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Kids toys. I feel like this is the area of the house, where those with kids equally share the opinion as one of the most disorganized parts of the house. Often, it’s not for a lack of trying, but the youngest humans in the house have a very limited vested interest in keeping these areas tidy. I mean they are toys already, meant to be played with, adventures to be had, but there is a way to corral the chaos. If you haven’t checked out the 5 Common Pitfalls of Organizing, or the checklist , now would be a great time to read those before tackling the kids playroom/ toys area of your home.
Whether or not you think your kids can handle the process of going through their toys, is going to be a judgement call for you. Younger children may not understand and think that it’s time to play and older kids may not want to be involved, but may not want you getting rid of anything.
Case and point.
A couple of years ago we bought my daughter a fold up gymnastics mat in the shape of a balance beam for her birthday. At the time she was in competition gymnastics, now she’s not. When I mention something about selling the gymnastics mat, she will not let go because she said it was a birthday present, and to get rid of it means she didn’t get a present for her birthday. That wasn’t her only gift that year, but you see her logic there? In her mind she thinks we’re erasing her birthday, which is not the case at all.
Let’s get started!
1.) Pull out all the toys that are too young for your children.
Sell them on the local swap sites, given them to friends with younger children if they’re in good condition. Also, check with local schools, daycares, orphanages, or even pediatrician offices to see if they need any children’s toys. Surprisingly, our local donation centers won’t accept toys, I would check with yours before dropping them off or else they will most likely end up in the trash.
2) Broken toys, missing pieces, and toys in bad shape
I think it goes without saying, but they need to go into the trash or depending on their material, into recycling containers.
3) Group together like toys and put their respective pieces together.
This includes books, puzzles, games, and building blocks. Once you have everything together, then you’ll be able to determine what kinds of storage you will need to consider.
4) Storage Solutions
The type of storage will depend on the age of your children, and the decor of the space. As I’ve mentioned many times, labels are amazing. However, for youngsters who aren’t quite old enough to read, opt for pictures of the items in the baskets instead. When my children were younger I didn’t want them playing from out of my sight and their toys stayed in the living room, we used open baskets in book cases and an ottoman that doubled as seating or a footrest. As they grew older, we moved their toys to a toy closet and later a toy room. Still utilizing baskets and various containers to keep the toys under control. Purchase versatile pieces that can evolve as the child grows and their toys change. I’m including a few examples of toy storage solutions:
Don’t forget about books and puzzles with these handy organizing tools.
Of course as my children have grown, they’ve come out with some nifty toy travel organizers. I relied on plastic containers to keep in the care when we traveled then I found something like this that can has a drawstring and all the toys are kept inside. Perfect for those really small pieces.
5)Maintaining the Space
How often you decide to go through this process with the toys and where the toys hang out, all depends on your comfort level. I would highly recommend doing it around birthdays and major holidays to make room for new toys. As another aside, I’m finding that as my children are growing, they just don’t play with toys like they used to. They like the idea of toys, but quickly lose interest. This was the first year for Christmas where we opted to do an experience instead of getting toys. At first they were hesitant, and understandably so, but once we were at our destination, they loved it and asked if we could keep doing experiences instead of toys. We also had the conversation with extended family about not buying toys, unless it was something the children really wanted, as a parent you know the difference.
At the end of play time, make cleaning up the space fun. Show your kiddos where the toys are supposed to go, just don’t assume that they know. Hopefully by cleaning up the spaces and putting the toys back in their respective containers, lost pieces will be at a minimum.
I hope you found these tips helpful and if you have any questions do not hesitate to ask! Of course, if you want to get information like this straight to your email, don’t forget to sign up HERE.
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