The bounty of toys from Santa + the mountain of stuff your child already owned = one hot mess of kid stuff.
Yikes! How is a busy parent to make sense of the mess, let alone organize it? Fear not! With these helpful tips, you’ll have the toys organized in no time. The next time your child cries, “I’m bored!” or a new sitter asks where you keep the Legos, you’ll be able to save the day by quickly pulling out a game with all the pieces, Barbie’s other shoe (well, maybe), or a puzzle that’s been long forgotten and now feels brand new.
1. Assess and Purge.
Now is the time to be ruthless. Organizational experts say you should part with one item every time you bring a new one into your home. You’ll likely find that you can do much better than that. Throw out anything that’s broken beyond repair, donate toys that your child has outgrown or lost interest in, and pack up and store toys for younger sibling. Another helpful plan – store a few toys for a rainy day. Even if they’ve been in your home for years, they’ll feel like new toys to your child when you bring them out of storage.
2. Replace old boxes and corral scattered pieces.
A ratty old box will sabbotage any organizing effort. Toss torn packages and corral game and puzzle pieces and instructions into easily stackable containers. These plastic boxes from Ikea are inexpensive and nicely sized. You can also use recycled baby wipes containers, plastic food storage or even Ziploc bags.
3. Make it easy to see and easy to find.
Before you choose a wooden box or a deep trunk for stashing your kids’ supplies, consider whether or not they’ll be able to see the contents. Often, if they can’t see it, they can’t find it. Use acrylic containers, such as these drawers, which are excellent for storing small pieces, like beads, Barbie clothes or stickers. Shoe holders, like the one shown below, are great for throwing over a door and corralling art supplies.
4. Label it.
Give everything a home by assigning it a place and putting a label on it. You can stick labels on containers or hang name tags on bins or baskets. If it’s labeled, there’s no mistaking where it goes.
5. Get down on their level.
For toy storage to work, it has to be easy for kids to access. Why not create a drawer that serves as a play space or race track you can simply slide under the bed when they are finished playing. If that’s not an option, think about wheeled crates or bins that slide under the bed, shelves placed low on the wall or cups for art supplies on a play table.
6. Make storage part of the décor.
Don’t make anyone search for ways to clean up. Incorporate storage into the decor by choosing furnishings that double as storage and display creative containers and collections as artwork.
7. Incentivize kids to help you keep it clean and clutter free.
It’s all about the Chore Chart. Even little kids can benefit from doing chores and can be assigned simple toy clean up duty. Download and print a chore chart that will work for your family from our Pinterest Printables Board, and post it so your kids can remember their assignments and track their progress. Laminate your chart and use a dry erase marker to check boxes.
Spend a few hours organizing your kids’ space, and your kids, your sitter and your sanity will benefit each and every day of the year!