Good morning friends, and happy Friday!
This afternoon I'm sharing how I organize Amelia's toys in different areas of our home and some simple tips on how to store and manage your children's toy collection.
Identify and Designate Play Areas
The first step in organizing childrens toys is to identify and designate a specific area (or areas!) in your home that will be the child friendly play area.
For us, Amelia has three designated areas:
Her bedroom (personal space)
The den (family space)
The kitchen (family space)
These are the only three areas of our home that toys will live. There are no toys in our lounge, office, guest bedrooms or master bathroom. We have developed a habit with Amelia early on, that toys only stay in her designated areas, or if brought into other areas of the house, they are put away immediately after use.
Tip: Do you find your child constantly bringing toys to a certain undesignated room of your house? Try implementing a basket system. Keep a basket or box that is easily accessible to the child, and have them place their toys in the basket immediately after use in that space. Then, have them put the toys back in their proper place after they have finished using them.
Wondering how much this costed us? Keep reading to see a detailed cost breakdown of this space....
The Great Toy Purge of 2018
After you have identified the areas in your home that will be the play area, we now look at the toys themselves. With your child, quickly go through the toys or books that you will be storing in the space. Discard any toys that are missing parts, broken beyond repair, or any trash that you may stumble upon. This is also a great time to clean any toys with disinfectant spray or throwing them in the dishwasher for a quick cleanse. I would try to include your child in this process as much as possible. Amelia is still too young to help with this process (she will be 2 in May), however I feel that children ages 5 and up should be involved as much as they can.
Tip: Do you find yourself with an overabundance of toys, even after you've done this purge? Is your child hesitant to give away items that they feel sentimental about? One great tip is to implement a toy rotation box. Using a large plastic bin or box, store a variety of toys that your child still enjoys playing with. Every month, take this box out and exchange the toys for some that he or she no longer plays with often. Continue rotating toys from this box each month. Your child will feel like they have new toys to play with every month, and it will allow them to keep special toys longer.
Toy Management Made Simple.
So, we've identified the areas of the home that will be the designated toy and play space, purged our toys to exclude anything that's broken or not working and now are ready for the next step in the toy organization process: Storage solutions.
As you (hopefully) know, I advocate for repurposing items around your home to work as storage solutions. So, before running to the store, first take a quick look around your house and see if there's any storage (bookshelves, baskets, bins, benches etc) that are not being utilized in another part of your home.
Some creative repurposed storage ideas could include:
Bookshelves - These are great for not only children's books, but displaying toys or using narrow baskets to store groups of toys in
Large plastic storage containers or boxes - Have an old plastic storage bin your not using anymore? Use it to store larger toys and then hid it beneath a table cloth or sheet. Not only have you found simple storage but the kids now have a table to play on!
Chest of drawers - If you have an old chest of drawers that isn't being used, try repurposing it for toy storage. Each drawer can be designated to a specific group of toys, and you can easily affix labels to them so your children know what each drawer holds.
See the possibilities! - When you're looking around your home try and keep a creative spirit with you. See the possibilities in furniture that isn't normally designated as "kids" furniture or toy storage. Most of the time the best spaces are made from using furniture and accents that were never designed to be in that space to begin with. Let your creativity take over!
Now that you've looked around your home, maybe you still need to pick up something to help contain the toys in your designated spaces. It's time to set a budget, visualize and shop for what will suit the space! Here are my top tips for designing a toy or playroom:
My number one piece of advice for designing an area, is to choose a base color to use in the space and combine it with small amounts of complementary hughes. The base color will anchor the space, and reduce the amount of visual clutter. I love white (shocking) so the easiest organizational system for me is to work in only white tones for furniture and storage. When it comes to children's toys, the bright colors and labels can be overwhelming to your eye, which causes disharmony in a space. Choosing a color combination for storage and then sticking with it throughout the space will hide the labels and allow your childs play area to always appear tidy.
I love white and natural wood furniture, especially in children's spaces because it's incredibly easy to keep clean (it is I promise! Especially when you only keep washable crayons and markers in your home), it also helps with developing your color palette that you want to use in the space. You may decide that you would love to use the primary colors as the storage for your children's play space, which would work perfectly with white furniture as the base color!
A couple of other great ideas from Ikea!
Contain the Chaos!
Next choose the storage containers you will use with the furniture you have chosen. Bellow are some great storage ideas found from the Dollar Tree. For very little you can quickly and easily organize toys and if you wish attach printed or handwritten labels. I love these options because each one is also see through to some extent. Children can see what each contains and can easily find what they want to play with!
This is one of our daughters play areas in our home. This project totaled under $100.00 and has lasted us for 2.5 years so far with no signs of wear or tear.
When your designing your child's space Keep a couple of things in mind:
This play space won't last forever. It needs to change and evolve as your child grows. Try and find storage solutions that, when completing their current task, can be moved into another space in your home and reassigned a purpose.
If your children are old enough try and involve them in this process so they take ownership for their space and possessions.
Minimize the distractions of too many toys by storing them out of sight. When children have too many options of toys to play with, they tend to get overwhelmed and lose focus quickly. Instead, keep a small amount of toys within reach and utilize the toy rotation box idea.
Be creative and remember what it was like when you were a kid! What would you have wanted in a toy room or space? Can you add some of that whimsy from your childhood to your children's rooms?
I hope you found some ideas today that you could implement in your home to organize your children's toys! Be sure to comment either on this post, Instagram or Facebook and let me know how you organize children's toys!
Yours in play,