A good portion of my week has been spent (wasted?) organizing toys. Ugh. I hate toys! I had to dump all their toys out of their bins because they had been mixed in altogether, print labels (with both words and pictures so they couldn’t use their illiteracy as an excuse), and get working! But I’m happy to report that it’s finally organized. Now, I just need to keep the kids and their friends out of the house. 😉
Here are a few questions I got about this:
1. Where did you buy the labels from?
- I bought blank labels (name-tag size) from Target. Then I used Microsoft Word and used their Avery templates to make the kind of label I wanted. I downloaded images from google to match the categories.
2. How long can you keep it like this and what are your strategies to keep it tidy?
- Number 1 proven strategy to keep your house tidy is to duct tape your kids to a seat. It works like a charm! LOL. (I crack myself up). Joking aside, my number 1 strategy has been to lower my standards of clean and let loose (a little). After all, time spent cleaning could be used at the gym, reading a book, sipping a cup of coffee, and of course blogging and a million other fun things! So, the answer simply put is that it won’t stay this tidy for long. But the kids know that when I have spent so much time and effort into this, that I truly expect it to stay this way, and for a while it works.
But to really tackle the question here are Persian Momma’s top 3 tips on taming the toys:
1. Designate a play room. If you can, designate a room to be a play room. If house size doesn’t permit this, then designate a certain space or at least tell your children where toys should not be taken. For instance, when we were in a smaller space, I would ask my children not to take toys to the living room and to keep it in the family room. Did it always work? No. But for the most part, they kept the majority of their belongings in the designated area.
2. Out of sight, out of mind. Something I did that worked well was to hide some of the toys. I literally swept up a bunch of their toys that had not been played with for a while, and stuffed them into a bin and hid them in the garage. After a few months, I would bring those toys back in and all of a sudden their faces would beam with excitement for finding a toy they never looked for! It was a mini Christmas really.
3. Organize into bins. I have learned to organize toys in large plastic bins with lids. I stow away some of the bins (like lego bins, art bins, or train bins which are especially hard to clean up). If they want a new bin, they have to clean up the old bin in exchange for the new one. This way you are not dealing with music toys, cars, dolls, etc. all at the same time. It also helps them to focus on one thing, and finish a task before moving on to another one. Rotating toys out this way also make it fun for the kids to explore their older toys again.
Hope this helps! And all that said, if you ever come over to my house unexpectedly expect to see the BEFORE picture. The AFTER picture only happens when I am super motivated and/or am expecting guests 😉
And if none of this works, well then resort to this: