Do you sometimes feel as though your child's toys are taking over the house? Do your kids constantly complain about not being able to find the toy they want in amongst the mess? Is pack up time a nightmare because nothing has its own place?
Getting toys sorted and organised into easy-to-follow systems is the best way to prevent toy clutter from building up in your home. Here are 15 must-follow rules for toy organisation, as well as some free organising labels to help you get your kids' toy collection under control!
The number 1 rule to keeping your child's toys organised is to categorize them. Not only does this help keep toys to a minimum (particularly if you don't have too many categories), but it also helps your children quickly find what they're looking for, and put things back where they belong. Baskets, tubs or containers that easily slide in and out are the best way to sort and separate different categories.
BONUS: Get your free toy organising labels below - choose one colour that suits your style best, or mix and match the different colours to get those toy categories organised!
2. Think 'outside the box' with storage ideas
Storing smaller toys can be difficult, and if your child has large collections (ie Lego, dolls, cars), it can sometimes feel like they're taking over the house! Think creatively about how to store these items so they are still easily accessible, on display if they're much-loved pieces, and taking up as little storage space as possible.
Clever ideas include magnetic strips (like the one I use to organise my knives in the kitchen) to store toy cars; thin shelves with Lego board attached to display Lego figurines; and a hanging sweater organiser inside a closet to store board games. Genius!
3. Separate parts
Those toy categories with lots of small parts can be organised to make play-time and pack-up an easy process, by separating the parts. A simple divided storage container (I used something similar to organise food storage containers) sorts trains and tracks. The Ikea Trofast system divides Lego by colour, and a hanging shoe organiser for action figurines make perfect storage options!
4. Contain the soft toys
Soft toys can be difficult to store because they tend to be quite large, and therefore take up a lot of storage space, even when squished down! Try using a hanging shoe organiser on the back of a door; hanging planter baskets on the wall; or [my favourite option as I showed you in our daughter's bedroom makeover] large wicker baskets so you can throw soft toys in to make packing up a breeze.
>> Want to learn how to make your family life run more smoothly through routines, productive habits and goal-setting? Discover the steps in part 5 of my online program 'Making Your Paper Work'. Find out more >>
5. Separate dolls' accessories by category
Barbies and dolls, and their accompanying accessories, are another category that's best organised by separating the various parts. Try sorting doll's shoes, food, furniture, dresses etc into labelled tubs to make them easy to find. A stacked tub system that slides in and out is a great option, and large picture labels make helpful visual aids for young children.
6. Befriend zippered pouches & ziplock bags!
If you haven't already discovered this trick, then you need to get onto it ASAP! Zippered pouches are an awesome way to get rid of bulky packaging, reduce storage space and contain items in an easy-to-use system. Zippered pouches can be used to store puzzles, learning games, craft supplies, notebooks, small toys, toys in the car... the options are endless!
7. Choose functional storage options that suit your style
Being organised doesn't have to look boring or ugly! In fact, fun storage solutions are the perfect way to integrate your own personal style with functionality. Try wicker baskets or painted crates, or DIY an existing piece to make it customizable for your needs and style.
8. Get creative with labels
Labels are integral for keeping on top of toy organisation, as they make it infinitely easier for your kids to find what they're after and help with pack up too! Labels on tubs and baskets can also be made to suit your style, with the choice of blackboard labels, iron-on transfers, label tape or simple cardboard labels. Picture labels with words are best for younger children as they learn their letters. Get your FREE label printables to organise your toys on the button below!
9. Try the Ikea Kallax unit for versatile and functional toy storage
The Ikea Kallax storage unit is a popular storage piece for families, as the separated compartments keep toys and books in easy-to-find categories. The flat top can also be used to display items or hold larger toys. These handy units can be placed inside a closet, or against the wall in a playroom or bedroom without taking up a huge amount of floor space.
10. Look for 'hidden' storage options
Lacking storage space? Aren't we all! Try thinking outside the box and looking for 'hidden' storage, such as the back of the bedroom door, inside a closet, under the bed, or on any available wall space. Attach hooks wherever you can, and add rollers to the bottom of tubs or crates to make items easier to access!
11. Hide the mess behind closed doors
Toys don't necessarily have to be out in a bedroom or playroom - if you are lucky enough to have extra cupboard or closet space, then you can easily tuck them away. Wide and deep shelves are best for holding large tubs, game boards and bulkier items. You could even remove cupboard doors to hide the toys, but still have them easily accessible.
12. Use clear storage pouches to contain smaller items
Clear pouches are a fairly easy DIY project, and can be customized to fit whatever you need to store. They are a great solution for holding all those 'bits and pieces' that may not have a defined category. Also perfect for blocks, Duplo or doll accessories!
13. Look for other storage options around the home
If you're lacking space in your child's bedroom, then try looking for other toy storage options around the home. A coffee table with drawers is useful, as is a storage ottoman where you can conceal the clutter by popping on the lid. If you have a spare kitchen cupboard, it's a great spot for holding craft supplies or board games.
14. Use large buckets or plastic tubs to sort outdoor toys
Outdoor toys are best stored in large plastic tubs or buckets, as the mess is contained, and they are quick and easy to clean. Store these tubs in the garage, shed or outside under cover, and add labels for kids to independently find what they're after.
15. Get the kids to help with pack-up!
The last must-follow rule for organising toys is to encourage your children to help pack them up! Set a 5 minute timer, and all pitch in to help. This is where labels will come handy, as your children can find each category easily and pop things back in place. If you find yourself constantly picking up small messes throughout the day, try using named buckets, baskets or tubs as a 'catch-all' for your family members' belongings that they can take back to their bedroom/playroom themselves.
Don't forget to click on the button below to download you free toy organising labels, with 4 different colours to choose from or mix-and-match. Stay tuned for Thursday's episode of The Organised You TV for a look at how I'm currently organising my kids' toys!
>> Want to learn how to make your family life run more smoothly through routines, productive habits and goal-setting? Discover the steps in part 5 of my online program 'Making Your Paper Work'. Find out more here >>