Toy organization seems to be something most parents desperately search for, and it's really no surprise; these bright and colourful things end up everywhere! Although I think we do a good job of keeping our toys somewhat minimal, they still find a way to sneak up all over the place. Here is what I do to keep them organized in 3 easy steps.
1. Purge & Donate Monthly
Each month, especially prior to Christmas or birthdays we organize and purge the playroom. This isn't to say we donate bags of toys each and every time, but even if it's 3 or 4 items, it makes a big difference! If I feel like the room is very cluttered, I'll do it when the girls are in bed, however most of the time I have Stella help. She now understands why we donate, and how it can bring less fortunate children joy.
Proud mama moment: she came to me the other day while playing alone to bring me a toy (it wasn't broken or damaged) she'd like to donate because she thinks "the little girl who doesn't have much" would love it! My heart melted.
2. Rotate Your Toys
This is a big one in our home! My kids grow tired of their toys overtime, and when this happens, before I consider donating it, I hide it. Every time I notice toys loosing their appeal, I reorganize the playroom and store a few things in the basement. Then when those toys loose their appeal, I repeat the process. Just like that, they're as excited as they were when they first received the toy, and it minimizes the amount of toys in the play area, which can often be overwhelming.
3. Practical Storage Solutions
So you purge, rotate and repeat, but you're still stuck with a bunch of not so aesthetcially pleasing toys. There are so many different solutions when it comes to toy clutter, however it all really depends on your living space. Here is what works in our home.
We are fortunate to have a playroom, which means that a lot of our larger toys have a place of their own. This is where we keep our kitchen, doll house, strollers and so on. The remaining toys are stored in a few different ways throughout our home.
The Ikea Kallax bookshelf houses most of our toys, and each cubby has a label to make clean up easier. We added the drawer inserts along the bottom, which surprisingly hold quite a bit. The drawers house our Barbies, Barbie accessories, wooden blocks and Duplo.
If you keep your toys in your living room, you can also use your media console or built-ins to store your toys. This is what we did in our old home.
Bins & Baskets
I am the basket queen, and I truly believe one can never have too many baskets LOL
On our bookshelf, we have bins and baskets that are lightweight and flexible, so that the kids can grab and sift through them easily. I keep bins, with smaller parts up top so that Chloe can't reach them.
In our living room I like to keep baskets that compliment my decor, and ideally have a lid. These two things are key, so that when closed, it’s like the toys don’t even exist. I purchased mine from HomeSense, however these are similar.
There are also large baskets/ hampers in the girls room, which do not have a lid. I use these to store their stuffed animals and some dolls.
The Ikea Mosslanda picture ledge is our favourite way to display and store our book.s Not only is it super functional, it also looks really cute! We used these in our old home and currently have them in the playroom, as well as Chloe's bedroom.
We keep our puzzles in clear document folders (similar) from the dollar store, and place them in a pot lid holder, which has been a game changer! Puzzles that are in boxes are stores on the bookshelf.
Arts & Crafts
Our arts and crafts, including our art easel, are in the kitchen/ living room area. The kids table and chairs are in the middle of the two spaces, which is where they eat, play, craft and so forth. We have storage on the outer part of our island, which is where we store arts, crafts and play dough. We store them in these magazine files and boxes that I purchased from Ikea. This has worked really great for us, since I prefer to supervise arts and crafts to ensure no one uses my walls as a blank canvas LOL.
4. Have your kids help clean
I know it' s often easier and quicker to clean up on your own, but if you have the time (and patience), have your kids help. Not only is it a valuable skill, it will also teach them where things ago, and eventually (hopefully) you can send them into the war zone to clean things up on their own!
5. Embrace the mess
Let's face it, no amount of storage solutions will keep kids from making a mess, but as long as their busy playing, let it be! They're only little for so long, and I truly believe we'll miss these days when our homes are toy clutter free.
I hope this helps you get the toys in your home organized and under control! If you have any questions, or other tips and tricks, please leave them in the comments below.