Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Great Toy Challenge

Wouldn't it be great if all the toys in your child's playroom came alive like in Toy Story and magically walked themselves back into their "designated" spots? Sadly your child's Woody doll is not going to organize the troops and have them jump back into the toy chest, I know you were picturing it. I was able to reach out to some moms recently on their biggest toy storage challenges and also saw first hand how quickly things can get messy in the playroom! Read on for some practical solutions and ideas that will hopefully leave you with some peace of mind when it comes to your little ones. Playtime is meant to be fun not stressful!

1.First step- Re-evaluate and Take Stock

Not always the best idea to include the kids in this one, they will plead with you not to throw away that doll or truck they haven't touched since last Christmas. Filter out the toys that you know have seen better days or your child has outgrown and make the decision to donate it, give it to a friend or throw it away. Remember- birthdays and holidays are always creeping up so chances are that it will be replaced with something new and more exciting... your child will never know it was missing!

2. Why is Barbie always wearing one shoe? How to store the "little" pieces

It seems every toy and board game comes with tiny pieces that are bound to get lost, shoved under the bed or found hidden somewhere in the house. Use zip-lock bags to keep the pieces together and place them in a  bin with a label. For instance dolls clothes, shoes and accessories can all go in one bag. Have a bin organized just for dolls and keep the bags with it, if they stay in the bag they won't fall to the bottom of the bin and get lost in the shuffle. Try to keep the pieces that come with board games in the box, that way you don't have missing pieces. Another solution? Pencil cases! They are small and stay closed, and look more fun than the zip-locks! This does take sorting through the toys but who says it needs to be done in one day? Take your time and before you know Barbie will have two shoes.

3. Kids toys almost the same size as the couch

One if the biggest challenges with toy storage is the difficulty hiding the giant ones. There are two scenarios, the first is that the toys have taken up residence in every room of your home, the second is that you have a playroom for you child but they take up too much space. Rewind for a moment to step one, if it's something your child no longer plays with and it's become a permanent fixture in your dining room time to let it go. However for the toys that they love, if you have a playroom, store it against the wall with the rest of the larger toys.  If you have a couch in the playroom to create more floor space remove the couch and replace it with bean bags. They are comfy and fun for kids and will create space. If you are space challenged allow one large toy in your child's bedroom at a time. Store the rest in the basement or garage. One comes up, one goes down!

4. Creating more space and fun with labels

Shelving, a storage cubby with multiple bins, stackable storage and even children's play tables with shelving underneath are the most important factor in your child's play area. A sturdy shelving unit where you can house board games, stuffed animals or even your child's dvds works wonders in removing the toys off the floor and opening up the play space. Don't forget to label! There are so many fun and creative ways to organize using labels. If your child is learning to read and write have them write out the labels using crayons and place on the bins, that will give them a sense of accomplishment and teach them to put the toys back in the bin they created! Did you know they make chalkboard storage bins? Another fun way to get the kids involved! Try to also keep like toys together, this will help in finding things and creates a play zone for each type of toy. If you are still space challenged utilize an ottoman that you can keep in your living room to house additional toys, games or dvds. They come in all shapes and sizes and create extra seating, dual functioning!

Does this look familiar?

Peace Restored

Questions? If I missed something, or if you have any ideas of your own, dont be shy and share! Follow me on twitter or join my facebook group organized for life! If you are a parent chances are your time is limited so feel free to contact me for a consultation on how I can help reduce the clutter and get you organized! 


I love your finished play area!! I totally get the before;)

Thank you! The one room in the house that is the least likely to stay tidy!

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