Spring Cleaning: Toy Organization
Spring Cleaning Part 1: Organization and Toy Storage so Your Kid Actually Plays with their toys!
When I was a kid, I used to shutter at the phrase of “spring cleaning.” My mom was just too into it and made me accountable for spring cleaning with her. Obviously, I was not fan however, it did teach me a few valuable lifelong lessons and skills…it’s important to keep a clean and somewhat tidy house. Although I am a far cry from my mother’s standards, I am a fan of putting things where they belong and keeping a clean dwelling. When you are a busy mom with young children, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with it all. It is important to try and instill in your children the rule of cleaning up after themselves when they are young, so they learn the value of responsibility and caring for their belongings. To do this, make it easy for them! Here are the best ways to store and organize your children’s toys so they play:
Organizing Kids Toys so They Actually Play with their Toys!
Do your children play with their toys? Do they know where things are? Do they engage in play easily or walk around not knowing what to do and play with? Have you ever walked into a space, say, either a classroom or playroom and it is overwhelming? Filled to the brim with toys? Have you noticed how children interact with toys in a space like this? They kind of don’t. If the space is overwhelmed with choices, then what ends up happening is children simply don’t make the choice, because it becomes too difficult. If you want your kids to play with their toys, then it is important to set up their space in a way that invites them in and choices open.
Sort & Organize
First, go through all the toys, this may be daunting at first, but it is imperative to do and will be easier to maintain once everything is sorted. How do you start? I would suggest go through each drawer at a time and sort through it and keep several sized ziplock bags near you. Make 3 piles, 1. trash of broken toys, 2. Giveaway of toys that are no longer age appropriate or of interest and 3. Keeping. Begin to bag the toys that you are keeping and if they are completed sets, seal the bag and toss them aside; if they are incomplete, wait until you find the missing pieces before sealing the bag and tossing it aside. Continue this until all the toys are sorted and organized.
Next you will want to categorize the bags in a way that makes sense to you, maybe in particular themes, or by similarity. But do so in a way that you can easily find a particular toy.
For children 0-6, I prefer the rotation method of toys because it helps to eliminate too overwhelming choices of decided what to play, it keeps interests peaked, and engagement of toys high. It is up to you how many times you choose to rotate the bins of toys, but I prefer to do this every 2-3 weeks. The way our toy bins are set up, is we have a toy cabinet in the section of the living room, where the toys are rotated, and the remainder of the toys are stored in an additional toy cabinet in the children’s room. They have access to the toys in their room as well, if they prefer to open a drawer to discover something mid-week however, most of the toys they are engaged with are the rotated toys in the living room. Once the toys are sorted and bagged, toy rotation is easy and simple. It is also much easier to keep the toys cleans and disinfected if any illness come up.