Tips for Storing Toys Tips for Storing Toys

Let’s admit it…there is a problem in America that is rarely addressed but everyone is dealing with it...our homes are filling up with toys in unspeakable ways and we must do something about it!

The older I get, the more OCD I get.  I am most happy and carefree when my house is totally in order, the floors are clean and everything in its place.  Enter reality and the fact that I have three wonderful boys under the age of 6, I work two jobs and like to actually cook most of our meals.  Let’s just say I have had to budge a little in the way I keep my home.

I thought I’d share helpful tips I have picked up over the years as a stay-at-home mom who followed way too many blogs of other moms who seemed to have it together. I warn other, especially first time moms, of the blog world.  It is great for inspiration, tips and how-to's, but don't let it make you feel inadequate!

*Disclaimer:  I always have toys strung all over my house no matter how many great ideas I have had over the years… these are tips to help enable playtime be more about playing than everything staying in its place constantly!

1.  It sounds simple, but put like things in bags/boxes/bins and label them.   I’ve started drawing a small picture of what the words say (for their bug bag, I drew a lady bug).   They appreciate the “art” and comment on it often.  Glad I can entertain them.  Why do this?  My kids play is way more imaginative when they can have multiple dinosaurs, bugs, cars, action figures or whatever it is that they into.

2.  The only way I have maintained order is to personally go through their rooms at least weekly and restore order.  The more bins I have with a purpose the easier it is to get things back as they should be.  I have been patient and over the years just used what I had, so their rooms are not Pinterest worthy, but highly functional!

3.  ROTATE TOYS!!! I heard this for years and finally do it regularly.  They don’t have to have access to all their toys at once.  If you just have one kid, you’ll see as they get older.

4.  I was so excited when someone gave me a beautiful old armoire and I was able to put all our art supplies, Play-Doh and paint together.  Now I can open it up, ask them what they want, and set up their play station accordingly.   I used a hanging shoe storage in half of it to put little things in it for easy access.  It’s just nice to have one place to go to for projects.

Basically, have a plan for their stuff.  Now, as I say this I know there are some mom’s out there that are totally ok with letting their kids throw random stuff in a bin together and never bat an eye.  Power to you!  I am just sharing for the sake of other moms out there who are kind of like me… who will spend their Friday night organizing toys and the rest of the house and actually feel good about it!  If you are with me or think I’m crazy, either way I hope you laughed while reading this.  J

Some good links to get you thinking!

Of course, spend time purging and giving some things away a few times a year.  A five year old can understand the importance of giving to someone who does not have as many toys.  Teach your children generosity and kindness from an early age!!  Happy organizing!  Comment with your best ideas/solutions!

Copyright 2013 Laura Buller