If you have kids, you know how easy it is for their toys to take over. The toys seem to find their way in every room and make space look so messed up. Being a mother of three, I had literally given up on having an organized home. Clean, yes, but organized? I was afraid I no longer had the privilege to decide that on my own, apparently, my kids had a lot to say about it. It seemed to be such a thankless thing to do because every time I cleaned and organized my kid’s stuff, they ‘miraculously’ got back to how they were. And no, it didn’t take twenty-four hours. I didn’t think I had the energy to wake up another morning just to clean and organize those toys again.
Every morning I kept thinking, ‘what a waste of my time. This was totally not part of the bargain. No more toys for them’. But you, of course, know how the story ends. I knew to keep their toys, from the word go, wasn’t going to work. As a matter of fact, toys are very helpful for your kid’s growth. Plus they are the reason you can finish up on that movie, therefore, totally eliminating them is not even an option. I had to look for ways to get them organized and still maintain my sanity. If you are trying to handle your kids’ toys, then you have found the right place. Here are ways you can cleverly manage and organize your children’s toys.
Communicate With Your Kids
Kids are smarter than what most of us credit them for. Communicating your values to your kids is essential. Start as early as when they can get the sense of what you are saying. Teaching them discipline is too important to leave to chance. Yet it is surprising how many parents fail to accept this responsibility (no judgment intended). You can start by letting them know where they should keep their toys after playing or the places around the house where toys are banned. You can also tell them how much stuff they need, to prevent buying too much. Don’t forget to communicate the rationale behind your decision so that your kids may not just see it as a limitation on their freedom. Plus taking some soft measures if they disobey. You might seem too strict to your kids but instilling certain values in them goes a long way in their future life. Anyway, you must be the adult because after all is said and done, who will do the cleaning? Yeah, not them. So you might as well be a little selfish and love yourself.
Create a Storage Space
A good storage system is key in maintaining order for your kids’ toys. You will need to first come up with a storage system and this can be a large storage shelf that is simple and quite inexpensive to build. Then collect all the toys and categorize them to know what goes where. Decorative baskets and bins have always done the trick, remember to label them. For instance, you can designate a space for puzzle and board games on top of the shelf to prevent them from getting lost. Books are good for the kids but can also very easily get out of control, therefore, they also have a small bookshelf where they can retrieve a book one at a time. After you have stored them in a smart and organized fashion, you can rotate them to keep them fresh.
Have a Place For Everything
This is the best way of taking care of clutter. When every toy has its place, it is much easier for kids to tidy up when they are finished playing. With this, they won’t have any excuse if a toy is found misplaced. If some of the toys are habitually never in their place, it means it needs to move on because they don’t care enough for it to take a few seconds and place it back. It might be hard to cultivate this habit, but gradually they will get the hang of it. Cleaning the space will be so much easier and you might even find yourself doing it more frequently.
Assess and Donate
Toys, just like clothes, are age-specific and kids will grow out of some when the time comes. That is why it is important to assess your kids’ toys. Look out for the ones that they have outgrown and those which they simply don’t play with frequently. You can then donate them or sell them at a children’s consignment store as long as they are in good condition. If your kids are old enough, they can help you pick on the ones they no longer need.
Regulate How You Buy
Most kids have many toys, mine included (which I have no idea how they accumulated in the first place). And if you are reading this, chances are you are a victim too. To prevent turning your house into a toy shop, regulate what you buy. This will be made easier by having an idea of what you want for your kids and what they enjoy doing. You’d rather spend money on a few but quality toys than many simple toys that they are likely not to play with at all.
Involve The Kids In Cleaning
I know we’d rather do the cleaning ourselves but by now you know when it comes to their toys, they must get involved. It’s their possession and needs to be responsible for them. Involve them in the process of organizing their toys. Let them have a say as to what goes where. Help the kids be aware of what they possess.
The Bottom Line
As parents, due to the love and the need we feel to satisfy our kids, we might be tempted to overwhelm them with toys. If you have the storage space and makes you feel good, buy as many toys as you want for your kid. But at least don’t give it all to them at the same time. No kid has ever played with so much at the same time.