HOUSTON – Keeping the house clean and organized is a daily struggle for any busy family, especially when it comes to all of the kids’ toys and gear. So what do you do with all of those items that end up scattered all over the floor? Ashley Barber, a certified KonMari consultant and founder of Simply Maven shares 5 tips to get us started.
Tip 1: Set limits on the spaces
The key to good organization is simplicity! Limit toy storage to 1-2 spaces inside if possible (i.e. playroom and bedroom)
- Multiple kids: 1 communal area (playroom) + individual area (bedroom)
- Large homes: 2 communal areas + personal area (bedroom)
- Outside toys with outdoor items
Respect the boundaries! If you are running out of room, do a review of what you have before you buy more bins/furniture.
Consider “toy rotation” -- keep some toys in play areas, while others are stored away. Instead of getting “new” toys, rotate seasonally to make old toys feel new again.
Tip 2: Give everything a home
Things don’t get put away because 1) we don’t know where it goes and/or 2) it’s too difficult to put it where it goes. Make it clear where something goes, and make it easy to do.
Use bins to group like with like. If you display items on shelves or a table, keep the number of items minimal.
If necessary, label bins and/or shelves so everyone who helps put away is on the same page -- you, your spouse/partner, your kids, your housekeeper, nanny etc... Note: you can use photos for younger kids.
Tip 3: Use categories to sort and store like with like
Categories will vary for each family/kids, but examples are:
- Figurines, dolls, and or action figures
- Stuffed animals
- Arts and crafts supplies
- Imaginative play/costumes
- Things for building (blocks, legos, magnatiles)
- Things with wheels/things that roll (cars, trucks, balls, etc…)
- Board games
- Outdoors (bubbles, hula hoops, chalk, etc…)
- Sports equipment
Tip 4: Involve your kids
It’s all about good communication -- get to know your kids better and teach them life skills in the process.
Ask them what their favorite toys are -- let them weigh in on what to keep.
Teach them friends like to live together (ex: cars with trucks, dolls with dolls etc…) and help them to find the right place to put things
Remember: If you do it for them, your job never gets easier!
Tip 5: Be a good role model
Practice organizing your own areas first! We can’t teach what we don’t know
Let them see how much you enjoy keeping your own spaces clean and organized
Talk to them about the benefits of being organized and having a clean space
Want more guidance? Text GRATEFUL to 66866 to join Simply Maven’s email list and receive more tips, course and event updates, and a FREE Less Clutter, More Joy Tidying Guide with step-by-step instructions for decluttering and organizing your own home!
For more information on Simply Maven, click here.