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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tidy Tuesday - Tackling the Toys

Here are just a few random thoughts and ideas about organizing kid's toys.

The toy box - These are the worst containers for holding toys ever!  If you have one, consider using it instead to hold extra blankets or out of season clothes.  Toy boxes are the black hole of a kid's room.

Shelves - Keep shelves and bookcases low to the ground and anchor them to the wall if they're freestanding.  I knew a toddler who received serious and permanent injury because he pulled a bookshelf over onto him.  That kind of accident is tragic and preventable.  Kids don't know any better.  We do.

Containers for toys - Organize toys into categories (Fisher Price Little People, blocks, Lego's, dinosaurs, etc) and store in shallow, sturdy containers, preferably clear or semi-clear and labeled.  Don't use Dollar Store containers for kid's toys.  They aren't sturdy enough to hold up to kid's use and abuse.  Buy strong plastic containers like Rubbermaid.  You won't have to replace them.  Label each container with its contents or attach a picture of what's inside.

Little People
Books - Books are easier for kids to see if you place them face forward in shallow containers too.  That makes it possible for little ones to go through the books without pulling them all off a bookshelf.  Another alternative that I wish I'd thought of, is to attach lengths of clean plastic gutter to a wall (low and reachable, of course) so the books can be face out and easy to see.  I saw that idea on Pinterest and loved it!

Keep everything easy to reach and easy to put away.  The more complicated you make it, the less chance there is that your kids are going to put things away.  We have an extensive Lego collection and many years ago my husband decided to make special shelves for the bricks.  We spent many hours sorting all the Lego's and putting them all in their own plastic bins, each according to its shape, color and size.  It looked amazing...a whole wall of small bins, perfectly organized.  Only problem was, no one wanted to put them back in their little bin after they played with them.  It was a major hassle trying to keep the bricks sorted.  We gave up on that and went back to storing them in large shallow containers so the kids could see them easy AND put them away quickly.  Lesson learned.

Check out my post Decluttering - The kid's room  for ideas on how to trim down the toys to a manageable amount.


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