Last year I experienced a big move. My husband, daughter and I packed our bags and relocated to Delaware. Before that I was living with my inlaws. My daughter was still small and didn’t require too much stuff. A crib, changing table, stuffed animals and basket filled with shakers and plush toys were all she needed. However, once we moved things changed quite drastically. My daughter turned 1, began walking, became more alert and all around more demanding! What’s more, we had much more space to hold all of our trinkets. On came the toy buying. Now, I have never been one to accumulate stuff. I’ve always shopped as consciously as I could, and usually ask myself this series of questions before making a purchase:
- What value will this add?
- Do I have a place for it?
- How can I store it?
- Do I already have anything fulfilling this purpose?
I used this same approach when buying my daughter’s toys and I recently found an article which resonated with me quite strongly. It’s called “Why I Got Rid of the Toys” and was featured by Today.com’s Parenting Team. This article details how to have a minimalist approach to toys, and has some truly fantastic suggestions. Here are some of the highlights from the article:
- “Kids learn through play”
- Minimalist toy structure promotes more successful “independent play”
- “Pick the right toys”
- Kids should be able to access toys easily and put them away just as easily
- It’s best to start with a bare space, and choose the right organizers for specific toys
- Consider a “one-in-one-out policy” (where kids can swap out an existing toy for a new one – in order to keep the toys to a minimal number (for example: 15 toys).
I love this approach (and all things minimalist, to be perfectly honest)! So I’ve come up with a list of my favorite toy organization ideas. Take a look:
Divide Up A Toy Chest
You can still make use of traditional toy chests, but first organizing your child’s toys into containers. It’s essential that the toys fit in nicely and are easy to take in and out as well. Another important step is to label each container clearly.
Use storage shelves and bins
Storage shelves are the more popular design choice for organizing children’s toys. They are low enough for a kid to reach and allow for easy access to the buckets. I love how these are labelled with pictures instead of words in order to accommodate toddlers and smaller children.
Plastic Storage Unit
This is an affordable way to organize toys by their categories. I like the close up on the labels here, which shows both pictures and words. These storage units can be found at Walmart or on Amazon.
Craft Supplies Ready & Available
Kids love to create, so make sure you organize some drawing and craft supplies ready and available for kids to use.
Over The Door Shoe Organizers
I use shoe organizers for all kinds of things, including cleaning supplies! It’s a great way to organize stuffed animals or other oversized toys. The best part is they fit snugly behind any closet door. The only downside to this is that portions of it may be high for kids to reach, which means they’ll need assistance.
Use A Magnetic Rack
Ikea’s magnetic knife rack is functional for many purposes! I specifically love the way it’s used in this picture to organize toy cars. If the magnet is strong enough it could also hold tin cans as organizers for things like lego or crayons. I like that this doesn’t take up any valuable shelf or closet space, simply fix it to your wall as a trendy design :).
How do you organize toys in your home or classroom?