E.B. asks from Rockwall, TX on June 26, 2009
Controlling Toy Clutter
Need ideas on keeping toys from 3 children from taking over my house. Some days I just want to pick them up and throw them away to get the clutter gone! Am I fighting a losing battle, or is there something I can do to maintain my sanity?
3 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Wow, everyone has great ideas. Reading all of them empowered me to make a small dent in the clutter yesterday, and we are going to IKEA today to find some storage solutions.
L.B. answers from Wichita Falls on June 28, 2009
When my children were younger, I would put about half their toys away in a box for about 6 months at a time. Then I would put those toys back into their toy box and take the other half. They often had multiples of toys, like 4 balls, 6 dolls, etc. so I would take out half at a time. When they got them back it was almost like Christmas for them and helped them to enjoy playing with them more without boredom setting in.
E.L. answers from Dallas on June 27, 2009
To help organize what goes where, take pics and tape them on the ends of the tubs or baskets. You can even make a game out of it... "Let's see if you can get all the trucks in to this tub and all the balls in to this one."
If everything has "a place" and is organized, you can then only allow each child to play with one tub full at a time. They will pick them up if you keep working on teaching them. Organization is a WONDERFUL skill to have! Might as well try to teach it early...
L.B. answers from Dallas on June 27, 2009
I am a Professional Organizer in the Richardson area. I would suggest that you containerize a certain group of toys for only a certain day. Monday legos, Tuesday army men, etc.
Can you tell I have boys...
Anywho, by doing this it does not allow your child to dump all the toys out at once and they really look forward to seeing a grouping of toys they haven't seen in a week.
You don't need to containerize each toy but just the small toys. Also you could label the containers Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and also by color and have your child learn colors and which day it is.....
I do hope that I have helped you .... one of our main goals at Get Organized! is family management. Giving moms ideas for not only how to get organized but to run their homes.
1 mom found this helpful
M.B. answers from Dallas on June 27, 2009
Hi! Kids do come with clutter! The thing is that you should be in charge of your stuff, not the other way around! I clean houses and I think one of the biggest reasons moms are so frustrated is that there is too much stuff! The most wonderful supermom in the world wouldn't be able to keep up with the amount of toys kids seem to have these days. It's like a plastic wonderland. I have done a couple things that work. One is I have storage bins inside my house and a set in my garage. When the kids want to play with something new, we rotate. If they want something big like train or our zoo, we trade for another big thing like race car track or our army set. (yes, we have 5 sons). Locked storage(or somewhere they can't get to ) works great for puzzles, marbles, games, play dough etc. Kids never carry around one puzzle piece or one potato head part. They like to play with a set. But if the toys are spreading all over and then get scooped up into a bin, you just get parts of fun. Also, it is sometimes me that has the bigger attachment to toys. Maybe I paid a lot them or they are educational...Having more toys out causes more dumping..causes more clean-up time...causes less family hang out time...causes more worry--where to store--how to organize--how to keep clean. We pay in the long run for having more. Kids also stop appreciating their things and taking care of them when there is too much. Just because you can fit them into the room doesn't mean we need to have it. I just went through our toys and had one of sons help me pick out his favorite 5 elephants and favorite hippos etc. We just had too much. I finally let go of more stuff i thought was great but they didn't care for. Our nightly clean-up time was cut in half. I had been telling them that we couldn't go buy a new toy with allowance because they weren't able to take care of what they had. After cleaning out, I could let them each buy one thing and we are still way ahead. I love to use over the door clear plastic shoe holders for the little "cool" things my boys collect. They find shells, BB pellets etc. They get little notebooks and whistles from parties. Of course I have to weed thiese out but they do ahve a place that they can be seen and found and run their course. This works great for hair do-dads and jewelry etc too. Call me if you want help! ###-###-####. Good luck!
1 mom found this helpful
M.C. answers from Dallas on June 27, 2009
A neighbor of mine places excess toys in a big bin (or two, or three) and stores them up in the attic. Then once a month she swaps them out for the current toys. That way, the kids always have something fresh and "new" to play with and the amount in the house is kept to a reasonable level.
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H.E. answers from Dallas on June 27, 2009
I have three kids also...we have night check before bedtime. Everyone participates in 15 minutes of clean up, helping the younger ones do their part. You go to bed and wake up with a clean house. Also, with trash bag in hand, sweep through the house about once a month throwing away happy meal toys, broken toys, etc. Best done when they are all gone. And, have baskets and open storage handy that little ones can easily access to put things away. This all worked for me. Hope it works for you.
B.P. answers from Dallas on June 27, 2009
You've received some really good ideas here. I'll add my 2 cents worth by saying I recommend giving each child a color. For instance, let's say you "assign" the oldest child the color blue. Get him a blue towel, his personal toys he does not have to share with the baby's go in blue bins, and all of his clothes go on blue hangers. This way when the toys are put up, he knows where his go. When you see the blue towel on the floor, you know exactly who left it there. When you are doing laundry, it's easy to put away clothes. You can carry it further by assigning him the blue sippy cups, or whatever. This works for alot of folks I talk to.
I am a professional organizer in Arlington, TX. My company is Organization Unlimited LLC, my number is ###-###-####. I have organized alot of homes with children. I would stress that less is more. This is especially true for children with Autism, ADD/ADHD, or exceptional intelligence. They are not stimulated by MORE, they are allowed to think for themselves with LESS. The creativity seems to thrive when they do not have to choose from dozens of toys, games, or puzzles, but rather only 2 or 3.
Let me know if I can help you on a professional level anytime. I can organize your files, bills, mounds of paper, those boxes hidden in the garage or a storage shed, as well as kitchen pantries, cabinets, kid's rooms, closets, garages, storage sheds, and professional offices, and on and on. My website is OrganizedByBecky.com. Thanks! B.
L.W. answers from Dallas on July 13, 2009
have a designated play area.
instruct the children if they do not pick up their toys by a certain time, you will confiscate them and they will not be returned... they will learn after a while that you mean business. oh and do the same thing with their bedroom... anything found out of place particular clothing... you will confiscate.
V.T. answers from Dallas on June 27, 2009
i try to stay organized as much as i can but the kids rooms and playroom stay pretty crazy. but i am pretty strick in our main living area so i don't go insane!! i have two girls 3 and 16 months. we have one wicker basket in our living room that all the toys that end up downstairs get's put into. every once in a while i will take it upstairs and put away the "upstairs" toys. i rotate out some books and toys that stay in the livingroom. it's good for when friends come over too. i also have a "no toys in the kitchen" rule. my main living area can really stay pretty neat and it doesn't take long to throw all of the toys into the one basket. i also try to keep the toys out of our master bedroom. i'm not as good at staying on that one. but i like for mine and my husband's space to be our space. when i notice the toys in there i will get them out and i very rarely let the girls play in there.
P.S. answers from Dallas on June 27, 2009
our girls are 8 and 4. We put into place a no toys in the living room rule about two years ago and it saved my sanity. The only exception is books and blocks. They both love to build and require the large open space in the living room for thier cities. They are stored in a small toy box behind dad's chair so they are out of site. For their rooms, we have shelves, drawers and our new wonderful find is under bed storage. The kids love to stuff things under their beds and now they can do it organized.