The girls are old enough to know how to pick up their toys and put them away, but not quite old enough to differentiate between sorting Barbie clothes and baby doll clothes. Or, they may be old enough to do this, but not without instructions from myself. I want a system that allows me to say, "Please pick up the toys in the playroom." and let them go for it (while I am free to do other things, like
The first thing I needed to do was clear out A LOT of stuff in the playroom. Here is the part where I wish I had a true Before photo. But I always start cleaning and halfway through, think, "I should take a picture of this". Here is that point:
The pink table in the middle is holding all of the stuff that was strewn around the room. It was a disaster.
I touched every single thing in this playroom. If it was broken, I tossed it. If it was missing parts, I tossed it. If it was below their age level, I donated it. I wanted to have a few basic areas for them to be able to play. If it didn't fit into those categories, I donated it. Anything more than that, and they get overwhelmed and don't really want to play.
In our great room (not pictured), there is a play kitchen. I have one basket next to that, where all of the pretend food, pots, pans, spoons, plates, etc. are kept.
I have one basket of books in the playroom, and moved one basket to their room (I was tired of reading the same three books overandoverandoverandoverandover again). Now we pull one or two books from the front, read them, and then they go to the back. Then all of the books get read!
This bookcase holds puzzles. Tip: write the type of puzzle (i.e., zoo, butterfly, etc.) on the back of each piece. Then, if the puzzles do get mixed up, you can easily sort them. Also, I try to keep all puzzle pieces in a ziploc bag so they don't get lost. There is also a Lego bin, a basket of musical instruments, and their karate paddles.
Here is their dollhouse and a Little People castle. The bin contains the Barbies and their clothes. The basket contains the dollhouse furniture.
Dolls/horse/stable. The basket holds all of the accessories.
Thanks to Molly the kitty, it is difficult to see what is on this cabinet. It is some notebooks and colored pencils (NO PENS!) in a caddy, some shape blocks, and their electronic pads (LeapFrog type things), and a baby swing. It the drawer below are hats, tools, balls, and bags.
They used to have a TON of bags. Purses, backpags, totes, etc. Throughout the course of the day, they would get them all out, fill them all up, carry them around to different areas of the house, dump the items, and leave them there. This made me insane. They now have (
There you have it! I don't have an After photo either! What was I thinking?!? I will try to remember to take one soon and I will update this post with it.
How do you organize your toys? I would love to see your blog post about it, leave a comment!