We tend of think of fresh starts when a new year begins, so why not take that thought and apply it to your kiddo’s play space? Re-organizing your child’s toys, furniture, and storage can be a fun activity that sets a tidy tone to the new year! But we’ll be frank – things will likely get a lil’ messy in any case (they’re kids after all!), so we want to share some organizational tips and tricks that can help you quickly restore some tidiness and spend more time playing than cleaning.
Visibility & Accessibility
Instead of rummaging through closed bins and bags for your child’s favorite toy truck, go for storage space where toys are on display – such as cubby storage units, shelves, open bins, etc. And when it comes to accessibility, we have a wee trick. You can adjust the furniture to your kiddo’s age and height! If you have a cubby storage unit or an organizer like our Totes Tidy, place the unit or the bins flatly on the ground so that your little one can easily wobble to their toys and pull out their playmate for the day. When they grow taller, place the unit or bins vertically so that they can reach for their toys – just make sure to secure them to the wall! (Safety first, after all.) If you prefer to keep things neatly closed, then have removable labels handy – they’ll save you and your kiddo some time when searching for the right toy!
Small Toys, Small Bags
Open bins, cubby holes, or shelves are great for storing the bigger toys – but what about the tiny accessories that came with a doll or the puzzle pieces with no accompanying box? With clarity in mind, we suggest keeping those in clear and differently-sized zipper bags. Storing those tiny pieces and having them safely tucked away can prevent many feet-related ‘ouchies’ while walking around the house! Once sorted, you can keep these bags next to their related toys and craft supplies (i.e., doll with her tea set), or create a space that’s just for them. What you can also do to store the itty-bitty bits, is to use a clear shoe organizer! Hang it on the door of the playroom and pop the pieces into the little pouches.
Books come with a ton of benefits for little learners! They help children develop their language skills and expand their vocabulary. Books create a bond between kiddos and their parents. They spark the imagination and help little ones learn about the world around them, and so much more! So why not put all of that positivity on display in the play space? Create a mini children’s library that highlights the books, their fun titles, and their bright colors. Who knows, maybe keeping them front and center will inspire your children to develop a love of reading! You can even make the organizational process creative – and educational. When the library becomes a bit messy, organize the books alphabetically and give your child the opportunity to practice their ABCs at the same time! You can even add in some crafty fun into the experience by creating customized letters and sticking them next to the related section of books.
Kids snuggle with toys, play with them, take ‘em on adventures, and love certain ones so much that they often get a lil’ worn out or even break. Whether it’s all of that love or a simple accident, we suggest saying bye-bye to the toys that are unfortunately broken beyond repair. Not only do they take up extra space in the home, but broken toys can be unsafe to keep around. Before aiming for the bin however, we recommend double-checking if those toys are recyclable! Get in touch or (safely) visit your local recycling center to see if you can recycle the toy you’re looking to throw out. Might as well keep the planet happy while you’re organizing, right?
Giving & Donating
For the toys that your child has fallen out of love with or has grown out of, we say – donate! You can sort through your kid’s older toys and pick out the ones that were gently used and are still playable. You can either give them to a family that doesn’t have as many toys or consider giving it to a charity, a children’s hospital, a daycare center, etc. We also recommend going through this with your child! Not only will it introduce them to the process of re-organizing their space, but learning about giving and donating can teach them about the importance of generosity and empathy. So before walkin’ over to the recycling bin or the trash can, ask yourself: can this toy live a new life in the hands of another happy kiddo?
To get your kids enthusiastically involved in household chores and organization, turn cleaning into a fun activity! An easy way to boost the fun factor is to turn up some tunes and move ‘n’ groove as you organize – but you can take it a step further with pretend play. Fashion capes out of household items for you and your little ones, then pretend you’re all Clean-Up Superheroes whose mission is to save the house from clutter! Or make a game out of the chore – if you have more than one kid in the house, spark some friendly competition between siblings and challenge them to a race to see who cleans up a space quicker. You can also tell children that the floor is about to become lava and everything that’s on it (hello tons of toys) needs to be swiftly put away or else…
We hope that these ideas, tips, and tricks will guide you along the way as you and your family keep your kiddo’s play space spick and span!