Here’s an excerpt about organizing kids playrooms and bedrooms from one of our Saving with Kids e-books.
Organizing Kids’ Rooms and Toys
I was just organizing kids toys for the boys yesterday. It’s funny– Kids really do love a clean room!
BJ (13) asked David (7) “Would you please ask mom to help you clean up your stuff!” Not even two seconds later, David came out and said, “Mom can you please help me clean up my room”. After it was cleaned up, they both said “Thank you so much mom!”
Kids love neat and clean areas just as much we do. I know kids need to keep their own stuff picked up but there are times when the cavalry does need to come in and save the day.
Make piles and label boxes according to these categories:
Trash (I bring in the kitchen trash can and just throw it straight in there.)
Sort and put away in room
Yard sale/Give away
Put in another room
Pack and store
I can’t stress enough how important it is when organizing kids’ rooms to be ruthless in getting rid of your children’s excess toys. As parents, we know we are supposed to protect our children physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Often we worry so much about others harming our children in these areas but, more often than not, we are the ones who do the greatest harm to them. One of the ways that we forget to protect our children emotionally is by allowing them to have so many toys and things that they become overwhelmed and frustrated.
I know this may seem like something trivial compared to what is going on in the world, but you have to realize your child’s room and toys are his world. Children really aren’t interested in anything else but their own spheres, and if that little world of theirs is piled with mounds of toys and other things, it can be overwhelming for them to deal with on a daily basis.
I can’t handle it if I have too many things to choose from, and I’m an adult. What did you feel like the last time you went to buy something new like shampoo or make-up? Were you overwhelmed with so many different kinds to choose from? There’s nothing wrong with any of them. It’s just that there are so many kinds. Put yourself in your child’s place. A child isn’t as emotionally mature as you are. Imagine how he feels.
I just watched an organizing show where the parents (at the advice of the organizer) spent several hundred dollars on shelving and storage containers to store the children’s toys. One container alone held 75 small cars. No child needs 75 or more of any type of toy at all. Do you know how much money could have been saved on shelving and containers if they had just gotten rid of more of those toys? Think of the headaches you have just trying to keep all those toys under control.
Don’t feel guilty or think you are depriving your children when you reduce excess toys. You are doing them a favor, and besides they probably won’t miss them. Have you noticed how children usually play with the same handful of toys over and over? In the same way, we keep 25 different colors of eye shadow, but only use 3-4 favorites over and over. If the rest of them were dumped, we wouldn’t even miss them, and our kids won’t miss the extra toys, either
Of course, this doesn’t mean to be cruel and get rid of their favorite bears or dolls, but I’m talking about all those things buried at the bottom of their toy boxes and closets that haven’t seen the light of day for years.
Here are some other tips to help you get started organizing kids toys:
- Use drawers as toy boxes. Put 4 casters on the bottom and slide them in and out from under the bed.
- Use a wicker laundry basket to store toys. Then you can slide it under the bed if needed.
- Use a small kid’s swimming pool to store things under the child’s bed. They slide in and out easily.
- Zippered bags that blankets come in will work great for collections of toys such as small stuffed animals, army men and cooking supplies. They also stack nicely and can slide under the bed.
For lots more tips to organize, teach, inspire and motivate your kids, check out Living On A Dime’s Saving With Kids e-book series here.
PS Since I wrote this I saw a show where these 2 boys had mounds and mounds of toys. For fun they would throw their toys out their bedroom window to watch them break and shatter. The parents didn’t have a clue so they had someone come in to help and the first thing they did was take away all the toys but 10. The interesting thing was the boys took care of the toys better, put them up without a fuss and actually played with the toys. These facts might help some of you parents be more ruthless.