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October 22, 2011

Mama Loves: Organization!

In hindsight, I'm a bit ashamed to admit it's taken us so long to get an organizational system in place for the girls' toys.

We had places in the den / playroom for certain things...balls, stuffed toys, books...and I try to rotate toys in and out so there are never too many there at once. Still, there seemed to be quite a heap of toys at any one time.

A couple of weeks ago I bought a small storage bin shelving unit. After the girls were in bed, I assembled it and organized their toys.

They squealed with glee upon seeing it the following morning.

After a little tweaking, our bins are organized as follows:

- vehicles
- blocks and balls
- musical toys
- stacking toys
- electronic toys
- shapes
- other plastic toys
- puppets
- soft toys
- books (3)

We still have some toys that don't fit in the bin -- like our building blocks and a few larger balls -- but they have their own places.

I've seen other families label bins to help their children remember what belongs where, and I think it's a great idea...a picture of books / balls / trucks / etc. Since we have a few "miscellaneous" bins [like soft toys], though, I'm not quite sure how I'd capture the contents with a picture.

Nonetheless, I've been so pleased how quickly the girls learned what toys belong in which bin.

Further, they've done a much, much better job at keeping their toys organized. I encourage them to take out only a few things at once, and return them to the bins when they're finished playing. It doesn't always work that way...but sometimes it does!

And the girls seem to be more engaged in clean-up, too, knowing everything has a place.

I wish we had an actual playroom to house all the girls' things, but this system at least makes the den a little more liveable for us as a family.

I'm linking up again today with Julia for her "Mama Loves" series. It's a great way to see what works for other families!


Marcia (123 blog) said...

LOVE it!

I've got to take some pics of ours tomorrow so I can put up a post next week as that was one of the questions.

On the bright side (for you), I got the ribbon pics done today so that will go up probably Monday.

And guess what? I almost can't believe it myself but............. I finished Aug photos :)

Now I'm motivated to finish up Sept.

I'm so tired of being behind :)

PJ said...

This is definitely on my "to do" list. I love that the bins are tilted so they can see what is in the containers. Otherwise, I'd get clear containers. As a teacher, I can say that labeling bins with pictures is a HUGE help, even with 2nd graders!

I'm also thinking about getting a bookshelf for my girls' enormous amount of board books. I'm looking for one that is shaped like a dollhouse, so that it can double as a dollhouse later.

Do your girls have their own chairs? We're also thinking about that - like those Pottery Barn kid chairs, or maybe the knockoff type at Target.

We have those Old Navy pajamas with the monkeys too! Love them!

Jill said...

We have something similar and we love it. My girls have tons of little things like Littlest Pet Shop and Strawberry Shortcake toys and it's perfect for those.

Jayme said...

A friend of mine took photos of her kid's room after she perfectly cleaned and organized it & hung it on the wall in the room so her child can look at it while picking up and have a visual reference of where stuff goes.

Julia said...

Your shelving unit made me breathe a happy sigh. I love it! We totally need something like that! Could you share where you purchased it?

Our current "organization" involves a book shelf, and then a huge canvas toy bag we got from Pottery Barn Kids. I love the bag, but it makes it hard for the girls to find what they're looking for. Often, they empty its entire contents to look for "the" toy they had to have. Of course they have to pick up after themselves, which they do willingly, but still---the process of emptying EVERYTHING makes such a cluttered mess!

Anonymous said...

this is awesome :) we have our toys in our 4 foot square ottoman storage container. i just reorganized it all yesterday: blocks/puzzles, soft toys, themed toys, misc. we have a shelf for kids books. definitely need to keep the kid stuff accessible, but still needs to be under control :)

great job, mama!

championm2000 said...

I love it! You know how excited I get about organization!

We definitely need something like this. We have all the downstairs toys in a big plastic bin. The babies have started climbing into it, and it's only a matter of time before one of them comes tumbling out!

Maybe a Christmas gift idea...

Thanks for sharing!

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

Looooooooooooove this!!! I saw this at a store near me and thought it would be perfect. Now I just have to get rid of more crap to make room!