Imagine this. You’re working from home and doing your best to create a thriving life-work balance. You’re with the kids 24/7 without much of a break. But hey, parenthood can be that way. You wake up and decide that today is a good day to organize your kid’s stuff. That is until you stop and look around at the avalanche of toys popping up in every crevice of every corner and surface of your home. You realize you have three choices: Go back to sleep, lose your cool, or put on your mama workout pants and set up the best toy storage for kids before you lose your toy land mind. Part one of the best toy storage for kids will explore setting up systems, teaching organization to youngsters, and share some clever storage ideas.
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If you’ve got kids, you’ve got clutter too. It may seem inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be. Toys can take up a lot of space and if your kids don’t clean up after themselves they can take up even more. If this sounds way too familiar, then it’s time to take control of the clutter and reclaim your space. Functional and clever toy storage solutions are the key. This teaches kids that every item has a home and helps save your sanity in the long-run.
Have a System
Creating an organizational system for toy storage is not easy if you don’t know how but it is possible. All you need to do is set it up in a way that accommodates your child’s natural play tendencies. With the right storage system in place, the cleanup process becomes easier for your children to understand and follow. But it’s tough to get organized when there’s just too much to deal with. Apply the same rule as with clutter – sort, recycle and then organize what remains.
Limit What Comes in and Goes Out
Children can easily become overwhelmed and only focus on one toy for a few minutes at a time, if there are too many toys to choose from. Rather, give them fewer but more quality toys to play with. Toys that stimulate their brain or encourage hand-eye coordination is always a good idea. So, limit the number of each specific type of toy and keep only the toys your child actually plays with. Here are some ideas for recycling toys that are no longer used:
- Rotate toys: When new toys come in take some of the older toys and put them away for 3 -6 months (depending on the child’s age). When you take them out again they’ll almost seem like new – which results in a newly formed interest.
- Keep it in the family: Take your gently used toys and have a toy grab bag with other family members or friends. You’re spreading the joy without breaking the bank.
- Donate: Take gently used toys that your child has lost interest in and donate. There are donation centers in most cities that will accept toys. I always check who is currently taking them in and make sure all the board games and puzzle pieces are intact and that everything is clean and in good shape.
It’s never too early to start teaching children organizational skills. Plus, the best way to set up toy storage systems for kids is by letting them be part of the process. This means taking note of where they play with certain toys and which toys can be grouped together. By taking note of your children’s play habits, you can come up with storage solutions that will make it easy for them to tidy up and store their toys too.
Recommended Reading: How to Teach Children to be Organized
Start this process from the ages of 2 or 3 for the best results. This gives your kids a good organizational foundation and helps you develop the best toy storage for your kids according to their unique nature. Here are some fun ideas to help get your toddler involved in organization and toy storage:
Give Every Item a Home
Children thrive in and find comfort in routine. When they know where everything belongs it helps create stability. For example, books go here, trucks go there, and so on. This form of repetition is important for kids; especially toddlers. But teaching kids that every item has a home will help you too. Not only will it save you time but it will also teach your little one’s independence and the ability to find things on their own. When every toy has a home, they’ll know exactly where to look for it. Although this may not come naturally to kids, the routine means they’re quickly able to form a habit. Make sure to explain that when we put things back in their home after using it, we’ll always know where to find it again.
Make Cleaning Fun
As a parent you’ll want to avoid the dreaded toy hunt by teaching your kids how to clean up after themselves. Children are unlikely to start doing this on their own, so you need to help them develop the habit by turning it into a fun game. Routines and repetition work well with kids so you’ll want to do it every day and preferably at the same time for the best results.
Children respond well to songs, so incorporate a song into the routine. Simply say “It’s clean up time.” Then, start singing an easy but fun song. Before you know it, your child will surprise you and chime right in.
This is one is a favorite:
“Clean up clean up, everybody everywhere.
Clean up clean up everybody do your share”
Or try this one:
“Cleanup cleanup 1-2-3, I’ll help you if you help me”
Toy Storage for Kids
When it comes to toy storage, take your child’s age into consideration as this will affect the type of storage you select. Toddlers and children under 5 will need different toy storage than older children. For instance, toddlers and pre-school kids aren’t usually reading yet. Also, since they’re smaller and shorter, their toy storage should be at their level to make it easier for them to reach. The storage containers you use also need to be light enough for them to pull out safely. When you plan toy storage according to age, it will make your life simpler.
Clever Toy Storage Ideas
- Invest in multi-functional furniture that has built-in storage such as benches that can be placed at the foot of a bed as a way to store items that your child wants close by.
- Choose brightly colored storage baskets that will brighten up a room and make it look more like decor than a place for stowing toys out of sight. Colorful containers encourage sorting and improve color recognition. Children’s memory responds to color well which makes it easier for them to identify which toy goes where.
- Place regularly used toys like blocks, books, dolls on low shelves that your kids can easily reach. Organize and store regularly used toys in bins, baskets, and containers on shelves that are low enough for them to reach (little ones love to dump toys) which makes putting away an easier task.
- It’s always better to have plenty of smaller labeled bins for storing and sorting the various toys. These bins are super handy and make it easy to reach inside for the toy and to put it back.
- Repurpose old crates by adding a coat of non-toxic paint and then stacking them on their sides to create floor-level open cubbies or just purchase some ready-made cubbies that have been designed for kids.
Coming up with clever toy storage techniques takes some effort, but once in place, you’ll find some relief from the endless toy madness. Plus, teaching your little ones how to organize early on will instill important habits and make your life much easier in the long-run. Keep an eye out for the best toy storage for kids part two coming next week. I’ll be covering how to store different types of toys and setting up fun themed play stations.
Do you have any clever toy storage ideas?
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