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How To Organise Toys In Your Home

How To Organise Toys In Your Home

Are toys taking over your home? The most painful thing in the world has to be treading on Lego in bare feet. But if toys have gradually been building up, and you don’t have a system; it can be difficult to know where to start.

Your house may never reach pristine toy-free minimalism; but there are certainly ways to organise the clutter, find a home for things, and make tidying up in future a whole lot easier:

Plan Ahead

It is much easier if everything lives in one or two areas (whether this is the bedroom, or a designated play area) so everyone knows what there is, and where it is. There’s no need to invest in lots of fancy boxes (unless you really want to); clear plastic crates are great for keeping track of what’s inside, or any sturdy boxes you already have lying around can work just as well: You could even encourage your kids to decorate them so the box is as much theirs as the toys within.

Before you get carried away in the storage section of IKEA, work out where toy storage can live in the house. Does storage need to be stackable, or look like regular furniture in the sitting room? Does it need to fit in a shelf/under the bed, or do you want to use wall baskets or buckets to make a feature? Remember that the bulk of items should be easily and safely accessible for your little ones too.

Measure before you go: There’s no point in organising storage boxes if they then have to sit in the middle of the floor because they’re too big to fit wherever you planned.

Handle with care

The best place to start, is with trickier items: Check that any puzzles and board games have all their pieces (and get rid of them if that one infuriating final piece is missing!) Put everything neatly in its own box, and secure the lid with an elastic band; then store on a shelf where they’ll be ready to play, but won’t get mixed up or damaged.

Separate complicated toys that need assistance to build, or are risky to leave unsupervised (e.g Marbles) and store them in a safe place.

Also make a place for any crafting materials, that can live in a craft-friendly area and only be used with your knowledge, so glitter and felt tips with no lids don’t spread themselves all over the carpet; but they’re still easily accessible for drawing time.

Once this is done. You should be left with everyday toys; which can be stored somewhere accessible, to be safely reached for solo playtime.

Unleash your inner Monica

Even if you don’t have a weakness for good stationary, dividing toys into categories and labelling their boxes can be surprisingly satisfying; and helps everyone to know where things are when they want to play, and where they go at the end.

Within a larger storage area, like a hamper or shelving unit; divide items into rough categories: Blocks, Barbie, Polly Pocket, Balls, Cars etc, and an ‘odd box’ for random cracker toys and things that don’t quite fit in elsewhere! Lego or items with lots of small pieces can also be sealed in sturdy sandwich bags, so special parts don’t get lost, or buried at the bottom.

Find a suitably sized box for each set; and label with the category (or a picture for younger children). Not only will this make finding and tidying up easier; it also means that when they want to play they can get out one box at a time, and have everything needed for that game; and can put it away before moving on to the next thing. If there still seems like A LOT, you could always rotate items slightly, so one or two boxes at a time can be stored away in the garage or attic, then can be swapped with something else every few months, for greater novelty.

Show and tell

Of course if there is enough space, you can always make a feature of some favourites: Let Barbies and Super Heroes live in an over-door organiser; use shallow shelves to present your selection of books; or give the latest lego creation, or favourite toy pride of place on the dresser or window sill.

Finding the best ways to store toys is most certainly a learning curve; so do you have any tips you've discovered? We'd love to hear!

For more on the battle to stop toys taking over the house, read: Too Many Toys? How To Clear Without Disaster. Want to redecorate completely? Check out How To Find Your Palette, and Decorate Your Home.


About the Author

Emily is a Writer, Editor, Blogger, and our new Digital Content Intern. She has three awesome nieces, and has accidentally worn the same outfit as them on at least one occasion. Emily likes making things, including hand-drawn cards, and a darn good chocolate cake; and she still sounds very English, despite living in Dublin for the last eight years. More insight into the workings of her brain can be found on dancingcakesandsilence.blogspot.com.

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