Messy playroom

Time required: Two hours

Walsh's playroom purge is easy—and to prove it, he visits Michelle Holt, 43, vice president of production at OWN, in Los Angeles. Michelle's daughters' "playroom" doubles as her husband Niall McKeown's office—and Niall is forever tripping on Legos and Barbies.
Kids in a clean room

Photo: David Tsay

Use the Rule of Five
Before arriving, Walsh asked Michelle to help the girls choose five toys they love, and five they'd be happy to give to a child less fortunate. Michelle reports that the girls want to keep their Barbies but agreed that several games (Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders) can go.
Cleaning toys

Photo: David Tsay

Use Parental Prerogative
Next, Michelle can take the liberty of purging anything the kids rarely play with. "The truth is, they probably won't miss much," says Walsh. The baby dolls Michelle scoops up will be kept in the garage until they can be donated.

Get rid of it for good: L.A.'s Toy Loan Program maintains "lending libraries" of free toys for kids.
Family in clean room

Photo: David Tsay

A Place for Everything
The toys that survive the purge are grouped into labeled bins (Barbies, Legos, etc.) to restrict volume and help the girls learn to put things away.

Next: Purge your family's shoes in less than an hour