Friday, 29 May 2015

How to Keep Kids Toys Organised on A Budget

We all know that part of the job description of being the resident household mommy is knowing where every single one of your children's' hundreds of toys are at any given time. Well, my kids seem to think so anyway, since I keep getting asked where some or other random toy is. It also gets very frustrating to constantly trip over toys scattered everywhere.
There are many different ways to organise toys, I am just sharing what works in our house (well mostly, since children and order seem to be diametrically conflicting notions).

First, I have one really huge box for each child for larger toys... pink for Noodle and Blue for Squish. There are stunning wooden toy chests out there but these inexpensive but large plastic storage tubs work well for us.

Then, each child has a set of stackable plastic drawers for smaller toys, again colour co-ordinated to match their bedrooms. Each of these are categorised according to what goes in it, eg. Noodle has one drawer with puzzles, ones with smaller dolls etc, whereas Squish has one with rattles and baby stuff, one with cars etc.

Then within Noodle's drawers, I have some of the stuff sorted in Ziploc bags so that toys of the same type stay together (eg. pieces of a tea set in one bag and plastic farm animals in another). This is neater and I find that they are more likely to be played with when they are not randomly scattered. (P.S. I use Ziploc bags for everything...large ones to keep children's socks, underwear, hairbands etc together and tiny ones to keep pairs of earrings together and to keep chains from tangling.)

organisation toys

We also like re-using ice-cream tubs and those party pack buckets to sort toys of the same type together. For example, all bath toys are in an ice-cream tub which gets packed away in the cupboard under the basin. (If the ice-cream tubs are going to be seen, they can be painted as desired... let the kids do this part).

kids storage ideas

Noodle has lots and lots of stuffed animals and dolls and we have put up separate shelves for these. Books are on a small bookshelf, where I resist the strong urge to use the Duey Decimal system for organisation.

Other small collapsible storage boxes are also used where required. For example, this cute little bus storage box (which I found for a steal at Pep of all places) keeps all Squish's little trains in one place. The box doubles as a toy as well as he enjoys driving his bus around the house.

Labeling where different things go is also handy. For children who cannot read yet, it also helps to have pictures of what goes where, eg. a picture of a puzzle piece to indicate that this is where puzzles go. (This method can also be used for clothes, eg. pictures of t-shirts, pants etc to show what goes where).

Toys are kept at a level where they are easily reachable for children and easy for them to put back again (with the exception of a few expensive breakable toys that are only played with under supervision). 

Children can be taught from very early on (pretty much from when they start walking)  to help tidy up toys and a reward for this is useful. Yes, the war on piled up toys is an ongoing battle but it can be managed, if not won entirely.

I have yet to find a good solution for storing the assortment of bikes, trikes and ride-on cars amassed, other than packed away in a store room or garage, but would love any suggestions. I would also love top hear any handy storage ideas that you may have for kids toys and other items.