Organizing Toys and Children's Stuff!

Updated on December 29, 2008
C.L. asks from Rochester, MI
10 answers

I have an almost 2 year old and I feel like I'm continually trying to figure out how to organize his toys. How do you organize the toys so things don't get too cluttered and your kids can find and play with toys they like? Do you rotate the toys on a regular basis.. if so.. how do you store them?

I'm looking forward to some ideas. I'm up to buying some cheapish organizational system... but don't want to spend much money.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the ideas! Yeah! We went to IKEA yesterday and it seemed the most reasonable solution was 2 toy chests $15 each and 4 square and smallish tupperware bins with lids. Today I went through all of his toys and organized them.. some will get donated or put away and the rest are organized.. I think it'll be a work in progress, but it'll help.. : )

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M.S.

answers from Detroit on

I lined my son's playroom with 3 feet tall wood shelves.
That way he can reach everything. The shelves all contain clear bins so he can see what's inside. I really don't rotate anything because he seems to play with all his toys and he can tell in a moment if something is gone.
I like having everything stored on the shelves that way it
leaves the floor wide open to create his fire rescue scenes,
contruction sites, race tracks, castles out of blocks, etc.
You can find shleves very reasonable at IKEA, Walmart, Target. I got my at Art Van in the clearance section. I just love them. It keeps everything up off the floor.
The biggest thing with shelves is to find ones deep enough.
Most are around 11" - 12" deep. I like the ones I have because the are 14 " deep and it can hold bigger bins.
I love being organized and I can tell my son likes that he can always find his things in the same place.
Good Luck.
M.

1 mom found this helpful

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F.W.

answers from Detroit on

With 3 children, the little toys were driving me crazy, so I bought one of thse organizer shelves with bins in it. You can put pictures of what goes where on each bin, such aa crayons, markers, etc. Because I kept toys and just handed them down, to each one, I also bought inexpensive shelving that was free standing, like cubbies, and put the board games,etc. in those. The big key, is just not to overbuy. I also used big inexpensive tubs that will hold everything, but found that it was too disorganized for them to find their stuff that way. If I wanted to rotate, or put toys away that I wanted to'wean' them off of, I kept thenm on shelves in the basement, where they were soon forgotten.

1 mom found this helpful
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S.H.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I went to Meijer when they had 18 qt clear storage totes w/ white lids on sale for $2.50 and bought 20 of them. 1/2 stay on shelves in the boys closet and the other 1/2 stay in the basement as storage. I rotate them when I feel like the ones in the closet aren't being touched. If, by the second rotation, the toys still aren't being used, I take them back down to "storage" and empty the bin for the spring garage sale and/or put the baby toys into a 20 gallon container until the next one comes along. I have about 8 bins empty right now that are ready for new Christmas presents!

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B.D.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I have room toys, and playroom toys. My child knows if I find the toys crossing rooms, I'll take them away; I started this when my child was 1 1/2, but was pretty lax on it until she got the idea. I bought a toy bin/bucket organizer off of craigs list for $15, they are $60 in the store. I would recommend buying used, it's not worth full price. I put that in her room and I don't care what toy goes in what bucket, as long as they are all in a bucket before bed. She loves to dump all the buckets out and makes a complete mess and it will stay that way all day, however, before bed she has to pick up. For the living room, aka our play room, I just bought a big plastic storage tub. Nothing fancy, but it works. All the toys go in the tub at the end of the night. Again, she will dumb it in the morning, but she knows anything that doesn't get picked up, mom takes. It took a couple of months to get to this point, but she is almost 3 now and I don't have to help her pick up. Her brother who is 1 1/2 is getting the idea now too. The plastic tubs are less than $10 at Meijers, so if you need two, it's still not that much. Or you could get a red and green one, they are on major clearnance right now for Christmas. Good luck and happy organizing!

PS. I like using plastic stuff because it is sturdy and doesn't break easily...I went through a couple of baskets and clothe bins before I switched to plastic ;)

1 mom found this helpful
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B.B.

answers from Detroit on

I went to Walmart and got a bunch of 21 quart (i think) storage totes. We have a girl and 2 boys so we have
Barbie tote containing all barbies clothes, shoes and any other stuff pertaining to barbies that fits. Wooden blocks tote, Lego blocks tote, cars and trucks tote, polly pocket tote, baby toys tote,(I put this one away when baby gets too old for them), Musical instrument tote, doll house stuff and people tote, an odd and end toys tote (mainly animals from noahs ark sets and zoo sets) and train track tote.
The totes are see thru so the kids can pick on and push it over to me to open. The lids are a bit hard to open for them and that gives me the oppertunity to say " Gotta pick up all those BEFORE I open this one"
On a personal note I don't like anything that doesn't have lids. Those bin shelves you can get are great for small stuff but allow unlimited access which allows unlimited messes and HUGE messes if your out of the room for more than 3 minutes.

The only toys I sorta rotate are the stuffed animals. But there are also some that I just donate to goodwill. We don't have enough storage space to truly rotate all the kids toys.

Not only do the kids play with the toys regularly since they can see what is in the totes, but they also use the totes full of toys to help them build play forts and other games. So I guess I store my kids toys IN some more of their toys. lol They love stacking them and climbing on them too...

1 mom found this helpful

K.B.

answers from Grand Rapids on

We use plastic storage bins - one for cars, one for leggos, one for trains, etc. That way he always knows where to look for his stuff. Well... as long as he put it away in the right one!

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A.H.

answers from Detroit on

I run a daycare and I have found the best way to organize toys is I take a picture of the toys in each bin and attach it to the outside of the bin. Then the kids (and my husband!) know where the toys are and where to put them back. I bought colorful boxes for the little toys (Little People, etc) and hung them on nails on the wall. That way they are up and not constantly spilled out on the floor!

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K.T.

answers from Detroit on

Hi C.,
My name is K....and I love to organize!!!....so much so that I started my own company which is called
'Finally Organized'....you can reach me via email at [email protected]____.com to the fact that today is 'Christ'mas -- I'm taking a few days off, however....I would love to chat with you and share some ideas.
The first suggestion I have for you: make sure that the toys you currently have out for your son to play with are 'age appropriate'....ie...he is too old for rattles and the like now...so those items can be washed and packed away in a clear plastic storage bin, labeled on the outside of the contents and packed away for the additional kiddos or just visitng small nieces and nephews. ;-)
I look forward to chatting with you. Enjoy your son, they are little for such a short time.
Sincerly, ~K. T~

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L.D.

answers from Kalamazoo on

Hi, C.! I save all of our 5-qt. ice cream pails and lids. They are great (and cheap) for all kinds of storage ideas. As far as toys (boy, can they pile up!), I rotate toys by the season it is..winter, summer, etc. I keep the rest in bins or ice cream pails. If the kids show no interest in certain toys at all, I donate them. Also, to help keep toys in control..if they receive toys for their birthdays, Christmas, etc., then they need to donate "old" toys.

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A.R.

answers from Boise on

I love the IKEA toy storage stuff for kids, with the bins that slide in and out. They come in different sizes and colors - I find my son (he is 3) has an easy time getting the toys in and out of the bins. You can also buy extras and lids. This is what I have used and I rotate the toys, they are already prepped for storage in a closet or basement or garage as they are in boxes that are easily stacked and have lids. I find that rotating every 3-5 months works well (longer in the summer, shorter in the winter, at least in our house). Good luck!

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