Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Total Toy MakeOver

Two days post-Christmas - raise your hand if your children's toys are out. of. control.  What, everyone raised their hands?  That's what I thought.

Toy clutter, expensive toys rendered useless because one missing piece is hiding next to baby doll bottles, loose legos stalking my bare-feet in the night - you are all my nemesis.  I've recently done a Total Toy Makeover around here in preparation for kiddo #5, and it goes a little something like this:

In the begining, there was chaos:

And one day, Mom said "let us separate the dolls from the cars, the legos from the Bakugans" and it was so
This was phase one which happened over the summer.  But, mom found this system not very aesthetically pleasing and the kids found it too hard to maintain.  They were always confused as to which bin was for what.  Mom was frustrated.

And then Mom said "Let there be labels" and it was so.

And the finished product - a toy closet that is beautifully organized, pretty to look at and easy for the kids to maintain:

10 tips for beautifully organized, easy to maintain toy storage:

1) Labels are a must.  If you want them to be as pretty as mine, check out this amazing blogger's directions. It's easier than it looks.

2) Matching bins.  Bins of varying shapes, sizes and colors are not as pretty and won't stack as well.

3) Plastic shoebox bins - these are only $1 at Wal-Mart and work great to store just about anything.  They aren't the most gorgeous things, but once you slap a pretty label on the front, it won't matter.  And, did I mention they are only $1, so I like to have a stack of them handy for whenever I get an urge to organize.

4) Keep as many toys in labeled bins as possible.  As kids get bored with certain toys, put them away for a while.  Months later, whip out that old Mr. Potato Head bin and it will be like they just got a new toy.

5) Be sure to include some large bins for random/large toys that refuse to conform to your bin bliss.  There will always be those rebels that just can't be labeled.

6) As much as possible, involve the kids with the toy sorting activities. This will help make them excited willing and able to maintain the beauty.

7) If you make all the toy bins uniform, they can be interchangeable between living room toy storage, bedroom toy storage, etc.

8) Get everything organized and in their appropriate bins before you make the labels.  As you go, you may find yourself changing your mind about what goes together/what fits in one bin, etc. and you won't want to have to re-do your beautiful labels.

9) Don't be afraid to pitch toys, especially ones with missing pieces.

10) Never, never start this activity when your husband is around.  He thwarts every effort at organization and threatens to delivery you to the loony bin.  NESTING - I keep trying to tell him I'm nesting, but I believe I might only be one phone call away from an emergency behavioral health intervention.

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  1. my type b disorganized self is embarrassed and ashamed as I gaze in wonder at your beautiful closet.  I have much to learn from you, great organized master. ;)

  2. Tip from a fellow OCD-suffering momma:  For younger children who can't yet read, you can also add small pictures along with your labels.  When I made mine, I printed pics of "Little People", "Dinosaurs", Wooden blocks" from the Toys R Us website, Amazon, etc.  Then lack of literacy is no excuse for not returning said toy to the appropriate bin!  ;-)

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