Somewhere along the way, and I'm not sure when, I felt like we had so many toys around I was living in a toy store.
The kids only play with a few at a time, and the other toys were just cramming up our living space. Added plus, I've read before that kids thrive off of less choices and their imaginative play can really take off if there are less toys available for them.
Pros of a playroom for young children:
1.Everything is out of the way.
2. Can set up a clear shelving unit or toy organization system.
3.Can decorate a really cute and kid friendly area.
Pros of toys in the main area for young children:
1.Can easily watch over small children while doing other things (like laundry, dishes, cooking, etc.)
2. Keep up with the toys and know what you have/what needs to be fixed/replaced/thrown out.
3. It forces you to pick up.
So we've gone with, and stuck to, the toys in the main area. It creates some extra work, but ultimately it keeps me feeling organized.
However, we are not going to keep all the toys up in the main area that we have- so we rotate them.
We always have the art table set up, and the toy kitchen stays. And other big items stay around (dollhouse, trampoline, and basketball hoop).
But everything else...
We have in bins down in the basement and rotate out. I wish I was better about it, but usually I do it when I realize the kids seem bored or no longer interested in most of what is set up. And now, Will is old enough and has caught on the system and will request for a change or for specific toys in the basement- so that's my clue to get things switched up!
In the basement we just have bins (one of books, one of stuffed animals, one of small pieces, one of cars/wheels, etc.). And bigger items that aren't in a bin!
So that's our idea for a toy system. It's definitely not perfect, but it's working for us.
**Also, each kids' bedroom has a few books and a few toys in a small bin. They are almost always seen as new when played with because we rarely play in the bedrooms- which can be helpful when you need a new toy to occupy attentions on the fly!