So, a while ago I was asking my son, J, to clean up his toys that he had dumped all over the living room. As he continued to ignore my requests, I uttered the phrase I never thought I would say “Well, if you aren’t going to take care of your toys, then I will give them away to kids who will.” At which he replied, “Okay. I have more toys upstairs anyways.” Two days later and not a single toy from the bins that were removed has been asked for. Hmmm, I think we can reduce what we have and reduce how much I have to clean up.
Okay, let’s simplify. Let’s make clean up time faster so we have more time for play. Sounds like a Living 31:27 sorta thing.
1. The majority of the books and toys are in one central place. We have a large room that we have designated as the play room. All of the Cars toys are kept in J’s room plus he has a small selection of favourite books and each kid has a small basket near the kitchen.
2. All of the miscellaneous toys without a matching set are removed. If something was asked for within the week, it was returned. Everything was either tossed or given away.
3. Toys that are of the same set are put into their own large Ziploc bag. I used Ziploc bags because I had them within easy reach. I will change to small bins when our youngest gets on the move.
4. Toys that are too large are set out on display in cubbies.
We encourage that when you take one book or toy set out, you put the other ones back in.
Ways that you could “up” this organizational method might include labelling the bags/bins. To make it easy for your preschooler to put the toys in the correct container, you might need to include pictures of what goes in. You could take a picture of the set and stick it to the container or include in the bag.
This has definitely minimized our cleanup time. It makes it very easy for J to to help. The toys are getting a lot of great playtime. When friends come over, they might dump out all of the bags but within a few minutes order can be restored since everything has a home.
Checkout these other links for getting your kids’ stuff organized: