Kids

Sanity Saving Toy Organization for Babies and Toddlers

I know I can’t be the only parent that struggles with toy overload, right?  I’m not really sure how Lincoln accumulated so many toys in his short 18 months of life, but they have taken over our house. I needed some serious toy organization.

I remember when Linc was a newborn, and I literally had about 5 board books, some stackable rings, and some ABC blocks…all of which I had gotten as gifts.  I can clearly remember thinking our toy shortage was somehow hindering his developing brain, and how was he going to grow up to be a functioning member of society if he didn’t have toys to stimulate his mind??  Granted, the only toys he was interested in at that point were his toes…but still.

Even now that he’s actually old enough to play with toys, he’s still more interested in playing with household items and reading books.  And by reading books, I mean look at a book for 5 seconds, throw it down, and then do that over and over again.

As I started accumulating more toys and books, I struggled with how to organize them all while still giving Linc access to them.  Last summer, while visiting a friend, I saw her super cute cube shelves that she used to organize her daughter’s toys.  Her and Lincoln are only 6 months apart, so I thought “If it works for her, then it’ll work for Lincoln!”  By the end of the week, I had the exact same set of cube shelves complete with cute little fabric bins.

Since we do a majority of playing in the living room, I knew I wanted to have it easily accessible nearby.  Then came the best part…organizing the toys!

Seriously, I get so excited about stuff like that.

In one bin were all his books, electronic toys in another bin, stuffed animals in another….you get the idea.

As it turns out (obviously), that system really only worked for me.  Lincoln had no idea which bin his toys were in, which resulted in every single basket being dragged out and every single toy scattered around the entire house.

Clean up was the worst, because of course I had to put everything back in its proper basket by the end of the day…and that just took forever.

Something else I noticed is that when Lincoln has all of his toys out, he gets so overwhelmed with all of them that he ends up getting really fussy and playing with nothing.  Plus, I’m pretty sure he has some toys that he’s never played with lost in the pile of old favorites.

So that bring me to my most favorite thing that I’ve done with Lincoln’s toys!

I found a random pin on Pinterest about how this woman organizes her children’s toys, and she’s a genius!  She has baskets for each day of the week.  As in, each day she pulls out a different basket and that is the basket of toys her kids play with for the day.

Holy moly, how have I not thought of this??  Am I just behind the times?  Is this some secret that veteran moms have always been doing, and I just now found out about it?

It’s so simple.  Not only are there way less toys everywhere, but Lincoln doesn’t get overwhelmed with massive amounts of toys, he’s playing with toys that he hasn’t seen in a while, and the clean-up at the end of the day is a breeze.  Instead of me trying to put books in one bin, electronics in another…I just put all the toys from that day back in one bin and put it back on the shelf.  The next day, he gets a new bin with a new set of toys and books.

So. Easy.

I have 5 bins that I just rotate through every day.  When I first started putting together the toy bins, the OCD in me wanted to make sure that each one had a musical toy…and a nesting toy…and a stuffed animal….and, yeah.  That got old really quick, so I literally just started throwing all of his toys into 5 different baskets.  I just made sure there were also plenty of books in each bin.  I leave any electronic toys he has out on the empty shelves since there’s just a few of them.

We’ve been doing this for a few weeks, and it has been so awesome!  And easy….which (let’s be honest) is the main purpose behind this.

Here’s a peek into a couple of the toy bins (before they’re scattered everywhere on the floor).  And no, they don’t normally look this neat…this is just for picture purposes.

Lot’s of stuff in his toy bins are just “toys” I’ve put together at home…which he gets way more entertainment out of than store-bought toys.  I’ll do a post soon about some super easy baby and toddler toys/activities you can make at home.

I’m aware that not everyone has a cube shelf to store their toys, but you don’t have to have one!  You could literally do this with a few baskets and a closet.  Just fill some baskets with toys, and store the ones that you’re not using in a closet or extra bedroom.

How do you store your child’s toys, and does it work for you?  And has anybody else already been doing this method?  I’d love to hear!

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