It’s that time of year when I have to mentally prepare myself for the avalanche of new toys headed my way from the holidays. I’m thankful that my son is able to have so many toys and things for him to play with, but sometimes the clutter can get crazy!
Here are a few helpful tips that will hopefully help with the toy build up and make for a great start to an organized new year!
I have created a system that has been working well for me over the past two years living in a small condo with a toddler, but you can adapt these tips according to whatever your lifestyle and space situation may be.
1.) Get rid of the old and broken
A few weeks before Christmas I sort through all of my son’s toys and do a quick sweep of items, preferably when your child is NOT home or be prepared for potential meltdowns over throwing out junk or something they haven’t touched in six months. If your kids are older you probably won’t have to worry about this.
Grab yourself a large garbage bag and start getting rid of any toys that are broken or have missing pieces. Do the same with board games and puzzles.
Next select items that your children don’t play with often, and separate them into individual piles. For example, I had a whole draw filled with coloring books that my son never uses. I will keep a few, but the rest I will bring to his grandmother’s house so he has some items there to play with or find a place to donate them to. The same goes for all other toys, games or books.
I told my son “We need to make room for all the new toys Santa is bringing this year.” I have him select the items from the piles and he tells me what goes to grandma’s house, and what we can donate or get rid of. Toddlers tend to outgrow their toys pretty quickly. For items with sentimental value, you can keep and store them for future children.
3.) Prevent duplicate toys
Another thing you may want to consider is creating a retail store “wish list”with your child and go over it with other relatives/family friends who might be buying for your child this holiday season. This will ensure they don’t get duplicates and you can help them select things that they want and have room for.
Hopefully this method has given you a little more room to play with. Now it’s time to get a system into place. I like to sort toys in different bins and containers by type. I then print out my own labels with images that my son can easily identify, so he can learn to put toys back in their proper place.
I attach the labels to the bins by using clear packing tape. It works perfect and can easily be removed and replaced with new ones.
When you live in a smaller space, it is important to find storage items that don’t take up too much space, and are also decorative. This storage chest I found at Target is great! I place individual bins inside so the toys remain organized and hidden inside your chest or storage cabinet.
Colorful bins are also great fort kids rooms and play rooms. I would check out your local dollar stores, Target, and the Container Store for any of these items where they have cute and affordable storage items.
Once you have all your storage containers in place and neatly labeled, all you have to do is wait for them to start to filling up again. Then the cycle starts all over again during birthdays and next year’s holiday when it’s time to do another toy sweep.