Thursday, January 15, 2009

got toys?

**Updated on 2/4/08: The Shabby Nest & The Pretty Organizer are hosting a linky party for tips on how to tame the kid clutter, and this post just fit it perfectly!! Head on over to visit and find out more ways to organize kid clutter!

I thought it might be fun to share some of my toy storage ideas that I use in my play room to help keep the toys a little organized (when at all possible). I have a color coordinated play room, so many of my storage pieces that are seen "have to match", but only if they don't cost me a lot of money.

Storage Idea #1: baskets

Baskets are an organizer's best friend!

This cute little basket holds my daughter's play food in her little kitchen. When we first set up the kitchen, I was on the hunt for something to keep the food in and I just so happened to find it in my "baskets and containers" box I keep in the garage. I had originally bought this at an after summer clearance sale from Target a couple of years back (probably less than $2). I just knew I would/could use it for something! Oh, and did I mention it just happened to match? Double bonus. I don't have to tell you how excited I was to find it.

Storage Idea #2: cheap

There are many stores that carry inexpensive, but rather cute, storage solutions.

I found this little bucket at the Dollar Tree. It holds all of the play cleaning supplies. When I bought it I had intended on using it for a gift basket, but I bought a couple of them in different colors and so I had extras. I found that it works really well in the corner of the play room.

Storage Idea #3: something that holds a lot!

I think I'm not alone in admitting that we have a quite a few toys. Many of them are little, so I needed something that could hold a lot of toys without having all of these little containers everywhere. You've probably seen this darling storage unit a lot (they also have it in primary colors). I drooled over this for quite some time and had found it *almost new* on Craigslist, but I was just a few minutes too late because when I called, the gal was already loading it up in someone else's car. So, I was patient and waited for it to go on sale at Target and decided just to buy it new.

Each of these compartments holds its own kind of toy. For example, Mr. Potato Head pieces, cars, musical instruments, Little People set, etc. My next organizing mission is to make little tags for these saying what they are.

Storage Idea #4: keep it hidden

I like to try and keep a few things hidden away so the room doesn't look so cluttered. We bought a new TV unit when we redecorated the playroom and they just so happened to have some space at the bottom for a couple of baskets. I re-used some storage containers I had originally used in my classroom before I stopped teaching. These cuties are the Sterilite brand from Target during the summer season many years ago. I have some in lime green, too, but don't have a spot for them yet. The colors in my classroom (lime green and blues) were the same colors I decided to use in the play room, so I was able to reuse quite a bit, which saved me some redecorating money!

Storage Idea #5: make your own!

Another idea for storing your toys, is making your own. I try to save a lot of larger containers that get emptied because I just know there's something I can use them for in the future. Oftentimes they do hang out in the garage for awhile, but I do end up using them!

I created this storage container out of a 1.25-gallon ice cream bucket and used it for storing a Little People set. I actually made this for my mother-in-law to use at her house. It's quite simple to make: I cut out a circle using fun scrapbooking paper, matching the size of the top of the lid. Then I used Modge Podge to glue it down and finished it off with some alphabet stickers, and a thin layer of Modge Podge for security.

Organizing toys is always tricky because it seems like they're always out of control. Making their own little "home" for the toys is pretty important in our house. One reason I do this is because I'm an organized freak and I just can't help it. The other reason, and most important, is because I want to teach my children to be organized and having places for things helps them do that. I think my daughter has definitely caught on because when a toy is in the wrong place, she lets me know about it! "Silly, mommy," she says. It cracks me up every time.

Feel free to share some of your own toy storage ideas. I would love to hear them!!


heidi said...

Holy organization, batman! You're my hero! I could only DREAM that our toys would be that organized.

Sarah said...

I too love to organize. I love any plastic storage container that has a lid. I put a label on it so it feel organized for me. I can't wait for the kids to learn to read so they can do it on their own.

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Love your ideas! You must be inside my head because I am organizing lots of things these days and need some more storage, big time!

Anonymous said...

You are hired!! I would love to have the intelligence to do the same in our toy room. Kim

' said...

nicely done! I think I need to employ a few of your ideas... all those little toys that get scattered around the house are driving me crazy!

and thanks for visiting my blog. I buy the little food cups all over the place - silicone baking cups when I see them on clearance, the dollar store and my favorite, Daiso.

Heidi @ Tayterjaq's Rebels said...

I am always trying to organize the play room (just cleaned it again today actually). I have one of those shelving units with all the small bins in it (found in front of someone's house for the trash pickup in great condition...I am soooo cheap). I can't seem to get the kids to put the toys away in specific bins. Everything just get thrown into the bins and they say it's clean. You are so lucky to get her to put them away properly.

Missy said...

Great ideas! I've got to get on the ball! Also, thanks for your comments on my blog, Simply Red. I've got to check out those Curves bars. Love the Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches, too. I would also love the recipe for the Chicken Cordon Bleu that uses Laughing Cow Cheese. Sounds good. My email: When you get a chance to send it. Thanks!

Serendipity said...

I love the ice cream bucket idea!

Wendy said...

Thanks for linking! These are some great ideas!

The Masked Mommy said...

I love love LOVE that someone else did a post about affordable storage solutions! I don't think I've ever commented here before, but you're in my reader and I pop by from time to time. Love the ice cream bucket idea! When I was a kid we had a whole ice cream bucket full of crayons. Random, but whatever :-)

Pretty Organizer said...

So great you could contribute to the party! Bins, baskets are a must!.. and I'm all for hiding it. Love the homemade storage containers... why buy them? Excellent Post.

Jen @ said...

What great ideas! Thanks for the inspiration!


Xazmin said...

Awesome ideas! Although baskets always seem to get broken in my house.

Makes me so mad! I love containters from Dollar Tree!

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