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As promised – let's take a peek at my toy organization! It is NOT perfect, and that's ok. I take pride that my kids' toys are organized, and that fact alone gives me peace of mind.
Our frequently played with items are held in some organization bins that I got off of Amazon. I have purchased two sets because they are very sturdy, and I think the colors are adorable.
This may look a little chaotic to you – but we know every toy in each bin. We have the toys grouped by type; for instance, we have sea creatures, animals, musical instruments, tools, etc. I explain sorting by type more in-depth in our Toy Organization Boot Camp.
Daily Pick Up
I have attached some before and after pictures for you to reference. Yes – I clean up the toys every night. I can not go to sleep without them picked up (yeah, I know, I'm working on it). I have my kids help pick up and put away, as well as me and my husband.
Full Disclosure – if you look at my before pictures and think, “What? That is not a mess?!?!” just know that I've put the work in with my kids to avoid the giant messes that could occur. You can do this too.
Next, I'll show you the other areas we have for toy storage. We moved last year from a 6000 sq. ft home to a 3000 sq. ft home. While we still have a big house, we lost the playroom that we had before. So, our upstairs is kind of a play floor. Here is how I use our new spaces:
Nook Toy Storage
We have this small room that we call the nook. Before Christmas, it had folding tables and a toy box in it. But, my mom rocks and purchased us these shelves and cubbies. They are amazing!
In this room, we store items that are more crafty and aren't necessarily played with every day. Before having these shelves, all of our board games were in the hallway closet. Now, since they are on eye level and easily accessible, we play multiple board games a week.
Hot Wheels City
I think this space is intended to be a reading platform; however, we changed it to Hot Wheels City! The boys love climbing up and playing with all of the tracks, and I love that we have a space for all of the tracks. We occasionally get a track out to play with in the living room, but both of our kids know that we will have to put it back in Hot Wheels City when we are done.
Guest Room Closet
In our Guest Room Closet, we store all of the “mess-makers.” My FIL stays with us for the first part of the week for work, so my kids are not in the guest room every day. I take advantage of that and store all of our science kits, paint supplies, balls, play dough, and all of those “chaos-maker” toys. It's not that the boys don't play with them, but storing them a little further from their common playing area helps eliminate them wanting to play with them EVERY day.
In our Upstairs Closet, you will find all of our books. I love that all of our books are in one place, and the kids can easily access them! Also, I use storage containers in this closet to store games without a box, card games in Ziploc baggies, and a big bin at the bottom for all of our Hot Wheels Track pieces.
Exceptions to the Pick Up Rules
I talk about this briefly in the maintenance section of the Toy Organization Boot Camp, but there are times that I do not make the kids pick up the toys they got out. Say what?!? Yes! My kids love to line toys up or make big tracks around the house. They put a lot of effort into their “lines” (as they call them), and they like to race every car they have through the tracks. Because of this, we typically let them leave those items out for a day or two so that they can admire their hard work.
Here is an example of a “line” that the boys made in the guest room. We left it out for a couple of nights. Our boys know that when it is time to pick up if there is something they want to be left out, all they need to do is communicate it with us.
That's it! This is how I store our toys and maintain the organization from day to day. I try to put all of the frequently played with toys in a place with easy access, and I put all of the mess-makers and chaos-makers as far away as possible. I hope this is helpful for you. Please, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I hope you will participate in our Toy Organization Boot Camp, and let me know how it went!