When I organized the toys at our house recently, I followed a simple plan of organization that I’ve followed for all organization projects over the years.
1. Pull it all out.
I pulled out toys that we have stashed in the living room and the nursery to get a good idea of the types of toys and quantities of toys that we have.
2. Purge baby, purge
I got rid of anything that my kids don’t absolutely love and put other items that they’ve outgrown in the attic so that future little ones can play with them.
3. Prepare to shop
I measured my spaces, determined what units I would need, how many bins I would want, and even what colors I preferred. Even in my daughter’s room, we chose to only use green and white bins so that the bins could be swapped and rearranged as needed over the years.
This is the fun part! Last week, I shared about how I decided what to purchase. Now you have to know that I’m super cheap, so it has taken me several years and three kids to finally decide that I needed a better system. The old method of organizing (using those small clear plastic boxes) was no longer working and at some point, you might need to spend a little money to get your home super organized and functioning in a more streamlined manner. That’s what I was desperate for.
For me, actually organizing it all is the best part. There are few things I love more than sorting and labeling boxes and bins. I know that makes me weird, but it’s completely true.
And now’s the fun part where you get to see what’s under the bed. In older homes like ours, we make sure that every inch of space is utilized as best as possible.
We had to get rid of the bookcase that was in this room to make room for a toddler bed for my 2 year old. But I could not bear the thought of not having books in my boys’ room. The solution? Books under the bed and books in bins next to the storage unit. It adds a messier look to the room, but it’s worth it for the sake of literacy. I believe in having children’s books all over the house for us to enjoy.
Books in bins
Books under the bed
What else is under the bed? Puzzles
and extra blankets.
Then there’s my favorite part, the Ikea Trofast System and the bins themselves. As I said the other day on Instagram, “Ikea, if loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.”
I splurged and spent an extra $6 on labels to go with the bins. It came with two large sheets of printouts with pictures of various toys like the ball you see here.
You can draw your own pictures on blank labels if needed. My daughter tried to draw a picture of Little People. I think this is supposed to be a person and a lion, but I’m really not sure. Either way, my kids know that the bottom bin is for the Little People sets while the Little People themselves belong in the tray above it. I didn’t want them to have to dump out the entire bin to reach Noah or a farmer at the bottom of the large bin.
If you recall my laundry room organization project, then you know I love, love, love my label maker. It makes life so much easier. I used it here because I wanted there to be no doubt where things belong, for both adults and kiddos.
That’s how we got the toys up off the floor and into a more organized system. Next Wednesday, we’ll wrap up this series with a discussion of toy rotating, and I’ll show you how I do it. But remember, this is real life organizing, not Pinterest Perfect. And I’m cool with that if you are.