Mudrooms, offices, and playrooms. They all have one thing in common. They are “hot spots” for messes!
A few months ago I was asked to write a post on how to organize toys. I know there’s plenty of information on the internet. I’m not sure if I’ll have anything life-changing to add, but this is what I do to corral the mess. Just for fun, I thought I would document a “toy organization”session this morning. Why not use this opportunity to tackle our toys before Christmas?
Let’s get started.
1) Don’t try to do it all.
I don’t have time to do everything today. I bet you don’t either. Pick one hot spot, tackle it, and leave the other areas for another time.
I chose our main toy area in our loft. Surprisingly, it’s kind of organized in this picture. We had a clean-up session last night before the kids went to bed.
2) Dump and separate toys into three stations: Keep, Donate, and Toss.
While it may not look like it, you can see “Keep”, “Donate”, and “Toss” toy categories in this picture. The garbage bag is for broken toys and random papers…..you know, candy wrappers and things. I developed a fourth pile along the way. It’s the “not toy” pile. I found rechargeable batteries, long-lost cups, my hand weights (maybe time to start strength training again…haha) and perfectly fine drawing items that needed to be brought back from toy land.
There was no going back! After what seemed like hours, we finally have a cleaned out toy space. The junk is thrown away and I have a bag ready to donate.
I kept our Legos. They required two containers by the time I was done. The kids never tire of building contraptions with them. Then I threw the stuffed animals in the toy chest, the medium hard toys in another container, and all the hard animal toys in another.
3) It’s all about containers.
I didn’t have time to do any other rooms today, but I took pictures of a few ways I’ve used containers to keep the toy mess at bay.
Let’s take a look at my son’s room. I admit I use “executive privilege” on cleaning my kids’ rooms. If I didn’t, I’m pretty sure I could make a submission for the next edition of “Hoarders”. My son’s most recent project was to try to create his own cotton balls using toilet paper. I’m not sure when I’ll find that project again.
Maybe Mom’s “executive privilege” is why he hung this sign on his door?
Back to containers.
An old orange crate holds my son’s toys at the end of his bed. The color scheme was perfect for his room, and if he bangs it up, who cares?
In my girls’ room, I use baskets and clear plastic containers to keep socks and underwear organized. They don’t have room for any furniture pieces with drawers, so this is how we keep things tidy.
In our kitchen, I’ve reserved a drawer for my kids. It holds all the things they need most often. In our house, that means plastic cups and colored pencils. It looks empty in this picture because dishes are in the dishwasher, and colored pencils are strewn out on my floor, but it’s usually pretty stuffed. I like having a place that hides the randomness (seriously, how do you make kids cups look good in a kitchen) and is easily accessible for the little ones. Then I hear “Mom!” 500 times a day instead of 5000.
You know what else helps me? Remembering that this phase in life is temporary. And because it will go by so fast, I have decided I’d better enjoy it. I won’t ever get these days back.
Now, over to you! What are ways you keep your toys organized? I know there are some brilliant ideas out there. We won’t know them unless we can read them, so take a moment and leave a comment, ok?