Organizing kids toys is not an easy task. Should we group them into categories? put them all in the same basket? leave them on display? Truth is there is no one right answer, whatever technique you adopt just make sure it’s working for you and your kids, and before anything that it is easy enough for them to maintain on their own, at the end of the day, you would want them to organize (put back ) their own toys into the right places!
Let me show you how organizing my girls toys evolved over the past 2 years:
1- Phase 1: Bunk bed / toy storage:
Basically this is how my daughters’ room looked like, my eldest slept on the upper bed, my toddler in her cot, and toys went under the bed. We didn’t keep this for long, I’m not a big fan of bunk beds, and I really didn’t think under bed toy boxes were a successful toys organization system.
2- Phase 2: 2 separate beds + toy boxes:
When we moved to our new house, I painted the girls room pink, with pink striped ceiling, we kept the bunk bed for a while, and finally exchanged it with 2 separate beds (more about room makeover in a separate post). I also changed the boxes I used to store girls toys, but still wasn’t convinced this is the best I could do. We would sort toys, put each category in a box, few hours later, all toys are on the floor, and then when I ask them to tidy up they put them in any box. There must be a better way!
3- Phase 3 (Now): 2 separate beds + Toy storage sytem (yoohooo!):
I always planned to buy my eldest a desk, I also wanted some vertical storage like a bookcase or something similar. Once assembled, the room looked different, and I felt like it was the perfect time for a new toy storage system!
I always liked the Trofast series from Ikea, and since the desk and bookcase were white I decided to go with white Trofast frames. I already had few boxes, so I just added some more.
I bought 3 frames and assembled them myself, was pretty happy about it!
The first is a horizontal one, fits 6 boxes, which will also serve as kind of a window seat / reading nook (more about that in the next post!)
The other 2 are identical vertical frames, each could fit 5 medium boxes, these 2 were installed inside the other half of my daughter’s closet.
Now, it was time to go through all the toys (again!), and decide what goes where. Just like any room or space you decide to declutter, you always start by taking everything out (yes, it’s the same everytime, there is no way around it!), then go through every single item. This time, make sure your kids are with you, I came close to throwing a very important part of one of my daughter’s toys (believe me it didnt look like it belonged to anything), and ever since I have learnt my lesson. My daughter’s ability to recognize toys parts amazes me!
Once we were done, and most of the unwanted toys were packed, it was time to decide how to organize the toys, we decided to put them according to categories. Now if you have girls you will be familiar with these categories, if not, I’m sorry if these names wont make any sense! For example a box for Shopkins, a box for My Little Pony, a third for Barbie dolls etc..
Once all toys were in their boxes I had to make sure they will be back to this box everytime the girls are done playing. It was time for some labels! I didnt want to use labels from the internet, and since my 2 years old cannot read yet, I decided to create my own photo labels! Simply, I took photos of my daughters toys, added a title and they were done. Once printed, and laminated, all I did was use some adhesive velcro, and voila I had pretty labeled toy boxes.
You might remember this trolley I used for my daughter’s art supplies and stationery?
Unfortunately, it wasn’t easy to maintain it as organized as I wished, and for the last few weeks it looked like this
So now that we have enough space, I used one of the 2 Trofast frames inside the wardrobe for all art supplies and stationery, and the trolley will be used for something else! Labels for these boxes were simple texts, printed on transparent sticker sheets.
This project might have taken longer than I expected, but the results are really worth the time, the room is more organized, and the girls have a bigger space to play, and that’s what counts the most.
Stay tuned for our next post about bookcase and books organization!