If you are a parent of young children, you know how quickly their toys can take over every space of your home. Even designated toys areas or rooms can get out of control unless you have a system in place. If you think you are the only one with this issue, rest assured you are not alone!
Here are my tips to tackle those toys.
Start by SORTING the toys. This is a great time to assess if your child has outgrown a toy or if the toy is broken or missing pieces. Donating gently used toys is a great way to give that toy a new home. Toys that will be passed down to a younger child in the future can be stored in a closet, attic or basement until the appropriate time. Time to discard the broken toys. Sorting also informs how many and the type of containers you will need to store them.
Designate HOMES for your children’s toys. You need to decide where you want your children to play with their toys. Most likely there will be multiple locations depending on your living situation and the type of toys. (Your child’s bedroom, family room, playroom etc) You need to know how much space you have and what kind of container solutions will work best in that space.
Think in terms of ZONES when laying out your playroom. You can have a craft zone in one corner, dolls in another, board games in a third zone and building toys in a fourth. A round table in the center of the room acts as a central play area for all zones. Having designated zones also helps your children and their friends easily see where they belong and they are more apt to put them away.
CLEAR CONTAINERS are perfect for storing almost anything from art supplies to all those Lego pieces. Choose containers that are stackable for greater versatility. STACKABLE DRAWERS are another great option. You will most likely use multiple container solutions to accomplish your goals. The beauty of clear containers is that your child can see what is inside limiting the number of containers he/she has to open to find what they are looking for. If a more colorful solution is what you have in mind, The Container Store and Target have great offerings.
BOOK CASES, SHELVES or CABINETS provide vertical storage so you can maximize your space. Ikea and The Container Store have many options to choose from. If your den or living room is also your child’s play area, having a closed storage solution may work best to “hide” the toys when not in use.
LABLE your containers so everyone knows what goes where. If you have very young children you can take a picture of what is inside the container and place it on the outside so they too can start learning good clean up time behavior.
Toys are a big part of our children’s development and enjoyment. By implementing storing solutions that are easy to incorporate into your home, you too will be able to enjoy them.