Toys! Toys! With the birth or adoption of your first little darling comes the daunting task of keeping their things from taking over your home. As they get into the toddler years, this becomes more of a daily struggle and probably peaks around the 3-4 year old age.
I thought it would get much easier as they got into the school years, but I can tell you now that I have a 4th and 6th grader, it really doesn’t! Unless you are a natural born organizer, or your child has an innate need to keep things in their own place, it will be an unending battle.
Keeping Toys Cleaned up in Every Room of the House
I tried for years to keep the toys in their own bins or containers and to teach my kids how to sort them out when they were finished playing. This always failed for one of two reasons.
- I let them play until they were too tired to focus on such a huge task.
- I would lose track of time and not tell them to start cleaning until two minutes before we needed to be out the door.
Both of these situations lead to tears on their part and anger on mine, not to mention toys still scattered all over.
So how do I keep my floors cleaned up when the kids aren’t actively playing? I no longer stress about sorting toys by kind or by sets! Have you ever spent hours separating the trains from the cars or the Little People from the dinosaurs? Do not do it anymore! Guess what I have learned? The kids don’t care!
They are just going to dump them all out when they play again. Kids want to mix all their toys up when they play. My daughter wants her Strawberry Shortcake dolls to play with her Lalaloopsies, and of course they all have to have pets from her Littlest Petshop collection. The more the merrier in her eyes. She has always played longer and had more fun when I haven’t limited her to one type of toy being out at a time.
After I was able to see through my mistake of obsessing over sorting, I started looking for bins that were big enough to hold mass quantities of toys. I bought a 16 cube storage shelf similar to this one and the bins similar to these to go with it for both of the kids’ bedrooms. I also got one for the living room and toy room as well.
Yes, it isn’t exactly the piece of furniture that I would want in the living room, but having the toys hidden away at the end of the day makes it totally worth it. Plus, it is a good place for all the audio/video equipment to sit on top. I also got a few of these for larger items that don’t fit as well in the cloth bins. I have a bin of some sort in every room of the house.
Now when it is time to clean up, the kids know all they have to do is fill the bins and slide them on the shelves. No more stressing about what goes in what bin! Just get it off the floor and hide it all away. No tears from them, no anger from me. Everyone can walk away with much less stress. Give it a try! Walk away from the need to organize and see how much easier it is to keep the toys cleaned up when someone isn’t actively playing at your house!
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