How to Organize Toys at Home
When the holidays are over the home is typically piled with new toys that need to find their new home in the overstuffed kid's room and closets. Once you've decided to add new toys to the existing collection make sure you take a toy inventory first. Often kids outgrow or get bored with their toys, even those they were dying for a couple of months ago. Don't let your kids turn the whole house into a play area cluttered with toys that make chaos. The tips below will help you get your home in order after the holidays, birthday parties and special events.
When it comes to toys it is important to set rules and limits and it is the responsibility of the parent to teach the child about sharing and giving. Kids also need to know how to take care of their toys and what will happen if they don't pick them up. Parents should also explain when children can play with the toys and show how to store and put them away. This way you will gradually develop positive habits so a child will be able to be actively involved in the toy management process.
Get Your Child Involved
You should notice what toys your child plays with but do encourage your kids to take part in deciding which toys stay and which go. This helps develop the child's decision-making skills. Sometimes it may be hard for a child to let go. In this case you may let the child stay focused on one toy at a time. Make sure you give the child time to decide on his own what he is going to do with the toy. Very often a favorite toy becomes a keepsake when the child outgrows it.
We recommend creating five separate piles of toys you have at home. Sort the toys by what you are going to do with them. The piles are: keep, store, donate, sell, and throw away. You may even use subcategories within the piles. It's very convenient to keep similar items together. For example you can keep together:
- vehicles (trucks, cars, trains, planes);
- puzzle and games;
- arts and crafts;
- imaginative play (dress up, Barbies, action figures).
To keep and store all those toys you need plenty of room. Make sure you periodically get rid of the toys your child doesn't like any more to have more room in the house for new toys. You can sell things your family no longer need at the yearly yard sales. Or consider donating the toys that are still in good condition so a child would learn about the concept of charity. Broken toys that can't be repaired should be thrown away right away.
It's hard to keep toys organized when they are just piled up in the corner or are in a toy box without organizing compartments. Luckily, these days there is a great selection of creative storage solutions, such as built-in or installed floor-to-ceiling shelving units, as well as color-coded bins, baskets or storage ottomans that could be used to keep and store toys. Consider keeping small items, like game pieces, in plastic zipper bags, and make sure each bag is labeled.
To prevent your child from getting bored with his or her toys rotate them once a month. You can also change toys depending on the season and the child's interests. This approach will allow you to handle fewer toys rather than deal with all them at once. Plus with fewer toys it's easier for a kid to decide which toy to play with and put the toys away. In addition, children learn to understand the value of toys.
Putting Toys Away
With each toy on its place you will create an orderly environment that will help a child be more focused and organized. It is important to clean up toys regularly and it will be easier to do if you place toy storage units within easy reach of your child. Make it easy for your child to put toys away.
A simple toy organizing solution is to have a periodic decluttering, especially after big holidays or birthdays. Adhere to a one in, one out rule which means that with every new toy an older, similar toy should be removed. This simple rule will help keep control of the amount of toys you have in your house at the given moment.