Wouldn’t it be great if our children’s toys worked well with the interiors of our homes?
No matter how much time and energy you may put into your home chances are it is littered with toys in every nook and cranny. Toys are for playing and play is something we strongly encourage for our children, but surely there is some way of organizing their toys in a way that still looks somewhat tidy?
For years now you may have taken my approach. I like to call it the “bung it all those drawers” method. They’re out of my eye line for a short period of time which means that even for just a couple of hours in the evening my home feels like my own again. I get to enjoy an adult space while I wind down after a long day. However – this method is not exactly very “play friendly”. The majority of the time the toys my son wants to play with are nowhere to be found due to the lack of organization. This results in every single drawer (we have a lot of them) being upturned and actually, none of it is really played with.
I started researching better ways to organize the toys. A better way to pack them away at the end of the night that left them more play friendly for the next day. A way that I could slowly but surely convince my child (and husband) to maintain so that we could all be a little happier. And it worked! A couple of minutes in the evening maintaining our little system makes the world of difference for the next day. The place is tidy in the evenings and my son is playing with his toys more and sitting in front of a screen less. It’s a win-win.
How to organize your children's toys better.
Firstly, get rid of anything broken.
As you are putting toys away in the evening keep an eye out for broken bits and pieces. How many times have you put that same broken Mc Donalds happy meal toy back in the drawer and how often do you see you see your child play with it? Dump it! It is taking up valuable space and your kid probably doesn’t know it exists.
Organize by category.
This sounds really obvious but has honestly made a huge difference to us. Rather than being overly ambitious with keeping related figurines and accessories together we now have a general figurine drawer or tub. We also have a car drawer, a “tools” drawer and an arts and crafts drawer. It makes it a whole lot easier to find a car or character when you are only working with one container or box.
Have a rotation system for the bigger toys.
There is only so much space for large toys that take up a lot of room. Rotate the toys and every couple of nights put some of the bigger toys in a different room, under the bed or in a press. They’ll be out of the way and will leave only the toys your child is currently gravitating towards. If they ask for them you can do the very same thing with some other larger toys. We had a Paw Patrol vehicle live in the shed for a good six weeks there. Just this week my son asked for it and we’ve swapped it for am army van he isn’t so keen on at the moment.
Make cleaning up a game.
For example, you take cars and ask your child to take action figures. Let’s have a race to see who can tidy up theirs the quickest. Make it a positive experience and the norm so that every night before bed it is a given that toys have to be tidied up so they can be put somewhere safe until they can play with them tomorrow.
Donate your unwanted toys.
Every couple of months go through the toys with your child to see what can be passed on to charity. There will, of course, be resistance when it comes to waving goodbye to toys but only suggest toys you have noticed they have not been playing with. Explain to them that some little boys and girls have no toys and would love something to play with. Take them with you to the charity shop and allow them to be part of the experience of giving to those less fortunate. They might just surprise you. Remember that more toys will come your way at birthdays, Christmas and special occasions so you can’t possibly keep everything.