The topic of organizing our kids’ million and one toys seems to come up constantly in my Instagram mom chats, so I thought I’d take today to share a few thoughts on the subject. First, you should know that I am a very “type A” person, and this can be a struggle as a mom. I have to take a deep breath when my kid mixes the Play-Doh colors, and I lose sleep if a puzzle piece is missing. To try to keep my sanity as much as possible, I have a pretty organized system for toy storage. A few guiding principles:
- Bedrooms are for sleeping. My kids each have one special stuffed animal that lives in their bedroom, and my preschooler has a shelf of books. Otherwise, art supplies stay in the sunroom, balls and lightsabers in the basement, and other toys and books in the living room. Yes, we have a designated area for lightsaber storage in our home. #boymom
- A place for everything. We have a shelf for puzzles, a bin for stuffed animals, a basket for wooden trains, a bucket of Duplos, and so on. Toys get put back in their spot daily. If they start to outgrow it, it’s time to cull them. For example, we recently reached a point where we could not possibly cram one more stuffed animal in the stuffed animal bin. Rather than buy a bigger bin, we sifted them and donated a bunch.
- Tidy is our normal. Every day before lunch, before Dad gets home, and before bedtime, we put the toys back in order. My kids play in every part of our house every day — basement, sunroom, living room, and outside — so if we waited until bedtime to clean up, it’d be a massive job. Instead, we hit the “reset” button at regular intervals in our day. We have to stop playing for meals anyway, so we might as well take five minutes to tidy up before we do.
- It’s the kids’ responsibility. My kids are little — three and almost eighteen months at the moment. However, their toys are their responsibility. We have lots of open bin storage and everything goes on shelves they can reach, so they are able to get their toys out and put them away themselves. Yes, sometimes I tell my toddler to put something away and he instead puts it down the laundry chute, but at least he’s trying.
How do you keep your kids’ inventory of chaos from driving you bananas? Please comment below! Also click the open storage bins to see options on Amazon!