Organising kids’ toys and cutting back on clutter
We’ve all been there. Picture the scene- after a lovely day where your children have had a wonderful time playing and using their imaginations in their rooms, you enter to find that your day has taken a definite turn for the worse. How can you organise kids’ toys so that they can put their stuff away easily, and more importantly, with minimal input from you?
It’s best to take a two-pronged approach. Depending on the age of your kids and how much help they need from you to tidy away, you could either make a game of tidying up- “Let’s see how much we can do by the time this song finishes!” to “You’re got 15 minutes to tidy this up please”. Another way to make it clear to your kids is to have a set routine-“Before lunch let’s tidy up your toys,” for little ones and “You need to tidy your room before tea/TV/any tablet time”. They then know what to expect and hopefully are more likely to comply.
Of course this is all far more likely to happen if tidying away is made as easy as possible, and this is where organising toys is so important. For example, do all the toys have a designated home? Is there enough room to pack all the art supplies in their box or drawer? I’ve listed some tips below to help you with this.
1-Keep toys in a designated area
Everyone in the family has to share their home and it’s reasonable to ask your kids to keep their toys to certain areas of the house. You wouldn’t leave your best cashmere sweater and laptop in their room would you? ( No, really, don’t). So asking them to keep their toys to their room or the playroom is ok- it also prevents a tide of toys all over the house. Plenty of us don’t have room for a playroom or bedrooms are shared, so for example if toys are kept in the living room then try and keep them to a corner of the room and work on getting your kids to tidy up more regularly.
2-Have a place for toys to go
I think the most important point for organising kids’ toys is that everything should have a place to go. You could use low storage shelves for big toys or small storage crates to keep them in. Storage crates are also great for storing smaller toys, especially if they’re stackable. I use these IKEA Vessla crates for storing Lego and Playmobil.
Another great idea is to use the IKEA Kallax units for toys ( can you tell I like IKEA?!). These are really versatile units, I have them in my house. You can buy them as 2×4, 2×2 or 1×4 and fill with pull out drawers or bins.
For smaller toys, it’s great if you can categorise so that they know where to find what they’re looking for. This image below shows where a screw assortment tray has been repurposed for Hama beads!
3-Label bins/drawers with words or pictures
Again this helps younger kids understand where things live and that they should go back there once they’re finished playing. One drawer could be for jigsaws, another for pads and pencils and another for all those small toys that don’t really fit into anything ( but they won’t give up!) Older kids can either have them labelled with words or colours.
4-Rotate toys on a regular basis
Quite often kids have so much in their playroom that they don’t know where to start with tidying, or sometimes what to play with. This leads on from making sure everything has a place to go; if you can’t fit everything in the room, then something will have to go. Toys that they haven’t grown out of or aren’t as popular in everyday play can be stored away in the attic, garage or elsewhere so that they can concentrate on what they do have. It also means they will find it easier to put things away.
5-Sort through toys
You can only organise so much. Sometimes it’s time to let go of some items. Good quality toys can be given to charity shops, local playgroups or doctors’ surgeries if they need them, and broken toys should find their way to the bin. Artwork from school can become overwhelming, so in this case you might want to try a keepsake box for each child and put their best artwork in there ( which can then be stored elsewhere) or have the best pieces displayed on the fridge or wall.
Do you have any other ideas for organising kids’ toys? Let me know in the comments below!