Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Toy Storage

So... how do you store your toys?

Our plan, up until now, was to stuff everything into tubs, and store the tubs in E's walk-in closet. Then I would proclaim, loudly, that only ONE (1) tub was allowed out at any given time. If you wanted to get out a new tub, the old tub needed to be filled and put away.

And then everyone ignored me.

Advice? Ideas? I'm planning a *shhh* giant toy purge *shhh* this weekend, and would like the hopefully small number of toys left after the purge to be stored in a way that works better for our family.

Whatcha got?

6 comments:

Stacey said...

I do the same thing!!! Toy tubs. This spring I went through all my kids rooms (toys) and told them that we will be needing room for when they get toys at Christmas and their Birthdays. My kids didn't mind picking a few of their favs and allowing me to put the rest in garbage bags in the basement. From time to time I take them to the Salvation Army. Right now I have 16 garbage bags in my basement, however most are mine... Little by little we get rid of the bags, keeping things that may be memorable to them when they get older, or collector items. No one ever says a word or even asks where this or that is.. It works for us....
My brother allows three to five toys and puts the rest completely away. He says I never have a mess. However he has only one child!!! Good Luck!!
P.S. I always let my kids know that we are only packing them away not throwing them away. On most occassions they forget about the old toys.

LeeAnn said...

I used to change around how we stored the toys about every six months it seemed. We used to live 3 miles from Ikea, so you can imagine I had every plastic bucket and container imaginable.

We have four kids and so plenty of toys. Right now what is working for us is having all three girls share one bedroom (the eldest had her own room previously) and turn the "spare" bedroom into a playroom. We don't have a family room and I try to limit toys in the living room.

So in this playroom, I have their toys stored in three dressers, which used to hold their clothing. The two younger girls didn't really take care of their clothing well, so I purged their clothes to the minimum and moved them to my room in a spare dresser. The oldest hangs her clothes in the shared bedroom.

The dressers work best for toys out of all the things we've tried. Plastic buckets lose their lids. Or the kids forget which little doohickey goes in what container. We put big child-made labels on each dresser drawer. When you close it, the room looks nicer. They also have a table and chairs in there for crafts and the occasional snack.

We have two drawers of Playmobil, one for Groovy Girls, one for Barbie and so on. We also have the expensive and breakable American Girl stuff stored in their boxes up on the top shelf of the closet. There's a dresser with smaller drawers in the closet for smaller collections of Littlest Pet Shops and so on. The closets all have their doors removed to make it easier to get things, but I did hang nice curtains to hide any clutter.

So much stuff--but they are getting older and wanting less and thankfully receiving less plastic junk every year from family & friends.

My 2 year old son has trucks and trains and some bigger noisy stuff that I keep downstairs in a toy organizer (free to me!) in the closet under the stairs. If it doesn't fit in there, I don't keep it. It's his little toy room.

Then there are the nice toys we keep in an attractive basket or two in the living room for him, like the wooden train set from Ikea.

Purge, purge, purge! Before about age 7 my kids were reluctant to let anything go, but after that, they realize the more they get rid of the less they have to clean up.

The best advice I have is to only keep the amount of stuff that actually fits into the space you have right now. It's easier to purge when you limit the amount of space you are setting aside for toy storage, as opposed to asking your child how much they want to keep and then figuring out spaces to put it all.

Jamie said...

Toys are the blight of my existence! I go in at least once a week to each bedroom (two little girls in one room, teen and 8 year girl in another and boy in the 3rd room) and clean like a mad woman. This includes throwing away any little toys that I find (such as dollar tree junk Grandma sends home with them, etc...) and clearing out all the papers they accumulate. Then I store all the toys in small tubs. The rule is only one tub out at a time, which seldom actually works. I have made a common area in the living room which consists of the play kitchen and doll house. Since its in the living room where we see it, it gets cleaned up before they walk away. I also designated a kitchen cabinet for all the arts and crafts stuff (and we have a lot of it) This is an adult only access cabinet. If they want something out, we must get it and put it back for them. I also have all the games stored in a similar cabinet in my master bath. I am in search of stuffed animal storage that will be inexpensive (such as nets or corner chains) as I have not yet managed to corral them. Under the bed drawers and wire cubes in the closet help a lot as well, with books, dress up clothes and the little tubs. Our sons room was spiffed up with a metal loft bed we found at a second hand store for $30, then we spent another $10 on bolts and a board for the desk section. Really frees up space and makes things more organized. Now I am on a mission to find more for the other rooms.

Similar to Leeann, we are going to try making one girl room into a sleeping room... where we have two sets of bunk beds and the dressers/clothing. We would then use the smallest bedroom for all the toys. This would get all of them out of my living room and hopefully make things more organized. Now I just need to find bargain bunks or lofts!

-looksgoodinpolkadots.wordpress.com

Lindsey J said...

Shelves with canvas bins work the best for our son. He also has matching shelves with doors for his books. I'll email you a link to pictures. :)

zdoodlebub said...

Great ideas in the comments, many that I have implemented as well. As kids get bigger, the toys get smaller and havemanymorepiecesohmahgah so we've transitioned from big tubs to a lot of the 4-quart clear rectangle containers with white lids from Target. They are stacked on bookshelves. They are all labeled. K'Nex, "little people and creatures," Legos, Bionicles and so forth. Obviously, we have boy toys, but I think little girls stuff is even worse with the tinyness.
Dinos and Transformers are in still in bigger wicker baskets on the floor. I purge seasonally, but not behind their backs (too much) because I think they need to somewhat give permission and also be aware of the need to get rid of stuff. We want to teach them the joys of simple living, right? They've come to realize that it is not a choice. We've also overcome the drama of letting things go because they've learned that they still have LOTS of things to play with than are usually more fun that the older stuff we are getting rid of.

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