When I polled you guys for your hardest space to keep clean, SO MANY of you said your toy room. And I totally get that! It’s one of my hardest as well, but there are a few things that keep it more manageable.
I’m a big believer is organizing not just for looks, but for functionality. If there is a clear and easy system for how to clean up a space, it’s much easier to keep it clean – for kids AND adults.
With toys, sometimes less is more. My kids jumped in and were excited to help go through all the toys we had. They told me what their favorites were and what things they haven’t played with in a long time. Sometimes kids will be willing to part with things and sometimes they won’t – if they have a hard time it might be easier to make a donate pile when they’re not around (because suddenly that toy collecting dust is their faaaaavorite thing ever).
If you’ve got too many toys, it’s over-stimulating for kids and they’re too overwhelmed to play. With fewer options, it’s actually easier for them to play creatively. If you’ve got a ton of toys but aren’t ready to get rid of any, you can rotate toys and just keep half out at any given time.
Plastic bins with lids are my preferred way to organize toys. It’s really easy for kids to find what they’re looking for and know where everything belongs when they need to clean up. The lids also prevent toy dumps that often occur with open baskets.
It’s important to organize for the space you have. Whether it’s a closet, bookcase, built-ins, under the bed, or something else, you need to take that into consideration. I measured our built-ins and figured out exactly what I needed to fill the space. I love the Container Store because they have bins of all sizes so it’s easy to find a uniform style that will fit the space you have.
For my space, I got 12 of these bins, 4 of these bins, and 2 of these bins.
Go through each category of toys moving them to the new bins. If things are broken, throw them away. You may want to involve your kids so they can help you recognize which toys are most played with. Make a donation pile for the things you no longer use. Toy rotation is also a good option if you have a lot you don’t want to get rid of.
Clean, simple labels are a great way to make your toy space look uniform and make it easy to clean up and organize. I like printing them on card stock and using 2″ clear packing tape to attach them to the plastic bins.
The clear packing tape is sturdy and durable, but can be peeled off if you ever need to change the label. The clear tape also makes the label water proof so if there is liquid near the label, it won’t warp.
I created a FREE editable PDF of the labels I used so that you can customize and print them off to use for your toys.
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This last step is the most satisfying! Organized toys in labeled bins, back into their place. It may not stay organized for long, but with a system of clear bins and labels, it’s easier for kids to clean up and know where everything goes.
This game organization system works like files in a filing cabinet. They all sit vertically so they’re easy to shuffle through and find what you’re looking for. Nothing is stacked on top of anything else.
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Grab the PDF of 30 of our favorite family games that use things you already have around the house.
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