Toy Clutter: How To Manage It And How To Love It

While I was pregnant with my first, people would say, “Your home is so nicely decorated, but not for long”, or “Items that you have on those lower shelves, your going to have to put those away”, In all seriousness, they were right to some degree. When our baby girl came is was clear that baby proofing and rearranging was a must and when we had our baby boy all H*ll broke loose! With that said, I strongly believe that you don’t have to turn your home into an indoor play place or an 10 Activity – Obstacle Course ( Okay these can be super cool though, check out the link), unless you want to of course! I believe you can have it all, a fun space for your kids that organized and sparks creativity as well as an inviting space that is totally your style. Below are 8 tips that will help you to manage the toy clutter as well as help you to love your space again!

Storage

Furniture with Built in Storage like Ottomans, Coffee Tables, Storage Benches, Trunks, or Chests, Bean Bags, and Kids Activity Tables With Storage

  • Not only is furniture with storage a must to hide some of the toys, but it can also be super stylish! There are so many different pieces that not only will reflect your style, but that will also provide storage for all those toys.  For example if you love Joanna Gaines and her farmhouse style ( OMG I totally do!), then the farmhouse decorative wood trunk below could be a great option for you. It would be a perfect place to store toys and it could double as a coffee table! Talk about style and function! No one would ever even know that there were toys in there.  I’m telling you the possibilities are endless. Style and toy clutter can live in the same space! Want to take it a step further? Get plastic containers to go inside the trunk ( just make sure you measure to maximize your space!) and label the bins to organize the toys within the trunk. Stuffed animals taking over? Are you starting to talk to them like they are real people? Fear no more mama. Amazon sells these awesome bean bags that you can unzip, fill with stuffed animals and the best part, give you a comfy place to sit that gets you closer to the floor with your little ones.  Talk About Win, Win, Win!!

Stylish Totes, Baskets, Bins, and Crates  

  • I love the color and texture that totes, baskets, bins and crates can bring to a space! Wicker baskets, woven baskets, stack-able wood crates, cloth totes with handles, the possibilities are endless! Want to make your life super easy? Keep a tote, basket, etc. in every room within your home so that clean up is quick and easy because let’s be honest those toys never stay in one room! Then at the end of each week take each toy back to its home base. One of my absolute favorites, the Cotton Rope Woven Basket is pictured below. Its seriously so my style! Not yours? Trust me they make one that is, you just have to go find it!

Book Shelves, Cubbies, Pull Out Storage

  • Having just one of these ( or all three) can help you hid the toy clutter as well as tidy up a space. You could put a bookshelf in your space, decorate the tops shelves with your favorite pieces and then leave the bottom shelves for storage baskets that you can store toys in and the best part is that your little ones will be able to reach ( talk about Independence!) Not to mention clean up will be super easy! Just throw those toys that are scattered at the end of the day into those lower baskets, get your little ones bathed and in bed and then have some much needed you time! Open that bottle of wine and have a glass or two, while you sit in a space that leaves you feeling calm instead of anxious! Want to take it up a notch? Get a pull out storage unit from Ikea. These are ahh-mazing! They have six different containers that vary in size and they pull out ( they also come out all the way!) Place like toys together and label each container ( they make labels with pictures on them! Genius!) Then start teaching that little one where certain toys go and before you know it, you won’t even need to help! Cubbies can be a great option as well. You can get a 2-cube unit, 4-cube unit or even 12-16 cube units! Put bins on the lower half and label them with label clips from Target or the Container Store and then dress up the upper shelves with your favorite pieces, books, pictures, etc. It will be like practical and style had a baby! : )
Storage Unit From IKEA

Hanging Cloth Bed or Sofa Organizer, Over The Door Hanging Shoe Organizer,  5 Section Hanging Organizer, and Hanging Baskets

  • Utilize the closet space, empty wall space or the back of that door to organize and hide that toy clutter. Use over the Door Hanging Shoe Organizers for stuffed animals or arts and crafts supplies. Have an empty wall that not only looks blah, but has potential to be a great storage area. Maybe try getting some wire baskets to hang on the wall for toy storage or some spice racks for those books. Have a closet near by that could be used to store toys? Get a 5 or 6 – section Hanging Organizer! These are typically used for tees, sweatshirts or even shoes, but also make great storage organizers for toys! Best part!? You can shut the door and people won’t even realize you have kids!

Maintenance

Label, Label, Label ( with pictures!)

  • As I always say, labeling is the most important thing you can do, when it comes to staying organized! It’s a constant reminder of the work you did to get organized, a constant reminder of where each item goes and a constant reminder to put things back! Want you kids to help out? You can buy or make your own labels with pictures, making it super easy for you little ones to remember where things go! Whether you use sticker, homemade or clip labels, this step is crucial. Trust me it makes all the difference!

Toy Rotation

  • Are you drowning in all the toys? Is there so many that you honestly don’t see how you will ever get a handle on it? Well then I highly recommend Toy Rotation. Toy rotation is exactly what it sounds like, rotating toys in and out of storage.  By putting some toys away and then rotating them in and out of storage you are left with a whole lot less to manage, making your life so much easier. Not to mention when you get those old toys out of storage your kids will totally think they are new and they will be entertained for hours! #momwin!

Family Clean Up

  • Making clean up a family affair will make your life so much easier. You can either get the whole family on clean-up duty each evening and knock it out fast (rewards work great for kids! Ex: I tell my little ones that we will read an extra book at bedtime or give them a sticker if they can pick up ten toys – gets them counting too!) or another option is rotating with your spouse. One can be on bath and bedtime duty, while the other is on tidy up duty and then switch every other day or every other week, whatever works best for you and your family. No matter what you choose though Mama, don’t feel like you are alone, you shouldn’t have to bear the weight of this on your own. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Asking for help is key when it comes to self-care and self-love and will in turn make you a better mom, wife, and friend!

Progress Not Perfection

  • Now, Mama I know that at times it can be so hard balancing it all, work, kids, cleaning, cooking, etc.! Kids are so challenging, but they are also the most beautiful gift! If you don’t pick up those toys every night, if you don’t vacuum the floor daily, if you don’t put everything back exactly where it goes, its okay! Your kids will still wake up the next morning with big smiles on their faces, excited to see you and take on their day and you should too! They are only little for a short time. Don’t be so hard on yourself, you are doing an amazing job!

Well mama I hope this helps brings some sanity and style back into your life because girl you deserve it! Now go give those little munchkins some hugs and kisses, kick your feet up and plan out your dream space for you and your family!

Xoxo,

Carly Miller

Professional Organizer

Wide Open Spaces Organization

(513) 802-0733

www.wosorganization.com