I’m excited to show you my toy management system today. Like my clothing storage system, I am displaying my OCD tendencies for all to see. But that’s ok–all the organization makes me happy 🙂
For starters, just like our clothes, I limit pretty severely the number of toys my kids have. I am also a toy snob: I love high-quality toys that are beautiful, durable, and functional. I really do not like toys that make noise, have mechanical parts, and need batteries. I have been blessed with parents and in-laws who always ask me before buying toys for the kids.
With the exception of a few big items, like our dollhouse, toy kitchen, and big bag of building blocks, most of our toys live in the basement. Everything has it’s own bin, and the kids are only allowed to have one bin up at a time. If they want to switch out toys, they can put away whatever’s currently out, and get something else. Down here, we have dolls and clothes, dress-ups, 2 boxes of puzzles, a toy train, magnet dolls, potato heads, zoo animals, toy figurines, and Wedgits. All legos and toy cars live in my oldest son’s room.
For storage of other items, we do a couple different things. Our kids books and games live on a shelf where the kids can always get to them. I never want to limit my kids’ access to books and games, so they’re always around. Art supplies live in a couple drawers in our dining room. The kids can use them almost any time, but they always have to ask me first.
We also have some items that I would consider more educational than play-oriented. I often use these items for “school time” with my littlest ones, so they have a bag where they keep these items, together with the rest of our school stuff.
These past few days, the girls have been fascinated with our puzzles. They have been in a basement for probably a year, and then suddenly, the girls could not get enough of them. They have been bringing up all the puzzles, and putting them all together, lining them up on the floor in what I have deemed “The Puzzle Gallery.” When they tire of these, they’ll probably go back to dress-ups and dolls, but I love how having only one toy out at a time allows them to focus on and enjoy that particular toy. I also love how it limits the toy-mess in the living room. I want the kids to learn that the living room is a room for adults to enjoy, as well as children, and that by keeping the clutter under control, hopefully we’re conveying that message.
I’d love to hear how toy organization works in your house!