Posted by: Amy at FreshlyOrganized.com | January 30, 2009

Organizing Kid’s Toys …Say Goodbye to the Toy Box!

If you have children then you most likely have toys.  Keeping the toys organized is always a challenge.  Ideally you want the kids to be able to get the toys out and put them away without any help.  Many times when parents try to organize the kids stuff they forget to think like a kid.  Here are a few tips on how to organize a playroom so that it can easily be maintained by a child.

Look what is this

  • Minimize the stuff.  Kids don’t need or play with a lot of what they have.  Remember the saying, “less is more”.
  • Get rid of the toy box.  Toys get lost in a toy box and never get dug out!!  Shelves and cubbies work much better because the toys are then visible for the kids.
  • Don’t be rigid.  While a shelf with bins labeled for each toy may look nice to an adult, it is to complicated for a kid to maintain.  It is much easier for a child to just put the toy on a shelf.  This means no labels on the shelves and bins only for grouping small items like Lego’s.
  • Lower your expectations.  You should expect your kids to pick up after themselves but don’t expect every toy to be in a certain spot on the shelf.  If they place the toys on the shelves by themselves, then you should be celebrating that it was not left on the floor.  
  • Remove obstacles.  Obstacles for kids would be things like doors and lids.  Keep these to a minimum.  Make it easy for the kids.

Here is a scenario to help you “see” like a child.  Lets say your child wants to play with the blocks.  The blocks are stored nicely on a shelf in the closet in a bin with a lid.  Let me share with you the the steps we would expect a kid to do in order to play with and then clean up the blocks.  The child will have to open the closet door, get the bin, close the door, take the lid off, play, pick up the blocks, put the lid on, open the closet door, put the bin on the shelf and close the door.  Just a little FYI, most kids will not complete all these steps!!  Are you thinking, “No wonder the closet door is always left open.” 

Let’s simplify.  Place the bin without a lid on an open shelf.  See how that eliminates the obstacles (doors and lids) which makes playing and picking up much easier!   Look around at how you’ve organized your kids toys.  Can you eliminate a few obstacles?  If you do, you can get better results at clean up time.

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