Every year after Christmas my kids get more and more toys to add to the mess. Sometimes it is unbearable. If you are struggling to find ways to clean up the “After Christmas clutter,” left behind from your kids check out these great tips:
Conquer Kid Clutter
1. Big toy boxes make it too easy for toys to get jumbled together. Use a separate bin for different toys such as one for Legos, another for action figures, another for dollhouse furniture etc.
2. Rotate your child‘s toys. Teachers say that kids concentrate better on their play when they have just a few good toy choices rather than a dizzying range of options. Keep extra items in your garage or basement in boxes marked “Toys on Vacation,” and swap them in every few weeks. Your house will be instantly neater.
3. Create activity zones. Want to have fun with colored paper, glue, and glitter? It’s all neatly stored together in the Crafts Zone. Ready to read a book? Create a library corner complete with a child’s chair. Use lightweight boxes or bins, especially if the room isn’t really big enough for so many different “zones,” so kids can move their playthings around and put them back without much help from you.
4. Don’t use bookshelves. Little kids have trouble reading titles on the spines and sliding the books back where they belong. Instead, store books upright in small plastic bins or baskets on the floor or a low shelf. (Shelves are fine once your child’s around 7.)
5. Organize your craft supplies. Keep a vinyl tablecloth with the art supplies. Toss crayon and colored pencil boxes. Instead store drawing tools in lidded boxes. Separate supplies in zip-lock bags. Store paper in large files or envelopes.
6. Follow these great tips for storing dress up clothes. Load clothes in a big bin. Traditional toy boxes may not work very well for small toys but they work great for dress up clothes. Use two boxes if your child has a lot of dress up clothes. You can separate them by theme or color. Use hooks for the things that might get lost or crushed. Hang them at kid-level next to the dress up box or use a short coat rack.
7.Label all toys and games. Put the games in containers with simple words and pictures of what’s inside. Even pre-readers can find what they are looking for and put it away when they are done! Tape up game and puzzle boxes as soon as you get them by putting clear mailing tape on the corners. Or you can get rid of the boxes altogether. Put each game’s directions and playing pieces in a large zip-lock plastic bag. Then store game boards in a plastic bin, with the bags of playing pieces in front. If you have a lot of wooden-tray puzzles, consider a puzzle rack, available at teach-supply stores and many toy stores. Jigsaw puzzles can be stored in their reinforced boxes, in clear, lidded boxes, or in zip-lock plastic bags. Be sure to cut out and include the picture of the completed puzzle.
The Healthy Moms Magazine recommends these great storage solutions. Click on the image or link for more information.