Organizing Tips for Toys

The Christmas Holiday is almost here and we really need to make room for more toys!  In my opinion, we must remain very flexible when introducing an organizing system to young children. I would suggest that we keep it simple!  Many times, the organizing system looks really “neat & organized”, but it may not be very practical and difficult to maintain.

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With any new organizing system that we introduce, we must take the time to explain the system, how it is to be used and the benefits to the child as well as the parent.  Organizing is a learned behavior — repetition, repetition, repetition and reward, reward, reward!

We have three (3) main objectives:

  1. We really want them to put their toys (and maybe clothes too?) away.
  2. We want them to be able to find the toy(s) that they play with most, without emptying the entire toy box every time.
  3.  Periodically, we want to purge their toys, with their help, to make room for new toys.  I’d suggest that you start a trade-off system, for each toy you give your child, they should also give up/donate a toy that they no longer play with.

59157572 - boy taking donation box full with stuff for donate

We also need to make clean-up time fun!

  • Music always seems to make clean-up time go a little faster (that goes for adults too.)
  • Try to make clean-up time a game…. Toss the Toy, Hot Potato…. I don’t know I am trying to be creative.
  • Maybe we could try not to play with all the toys, all the time.  Of course, we have to remain flexible, but if we divided playtime up into smaller segments, we could clean-up as we go.
    • Doll time, Dress-up time, Lego time, Race car time, etc. etc.  Again, I am trying to be creative. 🙂

Remember, if the play/clean-up time becomes a routine (repetition, repetition, repetition), it will not appear as restrictive…. and the reward, reward, reward would be less clean-up time!

Family Time - Dancing while cleaning

 

A Tale of Re-Gifting

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Sun sculpture at Minn. Inst. of Arts

Aunt Susie’s house is always immaculate, but she seems to always give me the weirdest gifts.  Last year, she gave me a bright yellow scrulpture of the sun.  I am not sure why, I guess she liked it and thought that I would too. Of course, I don’t want to hurt her feelings.  Aunt Susie visits me once every three (3) years and I must set it out so that she can see it…. Need I say more????  Consider this, “Aunt Susie, I loved the bright yellow scrulpture of the sun, so much that I gifted it to the children’s museum and it’s on display.  Next time you visit we must go see it.  (I am not suggesting that we lie … now we simply have to find a museum to take it!  :-D)

I am not suggesting that we hurt anyone’s feelings, but as a professional organizer, I go into so many homes that have STUFF that they were given to them that they JUST CAN’T give away.  The clients has had “it” for so many years, the person may have even forgotten that they gave it to you….

The holidays are HERE and here are just a few questions that we should ask ourselves..

Where are my Christmas gifts from last year?  or better yet, What WERE my gifts from last year?  How about the year before?  Do I remember?  If the gift(s) was memorable, it should been wore, at least once… or on display for everyone to see.

Do you know where the gifts are or are they still in the box somewhere?  I know that we don’t always get the gifts that we want or like, BUT if we continue to accummulate them and simply store them away, eventually even the person that gifted it to us may notice…  or maybe not?

Now I have another question…  Do your children remember what they got for Christmas last year or the year before?  That’s a whole different post of its own!!!  LOL !!! 😀