Without a doubt, the kid clutter can make you crazy. Their stuff is everywhere from the moment that we bring them home and it doesn’t end for years, and years. Most of the stuff doesn’t stay in their room around here, it gets strewn around the house, and drives me crazy.
Organizing the toys not only benefits my sanity, it benefits the kids play. They’re going to be able to play easier, and more independently if the play food is with their kitchen, if they can find all of the pieces to the little people farm that they’ve collected and if they don’t have to search all around the house to group together the lego.
Staying organized benefits everyone.
Keep all the Outdoor Toys in One Place
The kids have a lot of outdoor toys. From all of the ride on toys, to the water guns, to the balls and other random sports items, there used to be barely any room to walk around on the deck. Now, it’s all stashed away in this Suncast outdoor storage box from Rona. Instead of patio cushions, we’ve found a home for all of the ‘stuff’ the kids have outside in an easy to clean-up, put everything in the box.
It keeps the toys clean and dry, gives the kids a chance to put everything together easily and helps me to step on fewer things the moment I step outside on to the deck. It’s a must have for the kid stuff and we’re even considering getting one for the front yard to tackle the kid stuff out there.
The resin wicker is durable, easy to spray off and if water collects from the rain or the pool toys, or an epic water fight, we can easily just prop it up and let the water drain out of one side. Plus, it took only a few minutes to assemble and we’re going to be able to easily move it into the garage through the winter months.
If you’ve stepped on toys this summer – you might want to head to your local Rona store and check out the selection of Rona outdoor storage boxes.
Group Like Toys Together
The little people, the barbies, the lego, the bristle blogs, the lego duplo, the hot wheels, the dress up clothes (that have made their way downstairs out of the girls’ rooms) – there’s one thing that all of these toys have in common. These toys have baskets where they belong and when they’ve finished being played with, they’re put away before the next toys are brought out. Most of the time this works, and saves me from going insane picking up the same mess for the ninety-seventh time that day, most of the time.
Tip: Having specific baskets for the toys makes it easier for the kids to clean-up too, as they know where everything goes and there is no guess work to putting it away. One of my favorite places to find baskets large, medium and small? Homesense. This giant basket that holds the Little People Farm and all of the other accessories was a $16 find!
Have a “Catch All”
For us, the catch all is one of my favorite pieces. It catches the toys that don’t have a spot, the things that the kids were playing with but aren’t toys (like the popsicle molds, and egg holder you see on the top) and gives me a one stop step to put everything away that doesn’t really have a place. This ‘junk drawer’ for toys is one of the easiest ways that we keep the random toys clear of the space.
Have a ‘Back to Your Room Day’
On the back to your room day, I will grab all of the toys that don’t belong downstairs as part of my cleaning day. I throw them all up on the landing and the kids are then responsible for putting all of their ‘room toys’ back in their room. This is usually the same day that I expect the kids to straighten and tidy their room, and at the same time we will bring any toys back to their ‘baskets’ if they’re upstairs in the girls’ rooms.
Consider Toy Buying Carefully
When we buy toys, I think about where they are going be stored, whether they’re going to be easily added to the toy storage that we currently have to keep things organized, and whether they’re going to get lost in the shuffle and played with for a week, before I get sick of picking up the mess and toss it in the donate pile.
I recently broke this rule, as Olivia really wanted a styling barbie head for her birthday. Quite possibly the worst $50 I think I’ve ever spent she played with it for a couple of days – and was unimpressed because it didn’t change color on the face or hair with cold water like it was supposed to, it has been sitting on the counter, in my way, with all of its accessories and make-up.
Purge – Regularly
Our kids are spoiled fortunate. They get a lot of toys. Birthdays, the holidays, special occasions, toys sent to us to try out, there are a lot of toys coming in and out. Toys that haven’t been played with in two months are given away. Toys that are for babies that we will buy again (all those fantastic Leapfrog and Vtech toys) they’re stashed away in the basement. Purging the toys gets them out of our space and makes room for the toys that we really want to play with.