Although we’ve previously discussed de-cluttering your home, I thought we should dedicate an entire post to creative ways to keep toys organized! Children can often be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of “stuff” they have (just as adults can!) Organizing toys is essential to ensuring happy and productive play and a relatively neat and clutter-free home.
Tidying toys doesn’t have to be a chore – a great way to keep a bedroom organized is to create an easy and enjoyable system for kids to participate in. But kids (and adults!) won’t stick to a too complicated and detailed system – so it needs to be easy and straightforward.
With two kids, I’ve come up with some very creative and helpful ways to organize toys! Read on for tips on creating an organized, happy, playful home.
Keep Toys Organized in a Playroom
Ideally, you should keep toys in just one or two designated rooms in your home: your child’s bedroom and a child’s playroom, for example. I make sure my children know where their toys belong. In this way, they can also help put away their own toys after playtime.
But that doesn’t mean children need to feel restricted in where they can play; they should be able to do so in any room. Consider buying light, portable caddies that children can fill with toys and move around the house at will.
Clear Out Old, Forgotten, or Broken Toys
Less is more when it comes to toys.
It’s natural to want to spoil our children with nice things, but psychological studies indicate that we may be causing stress by crowding their vision. Too many choices and decisions can overwhelm kids and cause them to lose interest faster.
Start by gathering every toy you have in your house. Anything that no longer serves a purpose – broken toys, out-of-date stickers, full coloring books – should be recycled, repaired, or disposed of. Try to limit your children to only a few types of each toy, and donate any extras or outgrown toys.
Children should be encouraged to donate and share, but don’t push them too hard; this is a stressful process even for adults. Their attention span is shorter than yours, so keep them focused by working in short bursts.
In the same way you organize your closet by putting away seasonal clothes, rotating toys frees up storage space and encourages children to play with the fewer toys available. Reducing what’s available and switching them out means they’ll be more excited when the toy reappears.
Fill two or three boxes per child with various toys that you keep stashed away in the garage or basement. Depending on your system, you can rotate these weekly, monthly, or tri-monthly.
Toy boxes and trunks have their place, but they’re not the most efficient way to organize toys. Cubby-style storage is a much better option; individual boxes fit neatly within, so children can easily see and access toys, rather than digging through piles of toys to find missing pieces.
Modular shelving allows you to curate a configuration that grows with your child and their equally growing toy collection. It’s also always a good idea to choose versatile furniture that can serve two purposes: cube storage that doubles as a seat, for instance, or a desk – not only do you get a useful surface for books, gadgets, or arts and crafts, but the cube provides another more discrete place for small toys.
Use Open Bins, Baskets, and Boxes
When it comes to children and their toys, it is true that “out of sight, out of mind” applies. To make sure they’re playing with a wide variety of toys, keep as much as possible in plain sight and within reach.
Use open storage whenever possible. I think baskets with handles are great since they’re easy to pull out, and your kids won’t have to struggle with handles. And best of all, when it comes time to tidy up, they can throw it all back into it.
Store Your Stuffies in Style
Consider re-homing your child’s stuffies to soft hanging baskets or wall hammocks if they take over your child’s bed. This way, they don’t get stepped on or tripped over, and children can see their entire collection at once. Kids love it when their favorite cuddly toys are snuggled up together.
Place Some Toys Out of Reach
You’ll want to keep some toys out of the reach of little hands until they are old enough to help you with them, whether it’s a tricky puzzle or a messy craft set. If you have children of different ages, you should keep anything not appropriate for your youngest out of reach so that an adult can control when it is played with by the other children.
Do you have ideas for ways to keep toys organized? Please share in the comments below!