How many times have you looking in your little one’s room and wondered when the tornado hit?
It happens to me on a daily basis, forcing me into a constant loop of cleaning and organizing. I recently decided that I could use that time more wisely (like sitting and enjoying a cup of coffee), so I embarked on a mission to organize my son’s toys.
1. Take inventory
Start by putting all of the toys in a pile in the middle of your living room. Scary? Maybe. But a necessary first step. Look at each toy and determine whether it is in good working order (no broken or missing parts, peeling paint, etc.) and age appropriate. Then ask yourself whether your child still plays with the toy.
2. Donate, store, sell or throw away
After sorting through the toys, put each one you are not keeping in a pile to either be donated, stored, sold or thrown away. If you can, do this while your child is napping or out of the house. The last thing you need to hear is eleventh hour speeches about why he cannot live without the monster truck with the missing wheel.
3. Group like things together
Now that you have a pile of toys that you are keeping, sort the toys so like toys are together. You may be surprised at how many of the same type of toy your child has accumulated. My son magically had eight balls. Yes, that’s right. Eight. Have your child choose one or two of his favorite toys where you have multiples and store or donate the rest. You can save space and teach a valuable lesson!
4. Invest in bins or baskets
Group like items together and store them in bins or baskets that you will be happy to look at all day. I choose wicker baskets that matched my decor and are short enough so that my son can reach the toy he wants and put it away when is done.
5. Use ziploc or lingerie bags to store small pieces
As kids get older, the pieces get smaller. We have lost more puzzle pieces because they were loose in the basket. Now, I gather the pieces that go with each toy and put them in either a ziploc or mesh lingerie bag. We have managed to hold on to most of his toys and can locate the pieces quickly.
My son’s room is finally organized and less cluttered. I feel great and, in a very surprising turn of events, he seems happier to have less choices. It is a win/win!
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Written by Jamie Leiberman from twohappymamas.com. We published an earlier version of this post here at 5 Minutes for Mom on Aug 2, 2013.