The holiday season is almost upon us. Having a home that is welcoming, clutter-free, and comfortable can be quite a challenge when you have young children because of all the toys, dolls and playthings scattered around the house. So today I wanted to focus on how to get a handle on all your toys before guests start to arrive and with them, even more toys.
There is so much to choose from organizationally, but the most common mistake parents make buying storage solutions, is purchasing before they know what exactly they will be storing, how much of it there is, and the actual size of the space you are working with.
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Toy Sorting Tips:
- Group all “types” of toys together and collections of each type of toy (i.e. toy cars, hot wheels, trucks).
- Purge (pass on, donate, recycle) anything that they have outgrown or is broken. Focus on keeping their favourites. Knowing their favourites is very helpful as you can let friends and family know which toys would be the biggest hit, and reduce the chances of getting miscellaneous playthings that you don’t really have space or storage capacity for.
- Set a limit on quantities in collections and the number of collections they have (having a Barbie collection, but not an American Girl and Monster High collections too). Your child might like Hot Wheels but that does not mean they have to collect every one of them. “More” is not better – it’s just more. Setting a rule around this will mean that the storage solution you choose will not overflow and “spread”. And it teaches them good habits for when they grow up.
- Take an inventory of what is left. By having everything separated and categorized you will know the type of organizing solutions to install, the size of containers you need, and where to best put things.
- Freestanding cubby systems are great because they are so flexible in how they can be used,
where they can be put, come in many sizes and colours, and are reasonably priced. But don’t forget over-the-door storage pockets and racks, window seat storage, under the bed storage bins, toy chests, and storage ottomans for “invisibly” storing things.
- If you don’t have the space for a playroom then create a toy storage zone in one part of a room that is exclusively for storing their toys. Children need to know where and how their toys are kept and that each type of toy is put back in the same place each time.
- Rotate their toys. Store half of them away (in clear storage bins and labelled!) and every six months change the selection. They will be thrilled and excited to play with them again. This helps keeps the population of toys under control. It’s a win-win.
- Have at least one storage solution that is accessible and maintainable by your child with their favourite plaything in it. If your daughter loves playing with and dressing her dolls then have a storage solution that can store the dolls, the clothes, and accessories separately, but in one place. She needs to be able to access it herself, organize it herself, and be able to put it away safely too.
- Big toys, trucks etc. Make a rule that during the summer they can be out (because they can also play outdoors with them) but in the wintertime, large toys are put away as part of the toy rotation system.
- Store books higher up. Toddlers love books but they don’t always understand that they are for looking at and reading ☺ and left to their own devices will quite happily tear, draw over, or stick things on the pages.
Visit my Pinterest Board for more ideas on Toy Storage!
Check out my other posts on organizing your children:
Free Professional Organizing Advice for you!
We could all use something to look forward to right now. I want to do something that will add value to your life, that would help you during these confusing and challenging times. When you are organized there is less chaos, less overwhelm. An organized home can bring you a sense of calm, ground you, and help you feel more in control. It is one of the things that we can influence and control despite what’s happening in other areas of our lives or communities.
If you need some help organizing your children’s toys then drop me a line as I am offering a “mini organizing consult” for free, share it with your co-workers, family, friends, on Linkedin, post it on Facebook, or Instagram, or Twitter. Let everyone know because I want to give back and help you. Now is when people really need it.
All you need to do is complete this FORM, attach a photo of 1 area in your home or office that you need organizing help with. Every week I am going to choose at least one person to work with. Here are a couple of readers I have helped already:
- How do I declutter my makeup drawer?
- How to organize my students planning notes and supplies while teaching online