One question I hear often from parents with small children is how to keep their kid’s toys from constantly cluttering up their home. Little ones have lots of stuff and without a plan for staying organized their things can completely take over! Here are some ideas for keeping a tidy home while still letting your kids have fun.
1. Create storage areas – Whether it’s a toy box, shelves, cubbies, or just some bins sitting on the floor, assign the kid’s stuff a place and add storage so everything can be put away. Keep toys with lots of tiny pieces, such as Lego sets, board games, and puzzles, out of reach so you can limit how many of those are out at one time.
2. Set limits with storage space – Whatever storage system you have in place, limit their number of toys to what will comfortably fit there. So what do you do with the rest of their stuff? That’s where tip #3 comes in…
3. Try toy rotation – Kids easily get overwhelmed with too many toys to choose from, so limit the ones they can access at a given time. Keep a small number within reach and store the rest out of sight in a closet, basement, or garage. They will be more interested and engaged if they have fewer items on hand, and when they seem to be tiring of them, swap them out for some of the ones from storage. Toys will seem new and exciting if they haven’t seen them in a while.
4. Make the system easy – Help your kids put things away by creating an easy organizing system that they can follow. Open bins are great for grouping toys by category, and they can be easily stored on a shelf or in a cubby. Label containers using photos of their toys downloaded off the internet or simply snap a picture of all the contents, print, and adhere to the bin.
5. Cultivate a habit of picking up – Organizing and tidying are not skills we are born with, they are something we learn. Make clean up time part of your children’s routine – before meals or before bed, for example. This task is much more manageable with an easy storage system they can follow and a limited number of toys to be put away.
6. Purge regularly – Every few months go through your children’s toy collection and pull out anything that is broken or no longer of interest. Kids outgrow things quickly, so as you bring in new items be sure to get rid of the ones that are no longer developmentally appropriate. Introduce the concept of donating to those in need when they are old enough to understand, and get them involved in the process of selecting toys to give away.
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