Organizing Toys

The first key to keeping toys from taking over your house? Limit them. We try not to go overboard in the amount of toys Lucy has. Past that the best thing you can do is find an organizing system that works for you. Simplicity is the key. You don’t want it to be a hassle to put things away, or you’ll never bother sticking to your system. Here’s the system that’s working for us:
toy organizing organizationHere’s my lovely model in front of our Ikea shelves/tv stand in the family room. It’s an Expedit 4×4 {they have a lot of size/color options}. As Lucy has grown we’ve had to move our own items to higher and higher shelves {or storage shelves in another room}. She can reach items on the bottom 3 levels {except for the items in the blue and red boxes}. The red box is for library books. The blue box is for Wii accessories and games. We have a door that will go in the upper right corner to hide the mess of Wii cables but it hasn’t been assembled yet.
toy organizing organization
Here’s a close up on the toy shelves. The bins are a mix of Ikea products and bins we picked up at Walmart. I like using clear boxes because Lucy can easily see what’s inside. I made labels for each box by taking toy organizing organizationpictures of the contents. I cut out the pictures and affixed them to the boxes with clear vinyl {removable contact paper, which I buy from the dollar store}. She can’t read so picture labels were the obvious choice. But I also wrote the words on the pictures for future use when she’s learning to read.
It may not be worthy of a PB Kids photo shoot. But it works a lot better than dumping all her toys into one or two large bins. And it definitely looks better than no system at all. It was cheap and easy and Lucy loves getting boxes off the shelf and bringing them to us to open {she still hasn’t figured out how to open them herself}. All in all, I quite like it.
How do you organize your kids stuff, or your own stuff? Tell me about your system in the comments.
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8 Responses to Organizing Toys

  • KK says:

    I love to pull everything out of my closet and re-organize it. Except I just moved so I shouldn’t need to do it for a while.

  • Marcy says:

    We have 2 Ikea shelves that are actually meant to be tv entertainment centers, that work as low shelves to put Donovan’s toys on. One is in the living room, the other in his bedroom. I set out a few toys on the shelves, then keep the rest of his stuff in plastic bins stashed away in various closets all over the house. The goal is to rotate toys every week or 2, to keep the toys “new” and still-interesting even though we’ve had most of them forever. It seems to work pretty well. I really like the Montessori method for storing and showcasing toys/materials, and try to set up his toy shelves in the same manner. And, having fewer toys out at any time seems to not overwhelm him and I swear he pays more attention to each toy when there’s not 1000 of them all over the floor. ; )

  • Aurora says:

    I definitely clean out stuff once a year and get rid of stuff no longer used or broken. you’ll want to be careful – i’ve seen where little ones like to start climbing on shelves and bring the whole thing down on themselves. i like using the plastic bins as a large toy chest and keeping in their room – easy to drag from one room to another–

  • Ashton says:

    I just found your blog! It sounds like you are enjoying Canada – and life in general. And your daughter is adorable :)
    We totally have expedit shelves in our office – with the desk that attaches for the computer. So a big one for books and then I stuffed all my sewing/beading/yarnwork/craft STUFF into nice black boxes in a 2×6 one in the same color and it is wonderful – much less the eyesore that my boxes and stacks on a card table were (office was previously a mess).
    My sister in law uses a similar system in the living room at her home for the boys’ toys (smaller) and has taught them to put their own stuff away by labeling the basket-drawers that go in it with pictures of the kind of toy that belongs in it. Which makes it easy for grown ups to put things away too.

  • Heather says:

    I really like your toy storage method. Our first child will be arriving in August and my husband has already said “I do not want toys all over the house!!” (He also says he only wants toys in earth tone colors but that’s another story. LOL) This method also seems great for small houses. Baby’s bedroom is only 10×10 so the more vertical storage the better!

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