If you have kids, you know that toys can be a nightmare, especially when they are strewn all over the house. Putting toys away can be a hassle, too. Which pieces go with what Barbie house and which Lego man belongs to what Lego set? Where can I store the finger paints so my kid doesn’t turn their bedroom wall into an artist’s canvas the minute my back is turned?
Here at Horderly, we’ve developed a system that really works for getting playrooms organized, so we’ve put together a list of some tips and tricks to help keep your kid’s space tidy.
Pull Everything Out
This step is best done when your child is not around so they don’t get overwhelmed or distracted by all their toys. Take some time to gather all the toys in the house in one “staging area” and sort the toys into piles based on category, (i.e. books, games, stuffed animals)
First, Edit Without Your Child
Go through each pile and divide things into three subcategories: keep, toss, or donate. This will be easier and less overwhelming to do without your child, as you probably have a good idea of which toys they are still enamored with, and won’t need their input. If you come across a toy you are not sure about, set it aside in a separate “?” pile, and go through it with your child later.
Edit With Your Child
Obviously, you probably already chose to “toss” toys that were broken or damaged. Our advice is to get those into an opaque bag or box and take them right out to the trash so your child is none the wiser. With the “donate” pile, present the toys to your child in a way that makes them feel comfortable with the idea of giving these toys away. For example, tell them you have “a friend” who doesn’t own many toys, and this “friend” would be thrilled if your child would share their toys. Or, motivate your child by giving them the incentive to donate. For example, tell them the more toys they donate, the more room they create for new toys.
Editing can be overwhelming for anyone, especially a child, who may not understand yet that getting rid of toys is a normal part of life. Help your child through this process by giving them breaks, and being patient with their moods. If you get overwhelmed, remind yourself that learning to declutter is a valuable lesson for your child, and it will help them grow to be a more organized person with fewer attachments to “stuff” in the future.
Consider Prime Real Estate
Once you and your child have decided what toys they will be keeping, you will hopefully have fewer toys to put away, and thus, finding permanent homes for the toys will be easier. When you are strategizing the placement of categories (i.e. books, games, crafts, etc) consider the “prime real estate” in the room. Any area that is easy for your child to reach, or see, is considered prime real estate. Place the toys you want your child to use the most in these areas. Place any toys or items that are valuable, or not ideal for everyday use, in areas that are not easily accessible to your child.
Once you have decided where items will live in the toy room, label everything you possibly can. This way, your child can learn how to maintain a newly organized space, and also practice their reading skills! Teach your child that when their toy room is organized, they will always be able to find their favorite toys, and things will never get lost. When labeling, get your child involved and let him or her make labels, too!
Upgrade Your Storage Solutions
The Three Tier Storage Cart is great for craft storage or other small toys The cart comes in a variety of colors, assembles easily and even rolls! There are multiple inserts available to help make this storage cart perfect for your kids’ crafts.
The Perch Bitsy Magnetic Container is great for scissors or your kids’ favorite pens. For paints, playdough and craft items the Smart Store Handled Tray is Horderly’s go-to. Use the tray as-is or section-off the craft items with the Small Smart Store Inserts. The best part is when your kids are ready to craft, you are able to take out the small inserts separately or just grab the whole tray by the handle. Another great containment option is the Colorwave Smart Store 4-Compartment Tray.
These versatile Like-It Modular Drawers can be used for multiple items around the house (even under the bathroom sink), but are great for kids’ storage. These drawers are available in two different colors, have six different sizes, and are stackable, so you can maximize your space! You can also pick up the Like-It Drawer Dividers or even the Like-It Modular Organizer (available in five sizes) to help you easily separate toys and label accordingly.
Believe it or not, shoe boxes are a great storage solution for toys – especially toys like puzzles, legos or other small gadgets. Use each box to contain a different game or set. This will make playtime and storage so much easier for you, and your kids
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