Hi everyone, Storage Magazine’s Samantha Thorpe here with tips for keeping toys neat and orderly! I love my kids. I don’t love their stuff all over our living room floor. It feels like the clean-up game is never ending between my 5- and 1-year-old. But we just put together a story with professional organizer Kathy Jenkins from Come to Order about finding containers for your kids’ gear that can grow with them.
Here are a few of Kathy’s tips:
1) Select soft-sided, smaller-scale containers with handles that are easy for kids to carry and soft enough that if they’re pulled off a shelf or tabletop they won’t cause an injury. One of my favorite container systems is this snazzy orange one from Neat Freak; neatfreak.com
2) For younger kids like mine make sure you store the containers on the floor or a bookshelf so they are easy for tots to access. “If you want little kids to put things away, access has to be easy-easy,” Jenkins says
3) Label your containers. Write a label but also include a picture or photo for non-readers of the item that goes into each bin so everyone knows where to put things. For more fun labeling ideas, check out BHG.com/FunLabels
4) Start teaching little ones early that clean up is everyone’s job. Make sure you show them how you pick up your things and put them away so they will mimic you. Then turn picking up their things into a fun game by seeing how many times you can sing their favorite song while you put things away, or play a sorting game with your older kids: “Who can put the trucks away the fastest? Who can put the books away the fastest?”
You can buy the neatKids Mega Sorter (pictured above) at Macy’s, Amazon.com, and The Land of Nod. Also, if you’re looking for a kid storage planning guide to help you stay on top of your kids’ stuff, see BHG.com/KidGrid. These have been a life safer in my house. Now that we have streamlined our pickup time, we have more fun to play. And who doesn’t like that!
-Samantha Thorpe, Storage Magazine