Toys…don’t they just get everywhere? My house is rarely tidy for more than a few minute. Plus trying to pick up while you have twin toddlers is futile. I’m pretty sure toy management could be a full time job. However, I have picked up a few tips to help manage the toy situation. They also save time with this never ending task.
If you don’t have some kind of storage unit, you need to get down to IKEA sharpish and sort yourself out. The Kallax range is fab and can be bought in a variety of sizes and colours to suit. Obviously there are others out there. However, for price and flexibility I don’t think you can beat it for this job.
We’ve got coloured bins which I did intend to label (orange – large toys, yellow – instruments, blue – soft toys, red – small sets, grey – kitchen accessories, pink – bits and bobs, green – games and puzzles) but when you’ve sorted the same toys a thousand times, labels are a bit pointless as you could do it in your sleep.
2) Zipper bags
I realised as soon as the girls turned two that so many of their toys had multiple pieces which I kept finding all over the house. Many of the puzzle boxes were bulky or damaged. I decidedly to bulk buy zipper wallets and just cut off the jigsaw picture to slot in. This takes up a lot less space. My girls love to do the zips so I’m encouraging them to put away one puzzle before they start another.
3) Purchase wisely
This is easy to say but hard to do. It so easy to get carried away and spoil our little ones. However I really believe with toys, less is definitely more. Whenever I see something I’m tempted by, I ask myself (a)Do they have something similar? (b)Where will it go? (c)How much play/enjoyment will they get from it?
Often if I decide to buy something big, I’ll add it to my ongoing list for either birthday/xmas or Easter. Smaller toys, I generally only buy when I see them second hand and so I pick these up as and when. Very cheap tat such as those free on magazines, I see as disposabe. These will be binned/recycled as soon as possible as they can quickly build up.
Rather watch than Read?
4) Toy rotation
Online you can find incredible toy rotation systems and there has clearly been a lot of thought put into what toys to have out and when. If I had more time, maybe I’d figure out a better way. For now, all the large sets such as our big happyland bundle and duplo table live in a cupboard upstairs.
Every few weeks, I bring one set down and it stays until I can’t bear the mess anymore (normally a couple of days). If these were to stay permenantely in our playroom, I think lots of bits would wander and more importantly, they’d get bored of them quicker. This way there is still the novelty factor even though we’ve had some sets for over a year.
5) Quarterly clear out
It’s obvious really that if you keep buying without taking anything away, you are going to get swamped. Every three or four months, be brutal and have a big clear out. While my girls are still young, I know what gets played with and what doesn’t and so I can get away with doing this myself without any repercussions.
As they get older, I want to instil a sense of charity and generosity and so will share this job with them. They already know about a few toys that went to a friend’s baby and handled that well so hopefully, they’ll give without upset. We time our clear outs for before their birthday, Xmas and then once or twice between them. I make use of the charity bags that come through my door as that way I don’t even have to take the stuff anywhere. It’s collected right from my door.
The lovely Lauren over at Scrapbookblog has put together some great ideas to get kids involved in recycling.
Finally, remember the toy stage won’t last forever. It does feel chaotic but also think about the pleasure they get from play and all the learning opportunities that play teaches. Soon enough trucks and farm animals, dolls and teddies will be forgotten.
How do you manage the toy chaos? Add any tips you have in the comments below as I’d love to hear more ideas.
If you like this,you might also be interested to read Getting Stuff Done as a Busy Mum or How to Quit Tidying.
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The article was written in collaboration with gifts from Very.com
42 thoughts on “5 Ways to Keep Toys Tidy and Organised”
Greay post with some great tips-I love the Ikea storage boxes and would never have thought of the zip bags!!!
They work well for us and save lots of space. Thanks for reading
I don’t manage it. I actually feel like no matter what I try they end up broken, missing pieces and all over the place. I really just can’t anymore! 🙈
None of us keep it tidy all the time but having easy storage and a place for everything help me when I’m doing a mad dash before someone arrives.
I love my kallax units! I also have one in the hallway for storing hats, scarves and bags. Great post x
We’ve got the huge 5×5 unit upstairs to store our life in
I’m already seeing this as a problem in our house – our living room is overrun. At 10 months old baby has LOTS of toys… at the moment 1 toy box is doing the job – but there’s stuff like the play mat and jumperoo, that are just SO huge!! All I can see as a solution at the moment is acquiring another house – one with a play room!! hum….. #bloggerclubuk
The stuff does get a little smaller once those huge pieces are outgrown but I do love my playroom.
With a toddler and one year old I certainly agree keeping on top of tidying the area is a full time job. Loving the Kallax/Expedit range for keeping everything organised. #BloggerClubUK
Thanks for reading
Really great tip, we really need to have a clear out soon…
Thanks for reading
Really great tip, we really need to have a clear out soon…
It piles up quickly doesn’t it
These are some really good ideas! I need one of the storage units from ikea
They’re great and you can customise them to suit your space. Perfect for toys
I was doing so well with keeping the toys organised until a few weeks ago, then we had two birthdays and now I’m over run! I love the idea of the unit with the coloured boxes! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx
Hence the pre birthday clearout… I got this tip from a friend
Totally agree about Ikea storage, that’s definitely our go to solution. I definitely want to try toy rotation too though. #PostsFromTheHeart
We keep it simple and really only do it with the big sets and messy stuff like play dough.
Excellent post! I’ve failed on the toy rotation front and quarterly cleanout! Oh how I dream of that big spring clean… I’m going to do it.. Soon!
Spring cleaning just keeps getting pushed back…it’ll be an autumn clean by the time I get around to it
Organisation boxes are great and they learn how to organise too. I swear by bagging up puzzles. #PostsFromTheHeart
Such a good way to store them I think
I love your storage unit so bright and cheerful. Sadly, I can;t have them type units because my boys are too descriptive so we have draws with magnets on as we live in a small flat and need to keep place fairly in order. I do the whole rotation to keep it fresh and entertaining or else both boys would get bored very easily X ##blogstravaganza
Annoyingly I had buy them individually from eBay as Ikea don’t sell all the colours all the same time but I love the effect
It looks like you have things very organised. I like the idea of the zipper bags. The ones that you have look nice and sturdy. #TriumphantTales
Think they were from home bargains so not expensive
My girls really don’t have many toys anymore as they’re past that stage but the wee man who is 6 has an abundance of plastic tat – cars, trains, tracks etc. Sometimes it’s just such a mess that he doesn’t even know where to start. I cleared out 2 big bin bags last week for the school fair but it doesn’t seem to have made any difference! #HumpDayLinky
However quick you clear stuff it just doesn’t seem to go down
These are great tips. The storage units are a godsend aren’t they? Thanks so much for linking up to #TriumphantTales – hope to see you again on Tuesday!
Brilliant advice! I can see us starting to get overrun with toys very soon, so I’ll need to follow it. I love the bright coloured drawers in the IKEA storage unit, too! #Postsfromtheheart
you can’t get them all in store as they rotate the colour options but I found them in eBay