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10 Tips for Tackling the Toy Monster

September 28, 2010

Several of you asked for playroom and toy storage ideas, and Amy Volk of Simplified Living has some terrific solutions for you!

First, here’s a happy playroom she designed:

Here are Amy’s tips for “Tackling the Toy Monster”:

  1. Use the “one-toy-out-at-a-time” rule:  If you get another toy out, the current one must be put away.
  2. Every toy must have a place to live or it won’t get put away.  Kids won’t know how to clean up when they don’t have places to put their toys or containers to put them in.
  3. Use containers like pocket shoe organizers, plastic drawers, collapsible crates, under the bed bins, & fun, bright colored buckets to containerize.
  4. Containers for toys should be small enough that the littlest hands can pick them up.  Look for clear plastic with lids that have handles.
  5. Label each container.  Example would be all Hot Wheels go in one container and is labeled “CARS”.
  6. When buying new toys have kids decide which two current toys can be donated to someone.  This can also apply to birthday and Christmas gifts-give away less used toys to make room for new.
  7. Don’t over organize!  It’s better to have broader categories like “Barbies” rather than separate containers for Barbie clothes, Barbie furniture and Barbie dolls.
  8. Fewer categories makes it easier to clean up!
  9. Every few months have your kids do a Purge Party.  Put on music, dance while you decide what toys no one is playing with any longer. Put them in a pile to donate, and then celebrate with popcorn and ice cream!  Make it fun to give away!
  10. When using shelves to organize toys, put the most often used toys on the bottom.  On the top shelves keep the toys that you want them to ask you for-like puzzles, games, or complicated toys.

Amy, thanks so much for your help!

What are you doing? What works for you?

What are you going to work on?

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  1. Jenny Hout

      on September 28, 2010 11:15 am

    I’m drooling! Amy come to my house!!!!


  2. Sarah

      on September 28, 2010 5:18 pm

    I like those high shelves! (And I hope they are bolted to the wall…) I hope we can work towards more categorization as my boys get older but right now the fastest thing for us clean-up wise is to have three or four broad categories and then we all make it our goal to get everything up off the floor. Put it in a bin, on a shelf, just put it away somewhere!!


  3. Whitney

      on September 30, 2010 6:44 pm

    Wow! My system includes shoving everything in a cabinet and crossing fingers it doesn’t fall out when opened.


  4. Christina D

      on October 1, 2010 10:55 am

    Thanks for these tips! My house is being overrun by toys.


  5. K

      on May 23, 2013 8:49 pm

    Hi, can you share where you purchased the tall white shelving units & the desk in the middle? Also, where were the blue & red bins purchased? Thanks!


  6. Cathy

      on July 3, 2013 12:13 pm

    To K:
    The blue and Red bins are from Target as I have same bins for my son.
    I have a feeling the shelving might be from same, Target as they have quite a few organizers similiar to the ones shown here. It looks like it may be 2 pieces.


  7. Cathy

      on July 3, 2013 12:35 pm

    I would be interested to know too where the white shelving unit was purchased with white cubes.. it is very nice the structure of it and how it is beveled on top
    Can you email me the information ?


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