Friday, October 3, 2008

Toy Storage

Here's another resurrected post from my old blog's archives.

I posted about how we store our large collection of stuffed animals. Someone asked me if I had a tip for the millions and trillions of action figures in their house. Well, yes...yes I do. Here it is...

I've seen these bins at Fred Meyer, Target, Walmart and other stores like that. To my knowledge, they come in primary colors, white/clear, and pink/purple. They aren't expensive. I've seen the white/clear ones as low as $9.99 but they are usually about $15-$20 each. The colored ones usually cost a bit more. They come with caster wheels but I prefer to use them without wheels in this situation; the drawers stay put better.
What I have done is sort out the toys into natural categories and placed each category into a drawer. For example, some of our drawers are sorted by balls, cars, action figures, Legos, Barbie, My Little Pony, Polly Pocket. etc. Some of these categories are too large for a drawer so I've further broken those down into subcategories such as Barbie and Barbie assessories.
Each drawer is labeled making it easy to remember what is in each drawer. There are two benefits to this; the kids can find all the pieces to a collection without having to dig into the bottom of a toy box and they can put their toys away quickly and easily. I have also found that guests can easily help put away toys after a play date as well because it is easy to find where everything goes. If someone doesn't know where something goes, my kids can simply say that it goes in the yellow one on the left or that red one there. I have found that since I've implemented this storage system, it is easier for my children and their friends to pick up after playing. If needed, each drawer can also pull all the way out which makes taking just a few toys to another room for playing easy.
Now, I'm not saying that their room stays clean all the time. We generally try to make picking up their room part of the nightly routine. Over time, though, it does tend to get messier and drawers get stuffed full of things that don't belong. I've found that once every few months, I need to take a day to help my kids sort through their things. We declutter and reorganize when needed. Overall, though, I find that this system works well for us and has lasted us for several years.
If you don't like plastic bins, try doing the same thing with the wooden cubicles that use fabric bins instead. They look very nice.

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