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Keep Your Child’s Toys Under Control

by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo) (follow)
I'm a freelance writer living in the beautiful river town of Mannum in SA, dreaming of the day I can retire from the 9-5 to write full time.
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Pile of Toys
Image courtesy of psarahtonen / morguefile.com


When it comes to household organising, one of the biggest headaches is keeping your kids toys under control. Even with the best of intentions, our kids’ toys just seem to multiply overnight and getting them to pack up at the end of a play session is like pulling teeth.

It was while I was waiting to pick up my daughter at kindergarten one afternoon that I had a brilliant revelation. I watched the children tidying up the room and putting the toys away. Each ‘set’ of toys had its own box or basket with a picture on the front to identify it, and each one had its own place on a shelf.



Toys on Shelf
Image courtesy of xandert / morguefile.com


I decided I would try implementing this idea at home. I was lucky enough at the time to have a play room but this idea would work in a child’s bedroom as well. I bought some second-hand shelves and an assortment of containers. I grouped the toys into categories like blocks, puzzles, dolls, etc. and arranged the containers on the shelves. Not only did this make it easy to see what toys were kept where, but it allowed much more floor space for them to play.



Child Reading
Image courtesy of phaewilk / morguefile.com


I also created a designated reading corner just like the one at the kindy. I put all their books on one shelf and put a beanbag and some cushions down to create a cosy little space. I made it clear that this corner was only for reading. The idea worked surprisingly well, and when my children had friends over, it was much easier for them to help with the tidy-up.



Shelf of Toys
Image courtesy of xandert / morguefile.com


My children are older now with kids of their own, and I still use the same method for when the grandchildren visit. They know where to find the containers of toys on the shelves and know exactly where to put them back when they tidy up.

If you don’t have the space for shelves, consider stacking baskets or boxes, or even under-bed organisers. With clear labeling, your children will soon have the tidying up under control.



Stacking Baskets
Image courtesy of pippalou / morguefile.com



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I totally agree that toys multiply every night!!! We have lots of storage and that helps, and then a few times a week we send my preschooler on a 'treasure hunt' around the house to find all the missing toys that have spilled out everywhere else. By making it fun, packing away has become a lot easier.
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