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10 Ways to Organize Toys

July 4, 2012

Do you feel like your house has been overrun by toys?  Does it look like you run a daycare out of your home?  If so, it’s time to take control of the toy clutter in your home! Check out these 10 different ways you can organize toys:

  1. Over-the-door shoe holders work well for organizing small toys.  There are many shoe organizers on the market, but you should lean toward the ones where the pockets are clear so that the toys or craft items can be seen at a glance.  If she can’t see what’s in the pockets then she will never play with those items.
  2. Use clear shoe boxes to organize like toys.  The point of using clear boxes is that it allows her to see what’s in each box so she won’t have to tear everything out to find something, or she won’t ignore it because she doesn’t know what’s in the box.  Organize similar items like matchbox cars, kid’s meal toys, blocks, and action figures by putting them into separate boxes.  Print out picture labels or word labels so that she can match the toy to the box it goes in.  This will also help during clean-up.
  3. Open baskets on the floor provide a place for bigger toys.  By placing baskets on the floor or near the floor they will be low enough for her to reach.  Label the baskets just like the shoe boxes so that she will know where to put away her toys.  Open baskets are roomy enough for dolls, doll clothes, stuffed animals, bigger plastic toys, and the like.  To get the baskets up off the floor you can hang a shelf about a foot off the floor and place the baskets there.  Try to avoid heavy toy boxes with lids that can smash little fingers. 
  4. Keep outside toys outside or in the garage.  By moving the bigger toys that kids can ride on or other outside toys to the garage you will free up a lot of space in her room.  Toys that fall into this category might be balls, hula hoops, roller skates, bike helmets, and ride-on toys.
  5. Bath toys belong in the bathroom.  Keep a limited number of bath toys in the bathroom, either in the tub itself or under the sink in a box.  Bathtub toys should be near the bathtub and not left all over the house.  If the toys aren’t close to the tub when it’s bath time they won’t get played with.
  6. Reduce the number of books on display.  Bookcases are great for storing books, but it’s very easy to pull out 20 books when trying to decide what story you want for bedtime and then not put them back.  By choosing 15 to 20 books and displaying them on a shelf where the front cover can be seen it will reduce the number of books that are out, and as you rotate through the books your child may see books they haven’t seen in a while.  There also won’t be an overwhelming decision of what to read that is common when there is a bookcase full of books.
  7. Get rid of what you don’t need.  While you are organizing be aware of toys that are no longer age appropriate, no longer played with, or are broken.  Donate or sell the toys that you can and trash the toys that are broken or have missing pieces.  There’s no reason to keep toys around if they aren’t being played with anymore.
  8. Put hooks on the wall.  Many things can be hung on the wall.  Dress up clothes can be hung on hooks.  Some toys with handles can be hung on the wall.  If it can go up on the wall that will ease the clutter on the floor.
  9. Use a toy hammock to corral stuffed animals.  Many times it’s hard for children to part with stuffed animals, especially ones they’ve had since infancy.  Choose a couple of favorites to stay on the bed and then put the rest to sleep in a hammock.  She can still see them, but they won’t be taking over her whole bed or end up all over the floor every morning.
  10. Stay organized by getting rid of one thing for everything that comes in. Don’t over buy toys.  Kids love simple things like paper and crayons, boxes, and tissue paper.  To avoid having too many toys again, make sure that for every new toy that comes in you get rid of an old toy.

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