Kids come with a lot of toys. A lot. Finding a home for all of them can be daunting and cleaning them up on a daily basis can be even worse. Here are a few tricks I have learned to keeps toys from taking over your living space.
Have a “home” for each of the toys.
Just tossing your kids toys in a toy box is not a good storage solution for a number of reasons. First of all, if a child wants something on the bottom, they have to dump everything out. Secondly, it is disrespectful to the toys to have them tossed in a bin, buried under mountains of other toys. This is how toys get broken and pieces go missing. Lastly, this prevents most of the toys from being played with. Generally with kids, if it is out of sight, it’s out of mind.
You can easily give your toys a “home” by first sorting them into “like” piles. Puzzles, cars, blocks, princesses and so on should all be kept together and separate from other toys. Now you can contain each of these piles separately, either in bins or mesh bags inside your toy box, or a shelving unit.
Make it visual for easy clean up.
If you want your kids to clean up their toys properly, you need to make it easy for them. Clear bins, labeled bins or coloured bins are a great visual reminder for little ones when it comes to clean up time. I like using cheap plastic bins from the dollar store, they are light, have handles and can easily hold a picture label on the front so my kids know exactly what is inside. Did I mention they are from THE DOLLAR STORE? These bins I use to contain my kids toys were only $2.00 each!
Toy Rotation will save your sanity!
I love displaying my kids favourite toys nicely on shelves. I find when they are displayed this way my kids play with them more often and treat them with more respect. That being said, they also get bored easily. By swamping out different toys on a regular basis my girls act as thought they are getting new toys all the time! I keep their newest and most special toys in their bedrooms on book shelves and I have others I display in the playroom. These “display” toys are always changing and being rotated out. When grumpy, bored kids start driving me crazy, I can simply pull out a toy from the closet and it’s like Christmas morning all over again!!
Note: my shelving units are from Ikea. I use sheets of clear labels to print out pictures for my bins. I simply cut them out and peel off the backs and stick them on! They easily peel off if I need to change the contents of the bin.