Cleaning Up: Tips and Tricks for Toy Clutter

After 6 years of parenting my fellas you would think that I have had a break through in the organizing department, I am in fact still wrangling this bull. Its a constant uphill battle to firstly keep the things in the places I put them for longer than a day; secondly keeping the said container in tact long enough to get some use out of it. I don’t know if any of you have a boy or more than one at that but they are not typically the most organized and tend to make a bit of a mess of things. Some how your hard work that work you spent so long on organizing & perfecting because by nature you want things to look nice and that shouldn’t be an unrealistic goal to say the least; its just that some how little boys can take it apart faster than a blink of the eye. They don’t see hard work they see oh what fun has mom made for me today! It’s more of a challenge or obstacle standing in the way of whatever goal their little minds have set.

Do you have any tips for organizing little boys/kids rooms?

(while keeping your sanity intact)

Yes, even though what I have done is always trial and error the older they get. For instance what works for one kid may not work for the other and what works for them at certain ages more than likely will change as they get older. I will note that I have currently just given up on keeping their clothes in the same room that they sleep in. Why? Well its messy and chaotic and it seems that no matter where or how I organize my little mommy heart out they sweep through like a huge storm then instantly you can’t tell what was worked so very hard on. Like it didn’t take 2-3 hours to make it all nice.
While clothes are a huge failure on my part; toys are a whole other beautiful ballgame! Toy organization is just as chaotic as clothing storage and organization. There is just as much junk that gets piled up and it may take the cake in clutter win of the week. Toys are either big and bulky or little sharks lying in wait to cut the most sensitive part of your foot, that part which you don’t really have a clue exists until you step on that small little thing. There is a big misconception in our parenting midst which is that legos’ are not the only small toy to wreak havoc on our poor shoe-less feet; this is the punch line to every tv commercial ever created ” but wait there’s more”!
You get the gist.

How do you make that ugly toy mess disappear even for a hot second?

  • One way is to allow each child to pick up to 5 toys out to play with for what ever timeline you have decided; (per day, week, or even month) What will this do? Well besides the 5 that has been chosen this includes little small cars too, all the others will be stashed away in a secret location your children will not find. Then after the time period set as mentioned above will bring forth the ability for your children to swap out those 5 toys for 5 new ones for the next period of time. If you have more than one kid this number of 5 could decrease depending on whether they will be allowed to play with each others toys and the fact that more kids the more 5 is multiplied so maybe set a lower number per kid. It would be the child equivalent of a fun surprise like getting a gift. They more than likely do not have every toy memorized so it would be new to them after a while if done for a little longer than a week. It will be something fun that they can look forward to and your sanity will be spared at least for a while because there will be less clutter hanging around!
  • Now if your kids are on the younger side a good organization tool for toys and books is to put them up off of the ground or maybe in a specific room that is kept up on organizing. And then you would simply just exchange the toys as you get new ones out or down to be played with allowing them to stay organized treating it like checking a book out. This would also be a great tool to help them understand picking up after their-selves and could help them enjoy a clutter free life style someday.
  • Try color coding containers for the types of toys that go into them. You can buy color coded bins at the dollar tree or just about any store like it. You would make it almost like a game for the younger ones. And to really up the ante make it into a reward system with stickers for the younger ones & maybe something like extra TV or gaming time for bigger kids. The idea is to get them into the habit of picking up after themselves and once that routine is formed they will more than likely continue to do it. A little fun fact about little kids they love stickers. They are like kid gold. They can be used in so many different scenarios. Its the bigger kids you will really have to sway with a bigger treat and you get to decide what that is. When labeling try putting pictures of what goes into each on each container for younger kids. They are usually visual learners.
  • This next tip isn’t organizing for your home more organizing to get rid of or donate to just simply de-clutter. It isn’t just about getting rid of extra toys it can also be a way to teach about giving and being selfless. Kids love to help with just about anything. They want to make you proud of them and to be reassured it makes them feel good inside. Asking them to give up some of their toys or simply telling them that is the plan will give them an assignment if you will to help you out the best that they can do. So grab a box or more and gather up the toys sorting out the ones with a lot more life left in them and trash. I think it is obvious not to give away trashy or broken toys. Then ask the child or children simple questions like do you play with this one? Or even give them a number of toys that they are allowed to keep each and the rest goes into the box. Now keep in mind that the more children you have that number may need to decrease to keep one of the goals of de-cluttering in sight. The other part to this donation thing is to explain that by giving up something that they once loved and played with, they are giving someone else the chance to play with them. You will want to keep it simple for the younger crowd as they tend to have shorter attention spans. Make it fun. For instance tell them they are giving someone else a gift. Now I wouldn’t have them give up precious keepsakes unless that’s your thing of course…

I have spilled the beans on how to keep the mess at bay even if its just for a little while. You now have the ideas that will give your feet a well needed vacation from all of that pain and who knows you just might sleep better too!

If you have any tips/tricks in this department that you would like to share leave a comment below. As always thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next post!