Toys! Your kids love them, they can be great learning tools, but how in the world can you organize them? Toy organization can be a huge challenge. Between Christmas, birthdays, and just random gifts, they can pile up quickly. As a parent, I feel so thankful that everyone has given these wonderful gifts to my children which of course makes me want to keep everything, but I know that isn’t reasonable. I’d like to share some things that have worked for my family over the past couple of years to reduce some of the clutter and organize the chaos.
Timing is Everything – When to Purge
I’ve found that it works best to cut back on the number of toys before major events such as birthdays and holidays where gifts might be given. It isn’t a bad idea to reassess after the event either.
But what do I give up?
Toys that you could consider donating fall into different categories.
- Has your child obviously outgrown some of his or her toys? I’m thinking of things like jumpers, bouncers, play mats, etc. Once you’re reasonably sure that you won’t be welcoming any more little ones into the family, maybe it is time to pass these on to someone with a need.
- Maybe you have toys that are constantly problematic. They might have broken parts, frustrate your child, or in some other way cause issues in your household. You probably won’t mind saying goodbye to these toys.
- Duplicate toys. If certain toys perform the exact same functions or are identical, give one of them away.
Should I still hang on to some of those memories though?
Of course. There are many reasons to hold on to your children’s toys, long after they are done using them.
- This one is obvious, but of course the kids’ favorite toys should stay, even if they are outgrowing them in most cases. I’m sure your toddler has something that she just won’t let go, and that’s great.
- Toys that were handed down to your kids should be treasured. They were worth saving for the next generation at least once, and if they still stand the test of time, hang on to them. Your kids might enjoy giving them to their kids someday.
- Educational and imaginative toys! This one is big in our household and if the toys promote education, using your imagination, or anything along those lines that helps your child grow and develop, I say be sure to keep these.
- Sentimental toys. Don’t get rid of these toys. You’ll regret doing so and sometimes toys can serve as a reminder of a wonderful memory.
Now that I’ve thrown out some ideas on what to keep, how do I actually organize what I have?
Now this is the fun part of toy organization. At least for us (slightly?) OCD people 🙂
- Bins, bins, bins. We like to use see-through plastic bins with lids such as these: Sterilite 6-Quart See-Through Latch Box with White Lid to control loose toys. Our kids all get the sets of toys will a million loose pieces – having a dedicated bin for each toy set is invaluable. As the kids get older and you’re trying to teach them to pick up after themselves, put a picture of the contents on the bin so your child knows which bin to place the toys inside. On that topic, some toys come in bins or are somehow self-contained. When given the choice, these can be huge helpers in keeping an organized play area.
- Bins with lids are nice, but something like this: Tot Tutors Kids’ Toy Storage Organizer with 12 Plastic Bins can work well too. In lieu of a built-in solution, a storage system can meet a lot of the demands for storing your kids’ toys.
- Put toys that aren’t played with quite as often in a storage area and then getting them out can be a special event. If you have lots of stuffed animals, get a net like this: Jumbo Toy Hammock – 2 PACK It allows you to display them but get them off of the floor until your child is ready to play.
- If your child is old enough, have them participate in the cleanup process – maybe they will start to clean up on their own as they get older (wishful thinking?).
- If you have a core group of friends, you could consider “sharing” toys with them – pass down toys that your kids might have outgrown, then when they are done and you have another kid, they can pass them back. When a group of friends does this, it can really help out.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the article, that this helps you with your toy organization, and as always, I’d love to hear your great ideas! Feel free to comment below and if you’d like to get future updates from my site, please subscribe.
This post contains affiliate links that when clicked on and purchased helps support my family. Thank you very much!