The Southern Glamper: How to Keep Toys from Taking Over Your Small House

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How to Keep Toys from Taking Over Your Small House

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tiny people take up a lot of space!  When we had a baby, we cleaned out entire rooms (2 bedrooms to be exact) to make room for one person.  Four years later, I feel like I'm starting to climb out from all of the clutter.  And that is a full time job!

I read and article last year about rotating out your child's toys for play.  It is amazing how many toys are never used at home.  Our son has toys that he plays with and forgets as they become buried in a pile or lost in a toy bin.  

After Christmas this year, I cleaned out all of the toys and reorganized everything.  I have sorted everything into boxes, bins and baskets to help us keep things organized.  I organized things like:
  • Wooden cars/toys 
  • Remote control cars 
  • Duplo blocks
  • Hot wheels
  • Other cars (we have a lot of cars)
  • Puzzles
  • Singular items that don't have to be grouped
  • Stuffed animals
Most of the toys all went into his bedroom and are organized around the room on shelves.  




However, I do leave some toys in the living room for play.  Our four year old wants to play in the places were we are and isn't really into playing in his room by himself.  So, I have a shelf in our living room just for his toys.  It is on the bottom shelf and is at his level for reaching.  



Each week, these toys change.  I take the toys from his living room toy stash and take them back to his room.  I fill that shelf back up in the living room with different toys.  And put the ones from the previous week away in his room.  Sure he can play with any of the toys.  But, he has something new out in the living room each week to play with.  

This week, he is enjoying some cars and wooden blocks that he hasn't played with in a long time.  And it is like getting new toys every week because I'm rotating things out.  

Parents could do this in a play room too.  Just change out what is at eye level or that spot where kids gravitate towards.  And put new or different toys in that spot each week.  This way every toy gets a little play.  Children enjoy their toys more and encourages creativity.  And, if your child wants something that has moved, then he or she can look for it or ask for it.  

This has been a good thing for me to.  It helps me to keep everything organized on a regular basis because things are moving.  I don't let them get stacked up and trampled over into an unorganized mess.

Before I started this, I found that all of my baskets and boxes were so scrambled up after a few weeks that it would take an entire afternoon to sort it all out.  I was overrun with toys, and our house is too small for that.  

For parents that really like to organize or have readers, label boxes and bins to encourage kids to put them in the correct location.  This is a great pre-reading skill.  Parents will discover by doing this, kids will start to recognize the word blocks or legos after a while by associating the word with the object/toys in the container.

I've had a Brother P-Touch PT-D210 Label Maker for a while and it is great!  I have easy self adhesive labels for lots of things!  Type in your label, print and stick!  Easy to read standard text.  When you are done, just take it off and start over!

There are a lot of creative ways to organize toys.  I have found boxes, baskets and containers from all sorts of places.  TJ Maxx has lots of nice looking and creative storage options.  I'm also a big fan of measuring spaces and locating nice neat plastic storage containers.  Finally, Etsy has great shops that make fabric baskets that coordinate with decor.  I have a mixture of all of this.  This fits my decorating style.

I've found that organization and having an actual plan is a key component of parenting.  Then, you have to follow through.  I like the idea of flying by the seat of my pants on some things, but it can't always be that way and survive.  I feel like we have routine and structure that we can all live with this way.  Everyone knows what is expected and anticipates that.


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