6 Tips for Organizing Your Kids' Toys
It’s one thing keeping your home clean. That takes work and dedication, but once you have everything well-organized, it’s mostly a matter of maintaining it with fifteen minutes to a half hour of cleaning time daily. Kids rooms bring the difficulty to a whole other level. That’s because kids haven’t yet learned how to clean and organize. So, it’s our job as parents to help them, to clean with them, until they’re able to keep their spaces tidy.
It also helps to have a system. You already have this in the rest of your home. Clothing hangs in the closet or goes in dresser drawers. Books go on bookshelves, decorations go on shelves or on the walls, and plates go in a cupboard. You may have special items that you create spaces for. If you sew, you’ll have a spot for your sewing machine, your thread, and your various types of cloth. If you enjoy carpentry, you probably have space in your garage or a special room for your wood and tools.
Since there are different types of toys, it makes sense that the basic setup of a bedroom–bed, bookcase, dresser, nightstand, and closet–won’t be adequate to sort all the fun things kids play with. So, let’s look at some great options that parents today use to help their children organize their toys.
How to Start
Before you bring in new buckets and boxes, help your child to declutter their room. This can be a big job, but once it’s done, it will be easy to keep up with it. This means sorting through the toys and deciding what to keep, and what to get rid of. Your child will surely have outgrown some things. If they’re still in good shape, you can donate them to charity. Remind your child that this will make it easier for them to focus on their newer things.
Bins on Shelves
In many childrens’ bedrooms, you can find shelves with bins that fit perfectly. Various toys go in those bins, and being able to put them on shelves makes it less likely that they’ll fall over when stacked, or that your child will have them scattered about the room.
Ikea is a fantastic place to get bins on shelves. Plus, visits to Ikea are pretty fun. They have storage boxes and shelving units for those boxes under the name Trofast, and you’ll find them with boxes in a variety of solid, kid-friendly colors. These are great for storing toy cars, Legos, stuffed animals, video game media, and more.
How will your child know what’s in the bins? Well, the Ikea bins are opaque, so if you use them, we recommend labeling them with both text and a picture. This can be a photo of what’s inside, of one of the toys inside, or an icon representing the contents that your child will recognize.
If you purchase your own bookcases and fitting bins, look for clear bins. That way, your child can easily see what’s inside each one before they open it.
A Big Toy Chest
Does your child need a big container to put a bunch of random toys that don’t really go anywhere else? Or, do they have a lot of stuffed animals, Legos, or action figures? With a toy chest, these things may be disorganized, but that can spark your child’s imagination when they’re ready to open that box and play with them. Plus, the disorganization goes in the box, not on the floor!
Toy chest are great in that they can double as a place for your child to sit. And, they don’t have to be disorganized. Like shelves, they’re a good place to store a bunch of small bins. Perhaps your child can have a bin with art supplies, another with toy cars, and another with action figures in the same toy chest.
You can purchase a nice wooden toy chest or even an ottoman for this purpose. If you have carpentry skills, you may want to make one for your child, and paint or stain it how you like. You can also purchase one and paint it to match the room. If you plan to make or paint one and need tips, go to your local hardware store. Sometimes they’ll have kits for this kind of thing, and they can certainly give you advice.
Make a Stuffed Animal Zoo
If your child loves plush animals and similar toys, there are a few fun ways to corral them.
One is to use a bookcase, but to put bungee cords across the case, over the shelves. One or two going past each shelf should be sufficient. You then put the animals on the shelves and the bungee cords keep them inside. They’re easy to put in and retrieve by pushing the cords aside.
Most of us love relaxing in hammocks, and your childrens’ stuffed animals might, too. A search for “hanging net for stuffed animals” will bring up links to various places you can purchase these. A few dozen stuffed animals can fit in one, and they fit in a corner of any bedroom up above shelves or your child’s bed. In essence, you’ll be making excellent use of vertical space.
Shoe Organizers Work for Action Figures and Dolls
Speaking of vertical space, your child’s closet or bedroom door may be untapped space for toys. Shoe organizers are cheap and provide many pockets where you and your child can keep various dolls and action figures.
Use Under the Bed Toy Storage
Various companies have thought of some excellent ways to store toys under the bed. Google “under bed storage” and you’ll see what we mean. You’ll find many long drawers with handles and, often, with compartments. These slide easily under the bed, and your child can pull them out to retrieve certain toys. When done playing, they can put the toys back away and tuck these back under the bed. Some even come with wheels.
It will take some time to create a new organizational system, but once finished, your child’s room will look great, they’ll know where all their toys are, and they’ll have learned more about keeping their own space clean. That’s not to say that you won’t have to continue to help them. It takes time to get into the habit of cleaning and organizing regularly. However, they’ll have learned a valuable skill. Besides, having a clean home, or room, reduces stres and sets one up for a more positive life experience.