Does it feel like toys are taking over you home? Read our top tips below on how to reduce and organise your kids toys!
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The three key points to remember when you organise kids toys are:
- Less toys = less mess AND the research shows kids focus better and play more creatively
- Group similar toys together. For example, soft toys, noisy toys, puzzles, dress-ups, building toys, educational toys. Give each a particular place to live in your home.
Letting go of toys
The first step is to let go of any toys so you are just keeping those your kids to play with. You can limit the quantity of toys by:
- Discarding broken toys and toys with missing pieces etc.
- Donating toys that the kids have outgrown or no longer play with yet are still in good condition.
- Buying less toys. You could sign up to a subscription service where you return toys after a period of time.
- Asking family members to gift non-toy presents for birthdays and holidays. For example, vouchers for experiences as a family like a trip to the theatre.
- Storing toys away to bring out on rotation.
- Downsizing the number of items in a set. For example, if you have a baby or toddle, you won’t need all 50 blocks that come with a set. Reduce the amount to 20. Put those in a basket and store and donate the rest.
If possible (and depending on their age), involve your kids in the decision-making as early on as possible. This is a great opportunity for them to learn how to make decisions about their belongings. It does take patience and time but it is well worth the effort! Explain the benefits of letting go of items to make room for the toys they really love. They can also learn about charity and donating unwanted toys which are still in good condition.
Asking kids to help
Ask your kids to find toys they have outgrown or don’t enjoy playing with. Mix it up and then ask them to find their absolutely favourite toys. Try to keep your emotions out of it and focus on listening to what they really enjoy playing with! Kids are often a lot better at this decision-making process than adults! There will undoubtedly be educational toys which you want your kids to keep (and they don’t!). You therefore may need to override their decisions sometimes but this will show you which toys you may need to play with them to help them enjoy!
Once you know which toys are being kept, group similar toys together. This will help you to see how much space is needed to store these. Depending on the size and layout of your home, use toy storage options in your kids’ bedroom, general living areas or a separate playroom.
Soft but sturdy baskets are a simple toy storage solution which can still look stylish. These are great for storing baby items, soft toys, and chunky toys. Baskets can be used in your living room, playroom or kids’ bedrooms. Without lids, they make it easy to tip the contents out when kids want to play. They are also easy for kids to put toys back into when it is time to tidy up. There are lots of different sizes and styles out there. This stripey basket and star patterned basket are a couple of our favourites.
One of our favourite toy storage ideas is simple cube shelving. Store large toys and books directly on the shelves and smaller toys can be stored in the storage boxes you choose.
The Kallax units are great - place horizontally on their side so that toys and books are at eye level and accessible for younger children. As kids get older, move them to stand vertically prolonging their use in your home. They come in a variety of sizes. There are lots of options for storing books along with toys. For example, this Homecho cabinet has space for books and large toys above and then open containers below, which make it great for kids to be able to play with lego, blocks and other smaller toys.
With all furniture to organise kids toys, remember safety first and fix any furniture to the wall that could possibly topple over onto your children.
There are lots of different kinds of boxes to help with organising kids toys. "Really Useful" boxes are great for storing toys together and can be slid under a bed or kept in a cupboard. You can also use these boxes to store toys which you are rotating on higher shelves away from little ones! This patterned toy storage box is a great way to keep fancy dress or soft toys stored away. With the variety of patterns available, there is sure to be one that your kid loves.
For lego, these small Really Useful boxes or Lego box are great if your kid really likes these organised. Alternatively, use a selection of Variera boxes. Measure spaces before deciding what to buy to ensure you can buy boxes and containers which best fit the space.
4. Arts and crafts
We love this rolling trolley for kids schoolwork and stationery and arts and crafts. It keeps these items all together and organised. You can just roll the trolley up to where they are working and clear up surfaces easily afterwards. Store this in the kitchen, playroom or cupboard and roll out when needed. Just a note - trolleys do work better on hard floor surfaces than carpets.
We also like these storage boxes to group similar arts and crafts items together and store on shelves. They have handles making it easy to grab and pull out whichever box you need. For small craft items e.g. beads or stationery, these small Really Useful boxes are again very handy!
For homework and school work, this handy desk organiser makes it easy to store stationery and workbooks. You can store it away and then easily bring it out to where they work e.g. your kitchen table.
Once you have decided how to organise kids toys, label containers! This helps your kids know where specific toys live. It will also make the tidying away routine much easier because your kids will know where to put their toys.
Use age appropriate labels. Pictures are great for younger kids (you can print from online images). Use word labels once your kids are reading. You can use both if you have kids of different reading ages. We love a DYMO label maker for its use in labelling items all around the house. We have to warn you though it is quite addictive!
Need a helping hand?
We hope that helps you to organise your kids toys! If you need a hand, find and book one of our amazing team of organisers to help you here: https://www.declutterondemand.com/organisers/.