Use these simple tips to keep toys organized at home, even if you have a toddler with tons of toys like me!
I have a 3-year-old boy. He likes toys. And all the little bitty toys we as parents hate, he loves them. Cars, and tiny animal figurines, and superheroes, you name it and we have about a million of them at our house.
Granted, it’s probably my fault because every time we go to Michaels, he got t pick out a prize and it was always a half-price bucket of tiny little animals. And I go to Michaels a lot.
For the past three years, my house has been overrun with toys so for spring cleaning this year, I decided to take my house back and get organized. I’ve been using these five tips and it’s actually working. Toys are organized, put away, and can be found when my son wants them. It’s kind of amazing.
Five Tips to Keep Toys Organized
1 – Have a Designated Place for Toys
Whether it’s a toy box, a shelf with bins for toys, or a closet with buckets — have a place where toys go when your kids are done playing with them. Kids are just we like we are and if we have somewhere specific to put something, it’s more likely to actually get put there. I learned that little tidbit from The Life-Changing Habit of Tidying Up.
We have one of those big IKEA square storage things with a bunch of buckets in it. Above each bucket is a label for what goes in that space. The bottom shelf is for things that my son helps put away — toys, books, shoes, etc. The other ones are for our stuff like photo props, office supplies, tablecloths, cords, and more.
2 – Organize and store by type of toy.
Once they’re organized, put the toys into buckets, bags, or something else that allows you to divide by category. It’s much easier to just dump out a bin of superheroes when you’re looking for Robin than it is to dump out the entire toy box to find him on the bottom.
We use bins inside of a storage shelf to store toys that K is currently playing with. And inside those bins, individual toys have their own bags. Cars have a plastic zipper bag, animals have a bag, superheroes have a bag, and so on. He’s allowed to get out one or two bags at a time and once he’s done with a bag, we clean it up and put it back in the bin and get a new one, if he wants. So much easier that way.
3 – Label. All. The. Things.
I got this awesome new Epson LW-600P label printer that is so much better than the old school type where you have to type everything directly onto the label maker. This one connects via BlueTooth to your computer or even your phone so you can create labels using an app. It literally took me ten minutes to download the app and print out labels for all of our bags of toys, bins, and shelves!
TIP: If you have a toddler or younger child like me, use pictures along with the words. The label maker has a bunch of different built-in options for pictures you can add to the label with the app. Like I added a fun little car to his cars and trucks bag and a kid taking a bath to the bath toys. Now he doesn’t need to be able to read; he can just look at the picture and know which toys go in which bag.
Best of all, the Epson LW-600P is currently on sale for 25% off if you buy it here and use discount code LW25SAV! Seriously one of my favorite new toys, and I can’t wait to use it for everything from labeling outfits for our upcoming Disney World vacation to adding labels to my pantry canisters. It’s really pretty sweet.
4 – Label and bag individual sets.
I swear we are always missing a puzzle piece. Or missing one of the Paw Patrol dogs. Or one piece of a board game. And a piece of my sanity after my son gets to the end of a puzzle and we don’t have the final piece.
Don’t leave all of those things in with all of the regular toys. If it comes in a set, keep it together as a set and give it its own separate bag or bin. Our Paw Patrol toys all go in one bag. Jake and the Neverland Pirates go in another. Etc. You’ll be glad you did, especially if you one up the bag with a nifty label using the Epson LW-600P!
5 – Don’t Keep Out All Your Toys at Once
If your family is anything like ours, we have more toys than we have space. I’ve found a way around this by putting seasonal or special occasion toys in a plastic bucket that I keep in a closet upstairs. Water toys don’t need to be in the regular toy box.
I also keep a bucket full of fun but time-consuming or mom dependent toys in buckets labeled rainy day toys. Those toys only come out on rainy days or days that we are going to be inside playing together the majority of the day. This also includes things like board games, crafts, and complicated puzzles that he’ll need me right there with him every step of the way. They may come out on sunny days as well, but it’ll be when I choose to get them out.
TIP: Kids tend to like toys that they haven’t seen a while a lot more than the ones they play with every day. If you really have too many play everyday toys, you could even just put a part of them in a bucket and rotate them each week to keep them fresh and fun!
So those are my tips and tricks for how we keep toys organized at our house. What tips would you add? What works for you?