Organizing for Kids Part 2

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Organizing kid’s toys can be quite a task, but keeping the clutter under control is worth the effort. I talked about organizing art supplies and games in this post. As far as toys go, here are a few things that have helped us.

Some people excel at keeping things simple at home and simply have less. I’m working on that myself in many aspects, but this concept doesn’t seem to have made it’s way to our toy collection yet. Having a four year old boy who loves all of his toys, we are probably at the peak amount we’ll ever have right now. So how to control it so there isn’t complete chaos?

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It definitely helps if you can have a dedicated space for toys…even if it’s not much. We don’t have a large house, but we do have a 3rd bedroom (where we keep a treadmill) and where, in the last year, we have hung heavy duty closet shelving in order to make sense of the alarming array of children’s toys we seem to own. Not lovely, but very, very functional, and—importantly for me—not in the main part of the house.

This is our ‘playroom’, although the toy of choice often comes out to our den or living room or kitchen during the day, it goes back here when we’re done with it. My goal is to keep toy clutter from being scattered all over the house, so it does help to have dedicated places to keep things at the end of the day. We try to keep it a bright and cheerful place for our son.

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That’s not to say things don’t get messy, because they do.

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For toys with little parts, I can’t say enough good things about clear, stackable boxes with lids. Transferring items in various sized & colored boxes to matching ones help keep it somewhat cohesive.

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Labels help tremendously.

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Large bins that match help corral bigger items.

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We keep the favorite toy of the moment where it is easily reachable and my son knows he needs to get help to get items off the top shelves.

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Hooks (and doorknobs) in the playroom help hold things that need to hang up or could get tangled.

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A play table with rolling bins underneath is a lifesaver in our den for odds and ends. Everything can be hidden underneath when it’s time to clean up.

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In the bedroom, a few things get stowed away in low wicker baskets that fit under the bed.

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Loads of books are organized by type (slim paperback vs. hardback vs. large books) and kept on low bookshelves for easy access.

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Small shelves on the wall hold little decorative items, and we try to make a place for homemade children’s art projects to be displayed with pride.

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My son is a magpie and his little bedside drawer is a catch-all that I have to check on from time to time.

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I know things won’t always be quite like this, and some of these toys will make their way to other children eventually, but for now, our system works, and at the end of the day we have a place for things to go, which helps me to relax a little and hopefully helps my son to learn to help put things back where they belong.

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