We all have those irritating toys that have a million pieces and that end up strewn across the house, under the couch, in your shoes and right in the way when you’re sleepily walking to the kitchen for a midnight snack. I have a few practical tips that will help keep all these things relatively organised and help save your feet from unnecessary trauma (I’m looking at you Lego). I’ve also included a few for babies toys/diaper changing that I got from a seasoned mom, Shauna over at Blaaklist Writers, which saved my bacon so many times.
1: Have a dedicated sheet/blanket for the Lego/Building blocks.
Also a box with a lid for the Lego/Blocks. We put a blanket out, pour the Lego onto it and the kids sit on the blanket and build, once they’re finished building just scoop up the blanket and tip everything back into the storage box.
2: Large Storage bins for easy storage.
Having a number of large storage bins/soft boxes and crates in the kids rooms and spread around the house to make tidying up easier. Everything just gets thrown (sometimes literally) into the bins and boxes so that cleaning the house can be done quickly and efficiently. I did a post on storage options a while back you can find the link HERE.
3: Do a “Sort and Toss” once a month.
Every month (or more) I do a quick “sort and toss” through the kids toys. I sort all the blocks back into their own box, all the cars get split between the boys rooms, bits of lost Lego get put back in the Lego box and any broken or irreparable toys are tossed in the garbage, any toys that have been standing forlorn for more than 6 months get put into a “give-away” box and all the storage bins gets cleaned and wiped (cause fish moths are gross).
I find this is a great time to take stock of what my boys have and it gives me a chance to tidy and neaten and clean up all those nooks and crannies in the house that get missed during the weeks of “regular” cleaning. It also reminds me that my boys are not lacking, and don’t need any more “stuff”, we have a new policy now that my youngest in two, we are adding to Lego, Hot Wheels and educational stuff only, keeping the toy pile down and encouraging our boys to play outside and “build” their own toys.
4: Outdoor Toy Boxes
Our “fort” outside has a covered section, and inside the covered section we have screwed plastic buckets with holes (for the rain to drain out) in for toy collection. When the boys are done playing outside, all the toys get tossed into the buckets inside the fort and are then out the way of the cars (we have squashed too many plastic dump tracks), out of reach for the dogs to destroy (they are still puppies) and out from underfoot when getting the laundry in or working in the garden.
5: Babies Toys.
For Babies toys, play mats and soft toys, my dear friend Shauna always said: “Have a basket upstairs, and downstairs with toys and diaper changing stuff, that way you never have to leave the room you’re in to change a nappy or keep your little one entertained.”
This was the best advice ever, I made little nappy pouches for my kids. One for the baby bag and one for the lounge. It was big enough to hold 4/5 nappies, nappy bags and wipes. So handy, and all in one place.
Also I’d have a basket of soft toys in my lounge and a thick quilted blanket for my boys to play on when they were babies, and another smaller version in my room for when I need to shower or get dressed, that way you’re not always looking for stuff for your baby to play with when you are in different parts of the house.
Another good tip for babies toys, chew toys and play rings. Get a baby disinfectant spray (you can find them in the baby section of your local Dischem), every week I’d lay out my boys teething toys and anything they regularly put in their mouths and spray with disinfectant spray. Soft toys got washed regularly as well as blankets and quilts that they play ON. This just helps keep germs at bay and stops the perpetual re-infection especially if they’ve been ill. Bedding and toys get washed after they get better.
There are so many tips and tricks for this kind of thing, these are the ones that helped me the most. Do you have any great storage or toy tips? I’d love to hear them, let me know in the comments!