Christmas is over, how do you organize new toys? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 12-26-2005, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi mamas....ok, so now that my living room looks like Toys R Us exploded in it, I need some suggestions for organizing the tiny pieces that come with the toys....for instance.....they got a set of plastic food, two huge play tool sets, polly pocket stuff (it hurts when you step on it in the middle of the night!).....I'm wanting to keep this stuff together and organized....i'm thinking clear containers from Target and Ziploc bags.....but how do you do it? I'm completly overwhelmed..... Thanks

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#2 of 11 Old 12-26-2005, 03:59 PM
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You're on the right track. I put little thinks in Ziplocks, though we don't have many b/c dd is only 2. Last night we put together a bookshelf we bought at IKEA a few weeks ago just so we could incorporate the new stuff. I also bought little baskets that fit on the shelf and are small enough for her to carry herself. We also have little plastic containers for things like chalk, crayons, finger puppets, magnetic letters. I decided I would really put things in their own containers, no matter how small, so we can see what we have. Before some toys never got played with she couldn't see them in the toy soup. So Ziplocks and small, clear plastic containers sound great to me. I even decided last night I'm going to put things in containers before I put them in her toy box so that thing doesn't just become the place where crap gets dumped, never to be found again!

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#3 of 11 Old 12-26-2005, 04:00 PM
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#4 of 11 Old 12-26-2005, 04:22 PM
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We're going shopping later today, and I'm planning on buying some small (shoebox size? smaller?) clear bins with those attached, hinged lids.

If I'm feeling ambitious after I dig out of the Christmas explosion, I may even take pictures of the toys that belong in the bins, and glue the photos to the bins so dd can put things away herself... Mrs. Potato Head pieces, bouncy superballs, finger puppets, cars and people that don't "go" with anything else, little musical instruments, etc.

I'm also in the process of boxing up some stuff to go in the attic for "rotation", so the Christmas stuff really doesn't add to what was already there.
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#5 of 11 Old 12-26-2005, 06:31 PM
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another good (cheaper) source for the small items is the tiny tubs that butte, cream cheese, and other things come in. It is better that just straight recycling, as you use it fr a bit and THEN recycle it! You can even use permant marker to write the item name or draw(or paste) a picture on the lid or sides. They are more stackable than ziploc bags.

Hope this helps!

Just noticed that pp had a similar idea for pasting pics on the containers - great minds think alike!
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#6 of 11 Old 12-26-2005, 08:59 PM
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I was so glad noone got my kids anything with tiny parts this year.
DD has a small dresser type container with small clear drawers on it that she stores her tiny stuff in.
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#7 of 11 Old 12-26-2005, 09:12 PM
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We didn't get much with small parts, thankfully!

We have two of these and they really help keep things sorted and organized. The only problem is when ds is in the mood to randomly dump toys, but then again if he's that intent on making a mess a rubbermaid container with a lid isn't going to stop him. (BTW, they're on sale at Kmart this week I think and go on sale at Target occasionally so they are definitely not always that expensive! )

Toy Boxes totally don't work IMO- they are classic and nice, but not great for just pulling out what they need right then.

eta: did a major cleaning out of toys and sent some to the grandmas houses to spread the joy.
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#8 of 11 Old 12-30-2005, 01:31 AM
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We have 3 mail areas where toys are stored- the girls' bedroom, the boys' bedroom, and they playroom. Different types of toys are kept in each area. For example, even though all of the kids play with the matchbox cars, at night they are put away in the boys' room.

In the girls room, we have 2 big plastic tubs (toyboxes) in the closet. One box is for bigger dolls and stuffed animals, the other box is for misc 'pretend' toys (ie- magnadoodle, pretned cash register). The rule is that the girls can only have as many toys/dolls/stuffed animals as will fit in the boxes. All of the dress up clothes are hung up in the girls' closet. Dress up accessories (hats, purses, play jewelry) are hung up in a bag suspended from a hanger. Small dolls (barbies, strawberry shortcakes, my little ponies) are stored in a small plastic box on a high shelf. Also in plastic boxes are Little People and puppets. All of the Little People buildings are also stored on a high shelf (some of them together in an old cardboard box). Duplos are also stored in the plastic tub they came in, on a high shelf.

The boys' room is a little messier right now. All of the toys are stored in the closet. The GeoTrax train set is stored in a huge plastic box on the closet floor. All of the legos, including the special sets, are mixed together and stored in a large plastic lego tub that we recieved as a gift several years ago. Star wars action figures and ships are in a medium sized cardboard box and placed on a shelf in the closet. GI joe stuff is in a big cardboard box on a high shelf. All of the matchbox car tracks are stored in paper grocery bags and stored on a high shelf. We have a lot of misc cars, trucks, airplanes, etc. that are still in search of a home but will probably end up in a big plastic bin. yu-gi-oh cards, projector reels, etc. are kept in the top dresser drawer. My next organizational purchase for the boys' room will probably be underbed plastic bins- one for each boy.

We have the bigger toys in the playroom in the basement. There's a large traditional toybox for big items, but almost everything else is kept in clear plastic boxes. The play kitchen is in the playroom, so that's where we keep all the play food. There's also a box for tools, play animals, megablocks, matching toys and stacking blocks.

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#9 of 11 Old 12-30-2005, 01:58 AM
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I'm giving away or throwing out toys my dds have little interest in or have 'lost' to make room for the new and higher quality stuff. Anything left out at night is fair game for the 'toy gremlins' that eat toys that little children don't put away before bedtime.... yes, I'm an evil mommy, but I have little argument for 'toys away' and a good excuse for selective 'hits' on highly annoying toys. Gee, dd, I haven't seen that toy in a while... maybe the toy gremlins got it...

For things that they have a moderate interest in, but really don't jive with our values, I either lose them during post-holiday cross-country shipping (the cheap plastic crap is usually the lightest to ship, and usually forgotten within two days ) or hide them somewhere high in the house. If they aren't missed any for a week or so, they're history. They almost -never- miss them.

There are sooooo many other new/good toys to distract them around, and the girls are still young enough that I can get away with this sort of behavior for now. As for the future... we'll see.
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#10 of 11 Old 12-30-2005, 07:27 PM
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Before Christmas, I went through all of my kids' toys and put away the stuff that they don't really play with often.

My ds has two big wooden drawers under his bed. They originally for going under a train table, but the top of the table got demolished, so we threw it out. In one of the drawers are all the pieces to his wooden railway system. In the other drawer is misc. bigger toys that don't really have a place to go. He has smaller baskets on his shelf that house his 'men', matchbox cars, wooden blocks, and books. He has a bigger rubbermaid container in his closet for his Geotrax.

My dd has built-in shelves in her room. She has baskets that house barbies, polly pockets, etc. I also like the containers that are specifically for polly pockets because they have little compartments for shoes, purses, etc.

I have always bought small containers and baskets to sort my kids' stuff out. Toy boxes are mainly used for bigger toys that don't have a place for themselves (Tonka trucks and the like) and stuffed animals.
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#11 of 11 Old 01-01-2006, 07:28 PM
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I hadn't noticed this forum before!! I love it!!

No flaming please, but dh and I think you can spoil a dc with too much "stuff",but not with too much of our time and love. With that said, we have adopted a rule that a friend from my old LLL group passed on.

For each new toy (or even clothing if there's an excess) that enters the house, one goes out. For ex: before BD's, I take dd or ds into the playroom, and they (try) to fill a bag of toys that they have outgrown, or have no interest in, and we give the sack(or box) to charity. I explain how important it is to be generous with people that don't have as much as us. Dd totally gets it, but with ds, we are happy if he even puts 1 thing in the sack.

We also keep a trash bag there too, for broken toys,lost toys that don't find their way back to the original set.

I have turned two changing tables into shelves that store shoebox size containers and other toys.

Seldom used toys or really big ones(like our pop-up castle) gets put in the basement and they can play with it when they want.

I can imagine organizing toys with more dc would be oh so challenging!!

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