Ah…the holiday season. Crisp snow, warm fires, fragrant trees and soft candle light and… TOYS!!! Christmas and Chanukah have come and gone and now we have a million more toys to store. Well, maybe not a million but definitely more than we had two weeks ago. Luckily, as children get older we are finding that the toys get smaller but nevertheless they still need homes.
As we have said before, weeding through your children’s toys before the influx of new holiday gifts will make finding homes for the new additions much easier. Make it part of your holiday routine – go through your current toys with your children and have them decide what they would like to give away. Having your children donate their used toys to children who don’t have any is teaching them an important life lesson in philanthropy. That being said, you may want to take some time alone, without your children present and purge further.
Now to find the new toys a home. Get the toys up off the floor. A great way to do this is to use canvas shoe bags. These can be hung over doors or hung on the wall. They are great for storing little things like Barbie and her accessories or if you have a budding musician in the family you can use the shoe bag to store the microphone, drumsticks, maracas, harmonica, etc.
As we have said before, baskets with lids are perfect because the clutter is hidden and they can be stacked. Baskets also look nice on shelves. Plus they are easy to pick up and take to another spot to be played with. Try to put only one type of toy in each basket – this makes it much easier for your kids to find what they are looking for. Label the baskets with luggage tags, shipping tags or if you are feeling really creative take pictures of the contents and put them on labels.
Games and puzzles can be stored in an armoire or even on an open shelf. If you display them artfully with a combination of books and baskets they can appear to be part of your décor. We are not fans of toy boxes – they are too deep so things sink to the bottom and the kids can’t find them so the toys will be constantly dumped out or worse it becomes a dumping zone for everything else. Eventually it will be used to store all the things they don’t play with anymore.
Hooks or pegs are great for dress-up clothes. Mount the hooks at the right height for your kids to be able to get them down or put the clothes away.
Now let’s toast to a tidy and organized playroom for 2009! Happy New Year everyone!