Question of the day- Tuesday

Question of the day- Tuesday

Ever feel like you have a burning home decor question, a need for advice? This is just the place for that. I am not a professional, by any means. But, I can google search things like no one’s business. I also am fortunate enough to have all of you, here, on my social media accounts that can offer up their own advice to questions asked. I am also friends with a lot of other DIYers and home decor obsessed peeps with blogs, I know a guy… . So if something stumps me I can turn to them for advice. What I am trying to say is I may not be perfectly qualified to give advice on my own, but with all of my other networks I can handle some questions from you all. If you have a question, need advice, a second opinion on paint colors, whatever email me at emilye1@gmail.com.

Today’s question comes from a reader on Facebook, no blog to promote. She just has a burning desire for organization….

“What’s your favorite way to keep the kiddo’s toys 


organized? This is a constant struggle in our house!





My biggest piece of advice is to first purge any old toy’s. Go through and make sure there is no baby rattles for your no longer baby; littles. Make sure all toy’s are working, not broken and have all pieces necessary for them to play with it. Be sure to either have a rummage sale to make a few bucks off of those old toy’s (the baby ones, not the broken ones) or donate the toy’s. Once that is done you have a clean slate and you know what you are working with as far as toy amount.

The next trick up my sleeve is to become a magician. Now you see them, now you don’t kind of thing. I have no visible toy’s in my main living areas. But, if you pull out a box under my coffee table you see there is puzzles and what not. I made this box, which you can see here.

 

Finding ways to camouflage the toy’s is key to have your house feel like a place where adults can be. Making sure it is not just decorated in Disney toy’s and small LEGO pieces. With my kids being 7, 5 and 4 they are old enough to have the majority of their toy’s in their rooms.  But things like puzzles I keep an eye on for my own sanity’s sake. Having a few boxes hidden under furniture, a tall table, in a ottoman when you have babies are a way to keep the smaller toy’s put away and hidden when not playing.

Baskets, baskets everywhere. Bins, containers, whatever you want to call it. Get a ton. If you have a lot and think you don’t need anymore.. buy two more. Remember when Oprah gave away a car to every member in her audience? Chant like she did to all of the toy’s “You get a basket, and you get a basket, everyone gets a basket!!!!!!” It makes it more fun and like you have all the power, similar to Oprah.

I got these stripe bins from Target, or as I call it “Tar-jay”. Buy ’em and fill ’em. Easy peasy. I do have them organized with particular things in each one. This helps for clean up time. Everything has a place. My boy’s are organizing superstars. Caleb especially likes that each toy has a spot, and he is obsessive about finding and keeping that spot right. Him and I can drool over organization posts on Pinterest. He gets it.

 

These hanging car-like boxes I found at Goodwill. I have no clue where you could get some like this. However, a good DIYer could whip these up pretty easily. I am a DIYer to the extreme, but stumbled on these and loved them. We have all of our kids books in our study, but we get stragglers that make their way into the boy’s bedroom. So this is the spot they go. Eventually we sift through them and put them back in their original home.

This is Nora’s room. We did something a little different for her. I had this chest of drawers that I repainted and put some perfectly pink glass handles on. There are no clothes in here, just toys. It is a towering toy storage solution. These are supposed to be organized according to size and play type. For example, fairies in the fairy drawer, Lalaloopsy’s in the particular drawer. Nora however, is a mess. She is a crazy, made scientist type that has constant messy hair, too many ideas, and not enough time in the day. She does not have any time for putting the correct doll in the correct drawer. The beauty of this set up is, it does not matter. She can stuff to her hearts content and no one is any wiser. Once the drawer is shut it is out of sight out of mind. She deals with the onslaught of mess when looking for something. But, that is her deal. I have washed my hands of the lack of organization situation.

 

 

This is a little bin I purchased. It sits in the dining room and is the home to our library books. If anyone has kids who read, they know that library books have a tendency to get lost in the shuffle of life. Library fines are no joke. Take it from me, who had to pay $13 one time because I forgot a book was missing in our home. For a few weeks. So now we have a rule. Put the books in here, read them in the living room and then put them back. This is in another whole room from where the rest of our children’s books are. To keep cross contamination to a minimum.

 

I also write on the front how many books we have and when they are due. This is a older picture, all of these books have been turned in. Just FYI.
I have a bin for hats that sits right by the front door. It is not toy’s specifically. But kids come with a lot of “stuff” and things like hats get lost. A lot. My kids may not have the red hair like my husband, but my two boy’s got the pale and pink skin from him. We are always at a sun burn alert level high. On vacation both boy’s got a sun burnt scalp. That was fun when it was peeling and their hair looked like they were festering the biggest home to lice ever. It was just peeling scalp skin. Lesson learned, wear a hat anytime they are outside. Also, never google head lice and look at the images. I am now scarred for life and my head itches all the time. Paranoid? Yep, it was a dark day I googled that.
I cannot talk about organization without my art supply closet organizing post. I purchased these bins from Home Depot. The green means go. My kids can crate to their hearts content with the items in these bins. Yellow means slow your roll. Ask and make sure they can play it. Red means stop, you will lose a finger if touched. Ok, they won’t actually lose a finger. We use the items in these bins frequently, they just need adult supervision and set up. This organization system has worked so well. My kids chant the rules and abide by them. Did I mention I have pretty amazing kids? The beauty of this art supply area is the closet door gets shut and it is not seen. Yay for closets!

Talking about organization without mention our huge organization station in the laundry room would just be wrong. I have a big time reveal coming soon. I am talking really soon, tomorrow to be exact! This houses papers, back packs, and anything school related. It is not toy’s either, but kids and their “stuff” show up everywhere. Staying on top of the mess and clutter is key to having these little people you call your children not overtake your home. Says me, the woman that rearranged her laundry room to make space for my kids and their “stuff” Nope, don;t let the kids overtake your home.

Having a place for my kids to be creative has been a huge thing in our home. Before we had this art table the kids crayons, and other art supplies would be all over the house. There was no home for them. I also never let them use them because I knew it would become attack of the crayons. This place still gets crazy messy. But when clean up time happens, everything ends up in it’s correct place because it all has a place to go. That is really important, for you and your kids. If you know where it goes it is easier to clean up. We have all done the moving of the pile of stuff from room to room because you do not know where to put it.
Just to show you, mess happens in my home all the time. I am pretty sure my kids were afflicted with a weird stomach bug that makes them throw up glitter. They would never make this mess intentionally. Not my kids.

We have this wonderful space off of our kitchen. It is designed to be a breakfast room. But it is literal steps away from our dining room. We do not need two tables in such close proximity. Finding a space that works for you and your family to have kids be kids is important. It can be a bedroom, play room, nook in a hallway, one corner of the living room. Let them have at it (within reason). As my kids have gotten older the space for them has changed. We did have a massive playroom in the basement for all of the big toy’s they had. Now they are into lego, car’s, small dolls, books, and art. So the needs for my kids and family have changed. This room lets them do a few of those things. I may let my kids have free range of most art supplies, but I do not need to be put on a parental suicide watch. The art supplies are in the center of our home. Where I can see the mess made and step in when things are getting out of hand. Which never happens, they simply just get the art supply mess stomach bug. Weird affliction.

I hope I gave you all some ideas to organize for your kids. It is all about finding that balance of making the home work for them and you. No one wants to banish their kids to their room all the time. But no one wants the shelves in their living room to be decorated with the gang from Toy Story either. Hiding, every place has a home, and “You get a basket, you get a basket.” seems to work wonders for me, my kids and our home.

What are some things you do in your home to control the kid’s toy clutter? How many baskets do you have in your home? Be honest….

 

20 Comments

  1. OMG yes I am the basket QUEEN! I have more baskets than I know what to do with but it honestly saves my house. It makes things so easy. I am in LOVE with your green yellow red basket idea, that is pure genius and I'm stealing it once Elliott gets a bit older :)))

    • I am basket crazy too and always have to just "look" when I am at a store. The color system for the art supplies has been a life saver for my kids and they really love and grasp the idea. Even my to younger ones that do not read yet understand the system flawlessly.

  2. Also can't wait for the laundry room reveal!!

  3. We really try our best to "cycle out" the toys so that they're not all in the living room at once, and so that she doesn't get sick of them all at once. I've got 3 big open baskets in the living room and other hidden storage compartments (ottomans, etc) 🙂

    • I cycled out toys when I had smaller kids, they were so excited to see the toys that they forgot about. I love hiding toys in things that work for home decorating. Bringing the function into things.

  4. I cannot handle you! You said that your kids threw up glitter that is too much and exactly what looks like happened. I am so happy you shared that picture because I was thinking that maybe your kids do not make messes. Glad to see it is not just me and my little ones.

  5. It's hilarious that I came upon your blog today. I'm sitting in our kitchen / dining room surrounded by empty baskets, bins, tins, boxes, etc, all waiting to be filled. I brought them down last night, planning to start organizing the mess that is our downstairs, but to no avail!
    Thanks for so many good ideas. I have a couple ideas about where I can start organizing today! 🙂
    (Oh and just an FYI, there are lots of little typos in your post… "toy's" instead of "toys," etc. Sorry if I'm being pedantic! I guess the English major in me will never die, haha.)

    • I hope you get to use all of those bins for what you planned. I am glad you found this helpful. I will look into the small typos, sometimes I see them and sometimes I am just trying to rush and get the post done. Thanks for looking out.

  6. great tips! I do not have the kids yet but I gonna share this with my friend who has – I am sure she'll appreciate your tips 🙂

  7. You can never have enough baskets imo. 🙂
    Thanks for the tips 🙂

  8. I love this post! I don't have kids yet , but when I do this will be sooo helpful! I adore that little craft corner you have for the kids! So cute! Your pics are great!

    Danielle Greco
    AccordingtoD.com

  9. Baskets on baskets on baskets! Love it! I also really love your creative space! So important for kiddos!

  10. Awesome post! I do the same in my home and everyone always asks, where's the mess with 3 kids?! I have just started a blog and love yours!
    http://Www.gracehomelove.wordpress.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *