We have 4 kids at home full time. 4 kids equal a bunch of toys and books. We were drowning in them, y’all. And the kids never wanted to get rid of anything. I had to sneak toys out of the house to get rid of them- even the toys they hadn’t played with in a year. We’re lucky to have 3 nephews who are younger than our own kids that we pass the toys down to instead of donating hundreds of dollars of toys.
The first thing I did in Mase and Zoey’s shared room was buy a new toy organizational system from IKEA. I knew they needed an easy and ample storage solution that they would be able to maintain themselves. The one thing I did not want to do was just transfer the existing mess into the new storage unit and hide it away. I wanted it to be truly organized. I loved being able to buy different sized bins for the unit to maximize the amount of storage we would have available.
As I went through the kids’ bedrooms I set up 3 large buckets- trash, pass down, and keep. Every toy from the old buckets got sorted into the new temporary ones. Doing it this way gave me the chance to really look at each toy and decide if it was time to pass it down. I was really surprised at how many toys went into the donate bucket. I realized that some of the toys I had been keeping for sentimental for me- the kids didn’t care about them.
After I sorted all the toys, I separated them into the new bins. I showed you previously how I decided to organize the toys. I love how these bins slide out easily and the kids can use them without assistance. I kept three crates in the bottom of the closet to store the toys that were too large or bulky for the storage unit. I also cleared off a shelf in the closet to hold the Imaginext Batman Cave, and the Little People house, farm, and castle. I love being able to close the closet doors and not see all the toys in plain sight.
Another thing we have an overabundance of is books. Mase and Zoey love to read and we seem to have collected a massive amount of books over the past few years. I used the same process to sort the books except with just 2 bins- keep and pass down. I was able to pass down all the little baby board books to our nephews but we were still left with a bunch.
I used spice racks from IKEA hung on the wall as bookshelves so we had limited space for books. The ones I had leftover after filling up the bookshelves went onto the top shelf of the closet. Every few weeks I rotate the books on the IKEA racks out with new ones from the closet. The kids always have fresh books to read and it keeps them interested. Plus they get so excited when they rediscover a previous favorite story that they had forgotten they had.
After spending weeks on the process of de-cluttering the kids books and toys I have a few tips to share that are helping me maintain the toy organization.
1. If something new comes in, something has to go out.
2. Pass on toys if they haven’t been touched in 3-6 months.
3. Less is more- kids will be able to enjoy their favorite toys more if they aren’t buried underneath a pile of outgrown toys.
4. Sort like with like. Using baskets or bins to keep sets together is a lifesaver. If Zoey wants to play with her Doc McStuffins toys she knows they are all in one bin.
5. Use child friendly storage. We used to have canvas bins that were heavy and awkward for the kids to drag off the shelves themselves, which meant they were also hard to put back on the shelves.
You can see all the posts in my 31 Day Series HERE.