Monday, 2 January 2012

Organizing Toy Central

With the holidays behind us and the mountain of toys before us, first up in our places to organize is the toy area. The first rule that I live by is ROTATION. Find a place in your home that you have easy access to, that you can place toys that are part of the rotation cycle. My kidlets are young enough that they don't spend too much time in their rooms, so my rotation zone is in their closets. Every two months or so I rotate out the toys. They feel like it's Christmas because they have completely forgotten about these toys (trust me) and they don't get bored of the toys they have.

The only things I DO NOT rotate are Play Doh, Art Supplies, Lego and Dressup. Everything else is fair game. I do rotate books on a seasonal basis as well. If they are season or holiday based, they come out at that time and go back into storage afterward. All other books take rotation if we run out of space, older books go into their rooms so they still have access, but are not apart of our everyday read. If I am addicted to anything, it is books. I get sooo excited when the Scholastic comes home from school, it's dangerous and I've been put on a monthly budget :)

So this is my main toy organization station. It is two typical 9x9 cube storage units side by side. I purchased the corresponding canvas boxes and sorted by type. You can purchase these storage units at any hardware store, Canadian Tire, IKEA or any organization store like Solutions. This particular unit is a Martha Stewart Living Cube Organizer I purchased at Home Depot. The unit is constructed to have backing on all 4 corners and in the center of unit but that didn't work for the height of the kidlets in this house. I rearranged the backing to have three on the top row and two on the outer sides of the middle row. I also don't use the tiny little nails that come with the unit to secure the backing. They almost always split the MDF Board so I use my trusty staple gun. Once you have decided where you want your boxes to be, sort your toys by type. We have the following...

  • BABY-Full of our baby specific toys for our smaller friends who come to play with us in the day (ie. baby rings, teething rings, rattles etc.)
  • BLOCKS-Self explanatory, this are not Lego blocks though, they stay out of the common area. These are Mega & Duplo building blocks.
  • DOLLY-This is for all doll clothes and accessories.
  • MUSIC-All music instruments go here.
  • CARS-All cars and trucks go here.
  • PEOPLE-All Little People and anything that resembles a person go here.
  • ANIMALS-All animals go here.
  • STUFFIES-We call those little stuffed animals that are about the size of your hand, Stuffies, that's what goes here. 
The other toys that are too big for the boxes get placed on the shelf in no particular manner. They are just kept neat by not being crammed in and by having all toys visible and accessible. As you can see we have three compartments allocated to books. I group those as well as follows...
  • LIKE BOOKS-All books that we have several of get grouped together. Robert Munch, Little Critter, Franklin & Berenstein Bear Books etc. If we have more than about 4 or 5 books from the same author they get grouped in this section.
  • HARD COVERED-This is where all our hardcover books go. Every few months I will go through them and try and organize from longest to shortest (meaning cover size) books because they can get lost and forgotten when some get stuck between two long books.
  • SOFT COVERED-This is where all or soft covered books go and I try to sort the same as I do with the hard covered. I do not do this very often as they don't stay organized anyways but every so often I get that itch.
That's it for the main toy center. Check here to see what I do with the rest of our toys like train sets, bigger stuffed animals, babies and MORE BOOKS in Organizing Toy Central-Part 2.

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  1. I love this and will be featuring it on Friday - thank you for sharing your organizing idea!


    1. Thank you so much Amanda! I am so excited, this will be my first feature. *hugs*

  2. Saw your comment on my blog and wow we are twins. I love finding other people that love to organize like me. I'm your newest follower :)

    1. I know, it's an obsession I can't let go of, nor do I want to :) Thanks for popping over & following along!

  3. Good suggestions. I'm trying to do something similar with the 'containers in cubby' type thingy (very technical words aren't they...). A work in progress for me ;-)