Sunday, September 02, 2007

Don´t let cleaning get you down! # 2

One of the biggest problems for moms is spelled T-O-Y-S.
They are every where and no matter how much you try to not let them get in the way there are always more to pick up.

I suffer from this as well, our bookshelf is no longer ours but a storage for our sons toys. He is occupying two drawers and two small cabinets. Basically all space there is. And how did it become like that? Well it´s just easier to put all toys in the drawers in the living room instead of carrying them back and forth from his room every time.

But there is a solution for this problem.
The first thing is to train your kids from the start. Sounds like you are training an animal? Not really but not far from it :)
Make sure your kids get into the habit of picking up their toys.
My son is pretty good at doing that actually and I have always told him to pick up his own toys. Sometimes a little hint that there might not be any toys left in the morning makes any kid pick up their toys.

Something that is important is to organize the toys. Here are a few simple tips on what you can do:

* Separate small toys and big toys. Separate depending on what kind of toys it is. Lego and crayons apart.
* Invest in a crayon box. Doesn´t need to be big or fancy, use an old ice cream pot. Make sure they are always kept in there. No need to look for crayons again.
* Get at least 2 different toy boxes. Get a strong paper box or similar. Perhaps buy a plastic box with lid so you can add things on top.
Make sure they have different colors. If you are using a paper box dress it with a nice paper to make it look a little bit more fun. Make your own box, instructions here
You can also buy a bin toy organizer.There are several to choose from. Although then you will see the toys, I prefer to not see them. "Out of sight out of mind".

Using the boxes:

In the first box you put toys that your kid love, in the second one you put the not so important ones. Don´t be sentimental, if there are things in there that your kid hasn´t played with for more than two months - give it away.
Every now and then go through the boxes and separate the toys.
Once a month go through the boxes and throw away broken pieces or things that your kid isn´t laying with any more.

* Consider visiting a toy co-operative organization. Or why not start your own one? Get together with your kids friends moms and discuss how you can solve the toy problem. remember you are not the only one with this problem.

* Use gym bags to hang up toys like stuffed animals or similar.
* Take a look at your child's room and see if you can make it more organized and easier for your kids to keep clean. Maybe it´s time to re-decorate?
* Be inventive! Use your imagination, ask your child how he/she would like it.
* Encourage your child without moaning. Moaning and complaining about the mess won´t get the toys anywhere.
* Help your child, have fun and turn it into a game while picking up toys and cleaning.
* Use a separate box for toys to play with in the living room if your child prefers that. But the toys are only to stay there. Limit the space where your child can play by using a carpet/mat.

Organized Home have several good articles on how to keep your toys and house organized.

It´s that easy, a little bit of organizing will get you a long way. See but you already knew about these things didn´t you? Now put them in practice and tell me how easier the toy picking became!

Do you have any toy organizing tips? Share, other moms would like to know!

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