Friday, June 19, 2009

Toy Organization



I struggle with organizing our toys and it seems I try to find a new "system" about every year. This is probably because my kids are always changing their interests, and the Little People aren't getting played with as much as the Speed Racers, for example. A couple things are always consistent:

I have a contained toy room - it's a must for me. They play, and if we don't feel like cleaning up, we shut the door and walk away. They don't have toys in the bedrooms, we have a small basket in our living room (mostly filled with baby toys). All toys are mostly concentrated in the toy room. When we had a smaller home, I put I. and G. in the same room, just so I could use the other room for a toy room.

Toys are stored in bins - like with like. My kids are really good at sorting these toys out. The ones that are played with more often, are kept out. The others are in the closet.

Every bin is labeled - with a picture. We just sorted some toys out, and don't have pictures for some of them, but the bin does have a label. If all the toys don't fit in the bin, we kind of go through them(or at least I do in private) and make sure there aren't any ripped or broken toys taking up valuable space. They don't need much more than a bin of toys. I. used to have Barbies overflowing, but she always played with the same 3 or 4. We took out all the ones she's not a fan of and now the lid shuts.

We have had a problem though. We store the bins with the lids closed, on top of each other in the closet. We've done it that way for years. It worked, but it wasn't easy. They would get out everything, if they needed a toy on the bottom. It was hard to put the misplaced toy away - you had to take out the stack and that was just too much for my little ones. I started getting these Itso Cubes from Target. They make all these features for it - shelves, fabric bins, etc. I already had the plastic bins and didn't want to spend any more money than I had to.


I love these cubes. They fit a bin with plenty of space - we can store them in the cubes without their lids on or off, which makes clean up so much faster. Sometimes that extra step of opening the lid is enough for them to call cleaning up "hard." They fit nicely in the closet. Now, little M. can even get what toy she wants out - independence can be bliss for a mommy. They're sturdier than I expected. I figure we can use these anywhere, once my kids get too old for a toy room.



If I thought Tom would go for it, I'd love to take off the closet doors and add some curtains - something Michael Millerish would be perfect for our room. I'm pretty sure that idea wouldn't fly with Tom. I have been known to do things without his permission, though.
This is just the closet - I'll have to show you the rest of the room some other time. I've noticed that when the toy room is messy, they hate playing in it. But, if it is clean, and organized, they'll spend hours there! So worth the effort.

9 comments:

Sarah said...

Toy storage does get tricky at times. I to have the totes with the lids and all the matching like toys are together. I have had this system for a long time and it works. Now that I have another baby who is almost 1 I have baskets in the livingroom that holds his toys as well as baskets under the entertainment center for his toys. I love the cube idea!

Jen M said...

I love it!!

-Julie said...

Love it! It's so true that kids love to play in clean, organized places.

Ally said...

I love seeing how other people organize. I've recently done something simiar myself. It's nice to have all like toys together.
I don't have those shelves, but have some similar. Fortunately in our new place the closest in the kids room is really big so there's plenty of room to stack those tubs where most people would put shoes. Although now I feel like we don't have enough space for our shoes....... Hmmm.....

Emily said...

Love it. Is this an upstairs bedroom? Basement bedroom? Office on the main floor? Love the idea of shutting the door on the mess. And really love the idea of no toys in the rooms - because when rooms are flooded with toys, they're not cute.

Sarah said...

Very nice!!! I think the fabric curtains would look great! I did that for the closet in my master bedroom and just loved it. :)

AJ said...

Love the toy storage! I am all over any kind of storage solutions. The Rubbermaid aisle at Target gives me the goosebumps:) The curtains would be great! I did that in my daughters' room.

Shannon said...

I love how it is organized! It looks great!

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

I love to see other people's organization. It makes me feel like I have a chance in the world of ever getting organized myself! :)
Carrie

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin