There no longer exists frustration in regards to a playroom. It is non-existent.

They never noticed.

They said nothing. They never noticed, even though they watched me do it. They never shed a “real” tear, even as we donated some of their best toys and duplicates to families in need. They actually felt good and posed for pictures so the kids who received their toys knew who they came from. They have not once asked for their items back, asked where they went, or merely mentioned their existence.

I buy fewer toys.

I’m no longer trying to figure out what their playroom is missing. It isn’t missing anything because it doesn’t exist. Now I pay attention to what they are playing with and what they aren’t, and I can quickly clear out what they don’t use or have outgrown. I can “see” how much physical and creative room they have for more. Toy purchases have become much more intentional, and my wallet a tad bit thicker.

I have not once felt guilty about getting rid of their playroom. I have felt relief. I have felt calm. I believe my children feel freer and less stressed. They never cared that it even existed.

I’m glad the playroom is gone.

Rachel Rich
Rachel was born and raised in central Pennsylvania. She moved to the Boston area twice. The second time she stayed for good setting up residence in Scituate. For ten years, she taught middle schoolers the fascinating history of the ancient and medieval worlds. She has an MA in Special Education and is a certified Reading Specialist as well as licensed History and ESL teacher. Even though she loved teaching she finally let go of the working mom life after having baby number four. She and her husband currently have five young children ages 8, 5, 4, 2, & 8 months. She is a homeschooling mom and freelance content writer at @rachelrichcontentwriter and


    • Hi Anna,

      I posted a pic of us cleaning out the playroom on social media. A teacher in an urban school reached out asking if I would set aside the good toys for a family from Haiti with nothing. So we did and when she came to pick it up we took pictures. She then sent a pic of the family receiving the donation so my kids could see who was impacted.

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