InPursuit

{Organizing Toys and Artwork, Part 1}

Good morning, ya’ll!!!! I am so excited you decided to stop by today! It is always such a treat to get to chat with you and share some of the ideas that have help to transform the face of our home and our lives period. You’re probably wondering how a {Junk drawer egg crate}, a {meal plan}, or a {cleaning schedule} (all things we’ve talked about here on {In Pursuit}) have changed our lives… and for those who don’t give a hoot, I’m gonna tell you anyway {smile}…

Simple changes around our home have made things functional, less chaotic, and frankly- much more enjoyable. Setting order has allowed us to enjoy our home, our family (and our things) in ways we were not able to before. And so, without further delay, the reason why you came here….

{Organizing Toys and Artwork}

What a challenge. Birthday after birthday, holiday after holiday, school project after school project- the piles of toys and artwork keep coming in. Even with our house fire last year where ALL the toys had to be thrown out, my kids have manged to increase their ‘fun pile’ quite drastically!

What’s a mom to do? You can’t possibly get rid of it all. What would your kids have left to play with. You can’t just throw away their precious artwork, even if you can’t really tell that it’s a butterfly (hey- it looked like a cloud to me!!!).

I’ve seen some wonderful ideas out there on getting those toys and artwork under control, but today let me share with you what’s working for us.

Do you remember the challenges I had in my daughter’s room?

{Challenges}

  • Cluttered and disorganized closet.
  • Toys scattered all over the room. No real space for play.
  • Empty walls

We already saw how we de-cluttered and organized the closet (click {here} if you missed it). So let’s move right on to the toys.

{FIRST THINGS FIRST}

You must sort through the items. We set up three piles:

  1. To keep
  2. To donate
  3. To throw away

I handed my daughter a basket filled with toys and books. Her job was to decide which she really wanted to keep and which she wanted to donate. I, of course, would go through those piles making sure that she wasn’t getting rid of anything important or giving away things that were broken.

I must prepare you—-> Kids are not too happy about giving their toys away, even if they haven’t played with them in a year. This simple act of involvement helped my daughter feel more empowered about giving away toys. By the end of the clean up she was saying, “well, maybe I can give this to someone who doesn’t have any fun toys to play with…” aaaahhhhh, music to a mom’s ear!

So- sort, sort, sort. And by the way… it does get messier before it gets better!

Once you’re finished sorting, it is so easy to begin grouping together and putting away.

I took Chai’annes bookshelf and turned it on its side… why not? Who says I have to stick to the rules? I turned it sideways and my husband is going to add small chains to the side to hold the doors in place. Chai’anne loves it! She thinks it’s a horse stable to fit her animals {smile}.

When you open up the door, it leaves three cubbies.

I was able to perfectly fit baskets in the cubbies to catch her ‘princess skirts’ and random toys. In the middle, we neatly stacked game boards and legos.

Placing the bookshelf on its side gave me a big shelf on which I was able to display Chai’anne’s books and puzzles. I used three serving trays I had found at Target about a year ago ($1 each) to help keep the books neatly lined up.

We had two of these shelves so I did the same thing to the other shelf (laid it on its side) and on top of it lined up some canvas baskets  ($1 from the Dollar Tree). Then we group items in the baskets.

BARBIE STUFF

KITCHEN AND BABY DOLL STUFF

HAIR STUFF

Then we used two big plastic bins on wheels we had purchased at IKEA last year for about $5 each and we put all her dolls in one and her dress up dresses, backpack and purses in the other. It’s amazing all that we can fit in these bins!

Alright so let’s look back at my challenge list:

{Challenges}

  • Cluttered and disorganized closet.
  • Toys scattered all over the room. No real space for play.
  • Empty walls

Ahhhh, I feel better already!

The problem with Chai’anne’s old set up was that the toys were everywhere. Every part of her room had a place for toys. For a 4-year-old, that’s just too much work. It’s much easier for them to put their toys where they want. By putting all of her toys along one wall, it opened up much more play room and she is much more apt to put her things away in their proper place.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be expensive. We used baskets and bins that she already had, we just found ways that worked better for us right now. In a month or two or three, I might just flip those bookcases back upright… but for now, I am quite pleased with how they are functioning.

I hope you were able to grab some ideas to help organize the toys in your own home. Whatever you do, do something! Children get quite overwhelmed when their items are all over the place. It is very difficult for them to enjoy creative play when they can’t find anything. Finding a place for everything is not simply to help relieve your OCD, it actually:

  • helps teach responsibility.
  • encourages creative play.
  • encourages structure and organization.

{I DIDN’T FORGET ABOUT THE ARTWORK}

You’ll have to join me next time for the big reveal on how we organize artwork in a fun an inexpensive way! Let the organization continue!!!!

{SO HOW ABOUT YOU?}

Got any organizing tips and tricks up your sleeve? I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a comment and let me know how you do it. Or send me an email and pics for a chance to be a featured guest!

© 2016 Darlene Collazo | {In Pursuit} My Quest

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