Holidays have well been over and all of your festive decorations, may or may not be fully put away (I STILL have some lights on a random bush outside). However, your organizing train has come to a full on hault due to one realization-your toy collection has grown and, unfortunately, your home has not. Tired of stepping on trains, legos, cars, dolls, and, well, everything BUT your kitchen floor? Think you need a good amount of moo-lah to organize your kids stuff? Think again! Below, we outline one of the easiest, budget friendly, kid friendly ways to organize all of those little toys that puncture your feet, eat up space and, otherwise, MIGHT make you slightly insane on a daily basis.
Organize it ALL-BUT FIRST A QUICK SIDE NOTE:
As you may or may not know, I started a “organize, don’t fear the New Year” post right on New Year’s Day. If you’ve also been following me, you’ve also noticed that almost two months have past and that subject has seem to gone to the crickets. No worries, unlike most gym memberships,I haven’t forgotten that resolution (I recently read that 80-90% of resolutions are lost in February…hmmm). Either way, in this organizing endeavor, I managed to leak my organizing ambitions down the stairs in an effort to straighten out the great toy catastrophe throughout my home.
We visit our local library anywhere between two to three times a week and I’m always so impressed with the colorful layout, carefully marked bins and the overall organized “feel” of the environment inside of their children’t room. I was so inspired by this organization (and why shouldn’t it be…they have like 12 staff members to manage it and label it everyday) that I decided to duplicate it in our very own home! In thinking about how this might look in our home, I took a step back at what made this children’s room space so successful and I determine that the space had:
- The toys were categorized-Legos, Cars, Maker Space etc, were kept together.
- Labels were on EVERYTHING.
- The categorized toys had a space to be placed after play.
From there, I came up with three “must-haves” to reclaim our own home-space:
- Must be visible for the kids to access.
- Must have labels for our kids to recognize and organize.
- Needs to have it’s own space away from our living area.
After assessing what I liked about this space and figured out what we needed so that a small portion of my sanity could return.. I moved on.
Oh-but there was STILL one issue…my wallet was a little light. EEEK.
On a Budget? You Can STILL Organize!
So being the determined mama/parent that I’m certain most of you are, I wasn’t going to let a “little” thing like money get in the way of regaining my home after the holiday toy rush. So, I started looking around my home for ideas-ways to get around spending more than, let’s say 30 bucks. Low and behold, I found baskets and from there, I developed our very own labeling and categorizing system so amazing, that our kids wanted in on the fun! Get this…I was so low on cash that I couldn’t even grab ink for our printer. No ink? NO PROBLEM? Does everything “Martha Stewart” or Pinterest worthy have to be printed? Well, I say thee “nay”!
What you need: (FYI–it’s NOT mind blowing-you have all or most of these!) (affiliate links below)
- Markers–really–you know you have at LEAST three colors laying around somewhere midst the mess.
- Baskets, old shoe boxes, anything to store the STUFF in. Remember-it’s not about of Parents Magazine…it should be neat. FOR YOU.
- Tape or Velcro
- Sheet Protectors….ok…this is one you MAY NOT have laying around your house–BUT to be fair–you could go online here or to any local big box store and spend…MAYBE 10 BUCKS to grab them. Worth it so you won’t have to relabel.
We started by organizing each category of toy into large piles: Matchbox cars here, Legos there, trains over there. Then we started creating labels for each basket. I WILL tell you, I need to get MORE of those baskets! I DO love them and, with a coupon, they are about $5.00-6.00 each. You can find them at Michael’s Craft store or really any craft store. I recommend checking locally so you can avoid any possible additional cost.
Below is the end result!
BONUS: We made the labels a learning tool as well for our littlest reader in-training…adding the uppercase and lowercase letters to each label).
Overall, super excited and they are adorable. These baskets fit nicely in a larger cubby or right under a table (we slide ours right under the train table after the kiddos are done playing!)