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Ideas for Toy Storage

Q: We have way too many toys and I need ideas for storage and purging!

Tip #1: I started by getting rid of any toys that have no brain value, anything that requires building or hand eye coordination or a good physical workout is a keeper. For storage, I like open shelves so they can see what's available and get it easily...Theresa

Tip #2: I found the plastic drawer storage units that you can buy from any discount stores are the best for organising. Things like Mega blocks, baby doll accessories, baby doll clothes, cars, balls, play kitchen accessories, etc. I have six sets of five for our toys. I also have plastic underbed storage containers for larger items which don't fit in the drawer system, i.e. dress ups, car track, puzzles. Each puzzle is in its own bag, I use the clear plastic bags from cricket gloves etc. I keep the baby wipes containers for our craft supplies. These are stacked three high on a bookshelf in the store room. Each is labelled with its contents for easy reference. Try to keep all the toys in one area of storage. I only let the children have one or two boxes at a time, and they don't get anything else till the last box of toys were put away. This helps minimize mess. Any toys that were accidentally left out get put into a drawer in the kitchen and put away at the end of the week (or when time allows). This system enables toys to be played with to the fullest, instead of sifting through a toy box for related items. Also before throwing away toys which you think are 'no brainers' try to think of inventive uses which it wasn't originally intended for. Example, McDonald Snoopys for puzzle/memory game for your three year old, old bits of jewellry or broken toys for gluing in the craft box, etc. I have all our toys in the rumpus/play room to encourage sharing of toys...Tam

Tip #3: I would also start by going through all the toys and deciding what you are going to keep/not keep. I have thrown out a lot of things that are no good once pieces are missing (ex: deck of cards, puzzles, etc.) I have a five shelf open style shelf (originally intended for the garage) that I bought from Target. It is sturdy and has an industrial look (that matches my furniture). On the shelves I have clear plastic storage bins in two different sizes that I have labeled. That way the kids will know what bin they want to play with and know what toys go back where. I try to not have them take out more than two bins at a time.

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Rachel Paxton
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