Do you remember having sooo many toys when you were a kid? I swear I didn’t have near the number my own children do!! Why is that? Are we not as frugal as our older generation? Is the selection way more broad and have the advertisers aced their GET THEM TO BUY test. I don’t want to just say we’re all suckers. I guess it is a combination of the above. In most cases it’s not only just us buying for our children. Add to the mix parents, in-laws, aunts and uncles, Godparents, family friends and just plain friends. That equals loads of toys. Depending on the age of your kids determines how you can handle them. I am a firm believer in NOT micro categorizing. You will see that in many of those organizing shows. Micro categorizing is great if your kids are into model planes or some sort of specialty hobby. The goal here is (and I’m sure you can agree with me) is to simply not have the toys all over the house.
How on earth am I going to do that?! Julie’s Top Toy Clutter Tips:
One thing that I find when working with clients on organizign their home, is that if they have small children, the master bedroom often becomes a children’s play room. I firmly believe this is a no, no. The master bedroom needs to be a haven of adult-ness!!! If your kids are small and need to be entertained in your room while you, say, take a shower, a basket with a small selection of toys tucked away is sufficient. Bring these out only during shower times so they don’t tire of these toys.
To keep track of small toys around the house and to insure a quick pick up, place visually appealing baskets or containers that match the décor of your house in strategic spots. Instead of keeping all the pieces and parts together, toss them in the nearest basket. Once a week or so travel around your home and put the parts and pieces together. This will make clean up time much less overwhelming.
Take a look around your home. Where do the toys tend to congregate? What can you use to contain them and keep your home together? If you have a specific room where the toys are kept, use a simple wire or wood-shelving unit to keep rubber maid bins for each category of toy (legos, barbies, babies, play mobile etc.)
And finally, most importantly… and worth a re-mention… remember, it’s not worth it to keep the Barbie clothes and shoes in different containers/ Avoid micro-categoizing like the swine-flu. They will all get dumped out at the same time to be played with. Subcategorizing the gazillion toys your kids accumulate causes more work for you and less willingness on their part to put them away.
Final tip (and always helpful when it comes to getting and staying organized): keep it simple.
Expert Mommy, Julie Sprouse Verleger is the owner of Organized Home.