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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

WFMW - Kids, Toys, and Storage - Oh my!

If you have small kids and you're anything like me, you probably have issues with toy storage and clutter. I've tried just about everything known to man to keep the plethora of kid toys from overtaking my house in a tidal wave of red, yellow and blue plastic. There are Fisher Price Weebles under the couch, lego blocks stacked all over the bookcase, and hot wheels in every corner of the living room.

I used to use some pretty bad parenting tactics to get my kids to clean their messes up, but I've discovered three things that have really helped me out:

1.) I bought one of these so the kids could keep their toys sorted and in sight. (no digging through the toy box to find a specific toy)

2.) I go through their toys about once a month and throw away weed out all the McDonald's toys and the other little "tschotke" type toys they have.

3.) We do two clean ups a day - once right before naptime and all the toys are picked up in a quick spree and then again at bedtime. All toys not returned to their rightful place go in a "Special Box" in the top of mom and dad's closet, not to be seen for a long time. Usually, they are forgotten after a couple of weeks and when they are brought down again, it's like Christmas all over again.

This is what has worked for me. I have found that even my youngest at two is more than able to clean up after herself if she is required to. I like to think I am teaching them responsibility and accountability for their things and hopefully, those things they are trained to do now they will not depart from when they grow older. Sound familiar?

Head on over to Shannon's for more Works for Me Wednesday tips!

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Sarah @ Ordinary Days said...

This is a great tip. I always wait for garage sale time to get rid of all the toy meal toys and the like. I love the idea of tossing them once a month! That would cut down on the clutter so much. :)

Kathy said...

Great ideas, thanks! The twice daily pickup is so important in our house. Thanks for the tips!

Jill said...

Great tips. I need to get one of those storage containers

peppylady said...

I recall had to put things in the shed a few times because the boys wouldn't take care of there toys.

Thanks for visiting my blog

Mari said...

Sounds like a great way to keep things in some semblance of order! My youngest is 19, so I don't have that kind of clutter to clean anymore. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Corrie said...

Great tip. I have also instituted a Toy library before. They have to check in the previously played with toy bin before they can check out another.

Kristen said...

Those are some great ideas and ones that I have every intention of implementing! My toy situation is so out of control; it's depressing!

I wanted to thank you for coming to my blog and offering your prayers and support for my pregnancy with my twins. I'm going to update as often as I can.

Just wanted you to know I appreciate you coming by.

Gift of Green said...

Thanks, Karen for stopping by my blog and for the tips on keeping toys from taking over! I need to start insisting that my children help pick-up, so I'm not left doing it when I could be, I! That's what I! :)

Anonymous said...

We use a few toy boxes and also some bins like you mention in (1). To solve the "digging through the toy box" problem and also to reduce the cleanup and sorting after playgroup enthusiastically dumps the bin contents all over the floor, we keep like-toys grouped together in zippered mesh toy bags from

We also rotate toys monthly, since there are too many for the bins. Corrie, I love your "toy library", idea! Definitely gonna try that.