I may not have been posting for the last few days because I have been busy finishing up some unfinished projects (I’ll post about those
soon) and organizing ~ mainly the kitchen chaos. Now I am ready to start tackling the toys and the basement.
Christmas is a wonderful time of year, however, now there are “special” toys in the children’s bedrooms, a bin or two of toys on the main floor and a basement full of toys in the basement that is currently being renovated to create the daycare playroom.
I have come to the conclusion that children equal disorder. Especially with a home daycare. It makes it very difficult to organize and purge because I am never really “done” with any developmental stages and, therefore, the need for appropriate toys since I continually have babies, toddlers and preschoolers joining our group.
There are some key areas and questions that I have to organize kids stuff. Thank goodness for the Internet so I can do specific searches to get ideas. Here are the key areas that I have problems deciding how to organize, house, use, store, etc.
- Puzzles – There are so many! I put them all in gallon freezer bags to contain each puzzle and its pieces and they are all in one clear Rubbermaid container. The problem: whenever I bring out the tub of puzzles the kids go nuts and pull ALL of the puzzles out, leaving me to clean up afterward. It’s a huge headache and so we don’t have puzzle time very often.
- Games – Similar to the puzzles, I have put small pieces into sandwich Ziploc bags to contain them in their boxes. I don’t really know where to store them so the children have access to them but also so they do not take more than one game out at a time.
- Books – Board books are not a problem but with older and younger children in the mix I am concerned about the paper books getting ripped. We also have a lot of books and get more at Christmas and birthdays. I am overwhelmed as I believe books are important to have around, but again am kerfuffled at how to have them accessible but not to the babies.
- Toy Sorting – Should I sort the toys by the type (e.g. all dolls in one bin, puzzles in another, etc.) or should I have a mix of toys and bring one or two boxes out on a weekly rotating basis to keep the selection fresh? I suppose if I sort by type I could also rotate the selection to keep the organizing minimum; and if I choose to do this then do I keep a standard box of toys out at all times with a smaller mix?
- Little Toys – These are the ones that you inevitably step on in the middle of the night and bite through your lip while trying not to scream out loud in pain. Do you just throw these out or save them to donate? I get sick of them accumulating in piles on the counter and other corners (of toy boxes) and then when I’m about to get rid of them have the children find them and want to play with them.
- Arts and Crafts – How to keep these accessible but controlled?
With all these toy dilemmas I should tell you, I have purged and sorted regularly. With the nature of my business, the basement renovations and having children of my own, it seems it is at a point that is overwhelming. And this “toy issue” is in addition to regular cleaning, deep cleaning and other household organizing and upkeep.
I think what I’m going to do to keep some sanity is to do a post on each of the items above with a summary of my findings and then show you my final decision. If I break it down by category and area of the room I think this will help (I’m praying).
I hope you will get some ideas yourself and share what you have done to keep control of the toys with me!