If I had a penny for every time I have stepped on my daughter’s lego pieces or have found one of her stuff toys in kitchen or some other unlikely location in the house, well I would certainly be a lot richer than I am right now. (*sighs*)
Anyways, since I am between houses this was the perfect time to think why I was constantly having problems with toy organization and toy storage in my previous home. Well, one of the reasons was because Samaira clearly has too many toys and there were some other definite areas of improvement which would save our new house from being the real life version of “A TOY STORY”.
Five tips to help you organize your child’s toys and keep your sanity:
Create a playing area : Not necessarily a playroom but definitely an area of the house should be earmarked for play. I have seen people creatively carve out space from their home office or make a store into a tiny but functional playroom for kids. All you need to do is to design a room and make an ambience with a beautiful rug, some colorful cushions, lots of shelves for storage and voila you have a play area. The room decor of this space can be decided with your child so that they feel a sense of ownership to it and they will definitely love to play here. This will also contain any mess to the specific area without making the whole house messy.
Simple but functional storage: Having fancy shelving and storage bins might make the room look pretty but would be of no use if the child is not able to take out and put the toys back in. It is essential to find a storage system which is easily accessible by kids. Bins, plastic lidded boxes, buckets etc can be used in an innovative way to store toys. Look at spaces like under the bed boxes, behind the closet doors, shelves etc for creating more space. Try to keep similar items together like all crayons in one big box, puzzle pieces in transparent ziplock pouches, flashcards in a shoe-box etc.
Label Label Label : If you want the kids to keep the toy room clean and learn how to be organised you must provide them tools to do so. If the child doesn’t know what goes where, how can we expect them to keep the place “just like it was”. Labelling is essential for this. If the kids can read, label the boxes with ‘puzzles’, ‘blocks’ etc. and if they can’t read yet, then put pictures of the contents on the toy box.
Rotate Toys: I am sure your kids also get bored of their toys just like mine does. An easy way to cope with this boredom of the familiar is to rotate toys. Keep a loft space designated in your room where half the toys should be kept for a month or two and once the child starts showing signs of boredom you can take the existing ones to the loft and get the other half. Absence certainly makes the heart grow fonder and your child will play with these old toys with a new enthusiasm.
Do a purge every six months: Just like clothes, kids outgrow their toys too. That is why a toy car which was their favorite toy in the whole wide world just a month back lies forgotten in a corner. Every six months or so sit with your child and sort out the toys which are broken so that they can be disposed off and toys which are perfectly alright in their condition but your child doesn’t really play with it anymore. You can go together to donate these toys to a children’s shelter and I am sure this will develop a sense of charity in your kids too.
Here are some pictures of how you can think “out of the box” and create storage for toys. (Please click on the photos to see the blogs from where they originated)
What do you think of these solutions? Do you have an innovative idea for toy storage? Please share with me through your comments.