The Ultimate Game Changer: Finding the Right Storage to Organize Your Child’s Toys
Organization takes on a whole new importance once you have kids. As parents and caregivers, it can feel like no matter how many times we tidy, mere minutes later, our children’s toys once again cover every inch of the floor.
Add to that the fact that toys can multiply in the blink of an eye—another wrench thrown into the organization machine. Whether it’s a birthday, special occasion, or a just a fun surprise, our kids are constantly being gifted new toys, or asking for the toy of the day (or the toy of the hour). Before we know it, toys morph from a source of fun for our little ones to a source of stress in our lives.
While children can certainly be messy, they can also feel stressed by a lack of organization. Too often, toys that are broken, no longer age appropriate, or are simply overused are mixed in with new, exciting toys, making it hard for kids to find the novel items.
Instead, they get stuck playing with the same toys, resulting in boredom, disinterest, and requests for new toys. Sound familiar? Never fear: Melissa & Doug is here to help. Creating an organizational system for you and your family doesn’t have to be a stressful endeavor—it simply requires the right toy organization. Here are some quick, easy, and effective ways to reduce clutter and increase smiles.
Make a Game out of Toss, Donate, or Keep
The best way to start your organization journey is by figuring out which toys your kids play with, which ones have they outgrown, and which ones aren’t functional.
Rather than approaching this as a chore, make a game of it with your little one. Put all their toys in a pile and have them help you split them into three categories: toss, donate, and keep. Any broken toys or used-up activity sets get tossed. Then have your kid pick out which toys they’ve outgrown or don’t play with anymore for the donation bin. This activity is a great way to get them involved and excited about giving to others by helping them understand where their toys are going and how donating helps others. The remaining toys are ones that your child values and engages with, resulting in fewer toys but no less fun.
When in Doubt, Rotate Them Out
A proven way to stay organized while helping your kids get the most out of their toys is to rotate their collection every so often.
Think of toys as if they are seasonal clothing. Start by putting the toys into groups, then change out their current toys with a box of stored toys every few weeks, Not only does this limit the number of toys cluttering your space at any given moment, it also helps your children appreciate the toys in front of them. Just when the kiddos start to get bored by what’s in front of them, surprise! Introduce a new box of toys, and watch them act as though they’re brand new all over again.
Flexible Storage For Growing Kids
If it still feels like toys are everywhere, don’t worry. Investing in simple storage solutions can be a true game changer.
There are so many options to choose from: bookcases, storage cubbies, shelving—the list goes on. Toy boxes and trunks are great when storing toys (such as when rotating them in and out), but when they sit in a play area, they can discourage playing with the items inside. Toys are meant to be played with and enjoyed, not buried beneath a pile of other toys. If this is happening to you, it may be time to invest in more visible storage options. Shelves and cubbies make it easy for children to pick out which toys they want to play with all by themselves. Cubbies also offer flexibility: As your child grows and their interests change, the types of activities and toys being stored can change with them. A basket tucked onto a cubby shelf is great for storing loose Legos, doll accessories, and art supplies, while the space between baskets is ideal for completed Lego sets or art projects that your child wants to display. Stackable bins can also be incorporated to preserve artwork, puzzles and games.
Creative Storage Ideas
Keeping your children’s toys organized doesn’t have to mean buying all new items: There are plenty of ways to creatively use what you may already have.
Are dolls or action figures scattered around the house? No problem. Put one doll or figure in each pocket of a hanging shoe holder. Not only does this keep them off the floor, but to you child, it will feel as though each pocket is the doll’s “home,” incentivizing them to stay organized. What about the zoo of stuffed animals your tyke has accumulated? Throwing them all in a bin can still feel chaotic if they are overflowing and unmanageable. Try using a basket with a cover to provide structure, or using a hanging laundry bin on the inside of your kid’s closet. There are even bean bag chairs available that offer invisible storage for soft toys. Your kids can access them whenever they please—and gain a fun chair to lounge on.