Keeping kids organized is a job within itself, but you can help them out by keeping it simple and easy to do. First of all go through the toys and figure out if there are some items that the kids are no longer playing with. You can have the kids help you out with this. Remember to use some persuasion with them. Perhaps it’s a trade where they get rid of some things that they are tired of in exchange for something they pick out at the toy store.
I know with my kids not only do they seem to have an endless supply of toys, but they collect things that they want to make into toys. These include cereal boxes, gum wrappers, toilet paper rolls, and a pile of papers with half-started drawings just to mention a few. Have that Recycle bin handy, you will likely fill it up quickly.
Make sure you have easy ways for them to put their toys away. Grouping ‘like’ objects together is the best way to do this. All the dolls go together, all the stuffies go together. Things like Lego and polly dolls, cars & trucks, or building blocks can be stored in their own bins. If you have simple ways for them to put the toys away you will have bigger success with keeping the place tidy.
Organizing Tip: My girls have this wonderful doll house that they play with quite often. I purchased two plastic drawer sets I put them together so the doll house can sit on top of it. The house is off the floor for ease of playing, and they have two drawers under the house for the dolls, clothes, furniture, and the multitude of other bits that go with the house. – KB
If you have a craft area for them, keep the craft supplies close. One great thing to do is to take each craft and store it in it’s own bin. When the kids want to rubber stamp it’s one bin, if they want to paint it’s another. Keep them up high so they cannot just go in and start some of these messy crafts on their own. You control the use of one craft at a time. When they are finished painting, they clean the brushes and put everything back in the bin before they start the next project. Some craft items like pens, crayons, and standard items like that can be stored where they can reach them so they can colour, or cut paper on their own.
If you’ve designated a room for them as their play room make sure you have a place to display any of their masterpieces. You could install a nice big sheet of cork to pin up work. Or you can run strings along the walls to create a “clothesline” of work. Use bulldog clips to hang their work, and they can switch out old for new on their own. If you’ve given them the space really make it theirs.
Having a bin where they can easily stuff their dress-up clothes is great, or you could install a set of hooks on the wall so they can hang some of the costumes. Trying to get kids to hang up their dress up on hangers is tougher because it takes longer for them to do it, and it can be tricky for little ones. Remember to make it easy.
Organizing Tip: I love these hanging ‘condos’ that I get from Ikea. They are attached to the ceiling and kids can quickly fill them up with stuffies. We started calling them condos because they are like a little nest of houses for their friends. -KB