A Place for Everything…

and Everything In It’s Place!

by Ashley Pettit

Can you remember the last time you saw the carpet in your child’s room… was there a rug under all of those toys? It’s not as hard and scary as it seems to get your child’s room cleaned up. Here is a step by step plan to get organized and keep it that way!

Start with making 4 piles: Keep, Toss, Donate, and Sell

Note: Do this without your child, as they will LOVE every toy and won’t be able to part with things they didn’t even know they had.

Keep: all toys that your child regularly plays with.

Toss: all toys that are broken, faded, or unsafe (lead).

Donate: all toys that your child may be too old for or of small value ($).

Sell: all toys that may be of large value ($) that your child no longer plays with or is too old for. You can make a good profit selling the toys online or at a garage sell. Get all of your friends together and have a toy bizarre.

Toy recycling is great for lower income families and helps reduce the garbage in landfills.

Once the “keep” inventory is smaller and more manageable you will be able to sort it into “like” piles. ex. Lego’s, Dinosaurs, Games, Dolls. It is easiest for children to put toys away in places that have a home. Make a home for each “like” pile. You can make these out of old shoe boxes, hampers, or plastic organizers from your local discount store. Label each home so that there is no confusion on where the toys belong. For smaller children, draw/print pictures of the toy on the label next to the word. This will also help them with word association.

Note: Include your child – they will learn by doing, so don’t clean up and organize your child’s room for them. They’ve got to put it away to remember where it is!

Encourage your child when they are done playing with a toy to put it in its home before a new toy is brought out. Each time your child is given a gift, purge an old toy and replace it with the new shiny one. This will keep the clutter down, so that each toy still has a home.

This will teach your child the importance of being organized and you will gain quality time with your child.

Cheap Organizer Ideas

  • Old Boxes- covered in wrapping/contact paper can match any décor
  • Baby Wipe Tubs – Great for keeping hot wheels, plastic figurines, and the little pieces to games! They snap shut tightly and you can decorate them if you wish to make them more attractive.
  • Behind the Door Shoe Holders-Perfect for out of site organizing; fits flash cards, small puzzles, stamps and stencils
  • Spray Painted Egg Cartons- make great jewelry and Barbie shoe holders
  • Old Drawers – Have an old dresser that’s falling apart? Save the drawers and use them as under bed storage. You can even paint/stain them to match your furniture. Use to store books, art and craft supplies, or out of season clothes.
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