Toys! Don’t you feel they are impossible to keep organized or at least in the same room?
Most toys cannot easily be stacked as you would with books or board games and then there are so many little pieces! Keeping things in order is a part-time job.
Here are some helpful tips to keep them under control.
Step 1: The first thing you want to do is bring all the toys in the house in one room; whichever room they play with the toys the most. Leave those big kitchen sets where they are. While all the toys are in the same room start by looking at every single toy. That means if you have bins in the playroom that contain toys empty the contents of bins on the floor. Yep, that is right, pick up the bin and dump it all out. Don’t just sort through it without completely emptying it out on the floor and don’t worry, you can vacuum later.
Go through everything and eliminate these suggestions right off the bat: broken toys, unsafe toys, toys they’ve outgrown, garbage you find in there, a random sock and dare I say…loud toys? Bag all of them up because those are the ones you will toss or donate.
Step 2: You’ll want to create toy categories. Some common categories are – Legos, stuffed animals, action figures, dolls and dolls clothes, kitchen accessories, trucks, cars, puzzles/board games, etc.
Step 3: Once they are categorized you want to do another edit of each group. Eliminate duplicates, multiples and just anything else.
This is also a good time to remove toys you don’t see them play with often or anymore. If you are unsure PLEASE created a “maybe” pile where you can put them in a bin to store away. If they don’t ask for a toy you have stored in there for 2- 4 months it’s safe to say they can be donated.
Step 4: You can now size up each category to determine what type and size container each category needs. When you are in this last step you want to take into account where best to place that storage unit – it will help you determine the best type of storage unit you need for that space.
When you are strategizing what to put where make sure the toys they use the most are most assessable and maybe the toys that need supervision (think paint, play-doh, slime) put those in a place where they have to ask you for help to get to.
Some things to think about:
Whatever storage bin you choose to make sure labeling is clear so it is easy for them to tidy up. Giving them easy to manage and accessible storage will also help make tidy-up time easier.
When the system is in place work with them the first few times to guide and teach them where things belong moving forward but also let them do it on their own. If you see an issue that needs correcting do so, so they learn and understand the issue clearly.
The best time to get involved in this project is about a month before their birthday or the holidays, as they tend to acquire the newest toys at this time. This is the perfect time since they will need room for their new toys and don’t forget to remind them of this should you get some push back when eliminating some toys. If you want to take it to the next level, have them go with you to drop off the toys at your chosen donation center. This is a great time to applaud them for their generosity and they will feel good about giving back. I like to buy storage units that are clear and durable. Depending on where a particular toy category is being placed you may want a storage unit to have handles or a top for stacking. Here are a few of my favorite go-to’s.
Clear Plastic Storage Bins with Handles
Curver White Basketweave Storage Bin with Handles
Like-it White Modular Drawers