Thrifty Living: Toysplosion, Part II

28 Nov

I have been fighting the good fight over toy storage ever since before Isobel was old enough to go through the cat door. When her toys began taking over the living room we bought an awesome six dollar thrifted chest and begged the internet for help to solve this problem. Little did I know that the toy storage problem would never go away, just change and become difficult in different ways with time.

We’ve been slowly moving Isobel’s toys out of her nursery and into a room affectionately known as “the Pencil Room,” after the time that I stashed an enormous cache of colored pencils in that room. Which, nevermind. That’s a story for another time. Our plan is to move Isobel out of the nursery and into the Pencil Room, which will eventually become her big girl room.

After shopping around for toy storage and organization systems, I settled for thrifted tins and baskets, tubs for larger toys and collections, a few buckets and finally, some photo storage boxes bought cheaply at Micheal’s.

I really like the tins, even though you do have to remember what’s in them. But that makes them that much fresher to your child when they pull them out again. Sometimes the lids on older tins tend to stick, but that can be a good thing if it holds toys for your older child that you don’t want your younger kid getting into.

The main thing I’ve learned about toy storage and organization is you have to develop a little ruthlessness. Keeping the amount of toys at manageable levels, developing collections that will grow with your child, and donating the things that you child has out grown/doesn’t care a whole lot about/are duplicates of other toys has really saved my sanity. Especially when we have playdates. When we have Kingston over he moves from room to room, rooting out his favorite toys while he and Isobel dump everything out in the process. And that is totally fine! Kids! It’s what they do! I’ve sorted and pared the toys down to the point that I can clean up a toysplosion, I mean a total, house-wrecking toysplosion, in under twenty minutes. I don’t mean to brag. Getting to this point was a hard-won battle. But it is possible.

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7 Responses to “Thrifty Living: Toysplosion, Part II”

  1. booksNyarn November 28, 2011 at 4:26 am #

    I am so impressed. At the ages of 11 and 14, my two definitely are NOT under control, but this is inspiring.

    And OMGs, that UNICORN!

    • LittleBig November 29, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

      I saw the unicorn and knew she must be mine!*

      (*Isobel’s)

  2. Ann Burr November 28, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    You are my hero. I have two boys, 3 and 5, and enough toys for a three kindergarden classrooms. I would rather put my head in the oven rather than deal with the situation, which has gotten completely out of control. Any advice as to how to begin?

    • LittleBig November 29, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

      YES! I’ll address my advice in a post. Because I have a lot of it.

  3. Amber November 29, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    I love love love baskets. I really need to start labeling the bins. One thing I do is rotate out many of Alexa’s toys so they’re not all in the room, and I don’t have to store them all nicely. I can toss a good portion in a bin and put it in a closet or the attic.

    • LittleBig November 29, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

      I do a bit of rotation, but we’ve never really had the space for it to work very effectively. The tins help, though, because she’ll forget about what’s inside them. And I keep certain toys in areas besides her bedroom (all her books, her blocks, her animals, etc) so sometimes she forgets about those and they become new again.

  4. purplequark December 3, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    drool….I’m nothing but a kid at heart and l like them toys

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