Are your child's toys spread out all over the house? Do you have a playroom floor covered? Or maybe you just need a few ideas for a better organization system. January 14th, organize your home day, is a great day to start!
First, decide on a central area for toys in your home. If you have the space for a playroom that would be the best idea. Too many toys in a child's bedroom can distract from sleep and homework times. If not, decide on a toy zone for the room they are going to be in.
Gather all the toys in your home into that one place you decide to put them. Get a few empty boxes so you can easily sort. Label them with a sheet of paper or permanent marker using the following categories:
Keep - Toys in good condition, your child plays with regularly.
Store - Toys that are no longer regularly played with or are no longer age appropriate but that you want to save for a younger sibling or for collectible or sentimental reasons. You may want to buy good sized plastic bins for storing these things more conviently than cardboard boxes.
Donate - Toys that are not regularly played with but are still in good condition can be donated. You may be eligable for a tax deduction as well for donations. There are many places that accept used toy donations in Baltimore such as churches, hospitals, preschools, and daycares. You can also donate to local Goodwill and Salvation Army stores. Any new, still wrapped toys over $10 value can also be donated to Toys for Tots Baltimore.
Sell - Toys that are not regularly played with can also be sold or consigned. There are many children's consignment shops in Baltimore, such as Kid to Kid in Cockeysville, that give good money or store credit for gently loved toys!
Also bring in a trash bag for any broken items.
Once all toys are sorted you will know how much storage you will need. Baltimore Walmart, Target, Ikea, and even Home Depot stores are just a few of the local places you can find some great storage items for any budget. You can also shop online at places like amazon.com. Decide on what type of organization system you want. There are shelving systems with bins and baskets, toy boxes, cabinets, there are so many types of storage, I am sure you will find something to fit your needs. The slideshow below may help give you a few ideas.
Once your organization system has been purchased and is in place, sort the toys you kept into areas based on type of toy (Puzzels all together, stuffed animals, blocks, etc) Wiping toys with antibacterial wipes as you sort will help to cut down on dirt and germs. If they are water proof plastic toys such as Legos you can clean them by soaking them in 1/10 dilution of bleach and water. Soak the toys for about 20 minutes. You can scrub off anything stuck on using an old sponge or rag. Use an old toothbrush to scrub if there is any dirt stuck in hard to reach places, then rinse them completely. Once all toys have been sorted and are clean, put them into their new homes.
Stand back, admire and even take a picture before you let the kids check out their new area. Make sure to show the kids (or even label) where everything goes so there is no confusion at clean up! Set a new habit of cleaning up toys every night before bed to keep your toy area nice for longer!
Did you recently organize your children's toys? Are you thinking about doing it soon? I would love to see it! Send photos, tips, stories, blog posts, etc to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you may be featured here!