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We have so many toys and they are driving me nuts. Kids are 6, 4, and 1 so they all have diff toys that they like to play with. How do I downsize with three kids and three age groups worth of stuff? If I put each childs stuff together it really does not seem that much but all three together and its overwhelming.<br><br>
Also craft stuff, how do you keep it organized with kids getting into it for this and that all day long. We homeschool so there is a lot of I need this for that and that for this going on. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I have <a href="http://www.ikea.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?topcategoryId=15561&catalogId=10103&storeId=12&langId=-1&parentCats=15561*15639*15651&categoryId=17066&productId=11499&chosenPartNumber=40047675" target="_blank">http://www.ikea.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?topcategoryId=15561&catalogId=10103 &storeId=12&langId=-1&parentCats=15561*15639*15651&categoryId=17066&pr oductId=11499&chosenPartNumber=40047675] this bookshelf</a> from IKEA that I use for DS's toys. It holds a TON of stuff - I use it to hold all of DS's toys, books, cloth diapering supplies, a CD player, and more, and I still have empty shelves. We have four BIG baskets on the bottom row, one with blocks, one with MegaBlocks (legos), one with trains, and one with cars and trucks. They're big enough to store TONS of each toy, and easy to be put away. I've seen this shelf used on Craigslist frequently. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Something like this might work with each child having a row of shelves, and shared toys/craft supplies/books could go on the last row of shelves.
 

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This is such a hard one because I always feel like I don't want to actually get rid of the older kid's stuff because I want to cycle it through for the young one/s. Something that has helped me is I took off the doors to the playroom closet and hung curtains instead. It allows me to pack more toys in there and then the key is to rotate so the old toys seem fresh again and I don't have to look at what has grown to be an insane amount of toys. I'm glad you asked this question and I look forward to hearing others ideas and tips.
 

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can you give a rough list of what they have? is there anything that they play with together? what are you looking at storing or using on a daily basis?
 

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I have a 7 yo, 3 yo, and 5 mo. DS just woke so Ill be back to add my two cents <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/notes2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notes right-handed">: We are struggling with this too. I just went through the toys a few months ago and got rid of a lot. I feel like I just need a good way to organize and store things. I like the book case thingy from IKEA, but there is no way we could afford that right now...I wonder how much it would cost dh to make one? Hmmm something to ask him about.
 

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In general, toys that I don't want my toddler getting into are stored up high or in a closet/cabinet. He can't open doorknobs yet or reach high shelves. His brother can get a stepstool to reach higher shelves.<br><br>
For art supplies, I created an art cabinet in the kitchen. The cupboard doors have childproof locks on them that the 4 y/o can work but the toddler can't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamamelia</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7991458"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">can you give a rough list of what they have? is there anything that they play with together? what are you looking at storing or using on a daily basis?</div>
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All their toys are in small rubbermaid containers or other container that slide into wire shelve cubes. The shelves in their room are four on the bottom, another row of four, a row of two, the top is one. They share a room and we have a craft room with some toys (mostly chokables) and craft supplies. Books are on a shelf on top of the dresser. Three shelves worth but I don't want to get rid of books, we love books. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> They are all read and loved and read again.<br><br>
DD 1 has:<br>
small crate (think milk crate) of dolls<br>
doll clothes<br>
pony/horse stuff<br>
dress up clothes (in toy box in closet)<br>
small container of miscellaneous stuff<br>
doll stroller<br>
stick horse<br>
remote control car<br>
keyboard (piano) this I hate but it was from grandpa for Christmas so...<br>
guitar (this is more a Homeschool thing though so not really a toy)<br><br>
DS has:<br>
train set<br>
under bed box of tools and cars under his bed<br>
dress up clothes (in toy box in closet)<br>
toolbox<br>
small box of bugs, spiders, snakes<br>
small container of miscellaneous stuff<br>
stick horse<br>
remote control tractor<br><br><br>
DD 2 has:<br>
mostly baby toys rattles, board books, etc. These are all in one basket in the living room.<br><br>
Shared toys:<br>
legos big kid (in craft room) and mega blocks (under bed)<br>
wooden blocks<br>
play kitchen (in living room)<br>
milk crate of kitchen toys<br>
cash register and shopping cart<br>
wooden puzzles<br>
walkie talkies<br><br><br>
There is also a box of toys in the garage that I rotate out here and there. Most of it is stuff I am saving for the baby though. The kids went Christmas shopping for Marah in the garage. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
The craft room is 2 tall shelves and a high wire cube shelf (about 5 high in a corner screwed to the wall). They have free reign in this room as the baby is not allowed in here. So they can do their legos and projects with out it getting chewed on, crumpled, spit up on, or eaten. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> There is just so much stuff they love to use and I have it all in little baskets but it never gets put back in the right spots and soon it is such a mess that they don't even want to play in there because they cannot find anything. And by soon I mean 4 hours or so.<br><br>
Everything I have listed is off the top of my head I am sure there is more little stuff. How to I weed stuff out if one or all of them play with it at some point regularly?
 

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I know this may be different than organizing, but we are already working on the idea that you put away one game before getting out another, especially things with small pieces that could get lost. It is harder with crafts because I want dd to have to idea that she can come back to a project several times, but maybe a way to organize the small things they are using at the table.<br><br>
An example: dd is wanting cut up paper, drawing, glue and tape (something she is doing now). I then help her because she is still young to bring supplies she needs to table in the baskets, bins they are kept in on shelves. So now in front of her is what she needs but still all in their containers. She works, creates, etc. Then together now (hoping on her own later) we put unused supplies back in containers and take back to shelf. Then if she wants to come back tomorrow she just gets out the bins again.<br><br>
because we are homeschooling too, I have a hard time with how much is enough, to much etc.<br><br>
Hope this helps, I am curious to hear other people's ideas too.<br>
Aimee
 

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you are right about it being alot of toys when it's all put together. i guess the most important thing to do here is to focus on keeping multi-function toys. for example, today i recieved a package from the michael olaf company (montessori) and one of items for dd (2.5) was a bead threading kit. well, both my 2.5yo and 5mo loved it. when the 2.5yo stopped threading and moved onto something else, i tied a knot on one end so no beads could escape and the 5mo had a blast with the way it clacks when shaken and it's bright colours etc. if the disks should happen to come off the thread, not to worry as they are just under 2in in diameter and so pose no threat. it wiggles like a worm when it has been fully threaded and is dragged on the floor, so it also serves as a pull toy when the 5mo will want it to be. the 2.5yo is learning colours by threading the blue bead, then the yellow etc and counting aswell. and then as a bonus for threading and naming all the colours of the beads, dd holds one end and i hold the other and we swing it around like you would a jump rope. she absolutely loves this and sings "swing, swing, swing" as we do it. the 5mo sits there and watches all the colourful beads clack and move around. we also take all the beads off and stack them (which is quite hard cause it's hollow) and keep stacking till it topples over. and when it's all said and done, we thread it up, tie a knot and hang it on the wall. very easy, and alot of fun for $21. it keeps the clutter down for me, but the real bonus is showing them that one thing can be used in so many different ways, which in turn stimulates thier imagination to find new uses for existing stuff. IMO, imaginative play should and must, must, must exercise the brain's ability to come up with new and more ways to play with the same thing.<br><br>
anyway, do you see what i mean when i say multi-function? i am also going to be a homeschooling mama, so i am trying to get into the mode of finding many functions for one thing otherwise my house is going to be overrun with stuff come a few years time.<br>
just going through your list right now and it seems that every child has his or her own seperate play stuff that thier sibling/s won't play with. do you want to keep doing this? does every child need his/her own toys that no one else will want to play with? can you encourage group play? the toys below are the ones that IMO can be played with as a group.<br><br>
small crate (think milk crate) of dolls - can you pare the dolls down to her favourite three or four? are they safe enough for the baby to hold and drag around?<br>
doll clothes - 2 outfits per doll is more than sufficient. one on the doll and a change of clothes.<br>
dress up clothes (in toy box in closet) - this seems fine.<br>
doll stroller - her 4 favourite dolls can now be stored in the doll stroller.<br>
train set - how big is this? and how many parts are there? are the parts big enough for the baby to not choke on should she put them in her mouth? is your older daughter willing to play along with your son? can her dolls take a pretend ride on the train?<br>
cars under his bed - can you pare down to 3-4 cars? preferably the ones that are the closest compatibility to the train set. or if not, just his faves.<br><br>
these are the ones that strike me as seperate toys:<br>
pony/horse stuff<br>
small box of bugs, spiders, snakes<br>
under bed box of tools<br>
toolbox - can you put the tools in the toolbox? or is this an entirely different set?<br>
small container of miscellaneous stuff<br><br>
as for the 2 stick horses - can you hang them up on the wall (at child height) next to eachother?<br>
remote control car and remote control tractor - i honestly don't have a clue as to what to do with these.<br><br>
keyboard (piano) this I hate but it was from grandpa for Christmas so... - keep. lovely gift from grandad and one of your kids may take a shine to it one day.<br>
guitar (this is more a Homeschool thing though so not really a toy) - can you hang this up at child height for your daughter?<br><br>
as for these toys:<br>
legos big kid (in craft room) and mega blocks (under bed) - keep legos.<br>
wooden blocks - are these the same mega blocks? can they serve the same functions?<br>
play kitchen (in living room) - keep.<br>
milk crate of kitchen toys - keep.<br>
cash register and shopping cart - keep.<br>
wooden puzzles - take a look at what puzzles are being played with, and how often. if you have more than 12, pare down. if not, just keep 2 out at a time and rotate them every 2 weeks. so they won't see the same puzzle till 12 weeks later.<br>
walkie talkies - keep.<br><br>
ok, your craft room... how many little things are we talking here? pencils? crayons? stickers? you said you have everything in little baskets but is everything stored in it's own basket, or are crayons, pencils and texta's stored in one basket? if this is the case, could you have pencils alone in one small basket or cup? and while you are at it, get rid of duplicates. if one child wants red and the other is using it, they will have to wait. it may sound harsh, but they can learn to wait and use another colour in the mean time. if you don't want to do this but still need to pare down some, keep duplicates of the most commonly used colours - blue, red, green, yellow and one only of each of the other colours. on the pencil basket you can put a kid friendly sign that says "pencils" to let them know that is where they belong. you could do this with everything else too. if the room becomes a horrific mess within four hours or so, you probably have too much in there. for example, when we set up a craft corner, i will only have/keep:<br>
*a wooden easel that you can only attach paper to (not one of those blackboard whiteboard types)<br>
*paper obviously - plain white art or butcher paper, normally. if we are doing a special project, i will bring out the coloured, textured stuff.<br>
*paints in the colours red, blue, yellow and white. if they want green, mix yellow and blue, if they want purple, mix red and blue etc. if they can't do this, i will do it for them beforehand. eventually they will get it and come up with thier own colour combinations. saves on clutter and also teaches colour combination.<br>
*one set of good quality pencils (12 pack) - in thier own small holder<br>
*one set of good quality crayons (block or stick) - again in thier own holder<br>
*a jar of glue with a brush<br>
*two paintbrushes<br>
*a pair of scissors<br>
*stationary stuff like a sharperner, a wooden ruler etc<br>
*one medium sized box of household stuff that can be used in craft projects like empty toilet rolls, egg cartons, milk cartons etc.<br>
as nuts as they may go, there is only so much mess they can create with the above.<br>
i decided that i will not keep stickers (they will just end up everywhere until the girls are mature enough to know how to use them properly), stamps (unless i want my floors and walls stamped - again a maturity issue), and all sorts of little tid bits that you can glue and what not as they will just be scattered everywhere. like i said earlier, that stuff will only come out when it is needed for a certain project. otherwise, it is packed up in an out of reach area.<br>
my little babe just woke up and so i need to stop here. i hope i didn't come across as a preacher or offend, and i hope i've made some sense and helped somewhat. while i'm lying down and nursing her, i'll try to think of more ideas. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> maybe you can post some pics of how your craft room and other play areas are set up?
 

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We keep most of our toys in the basement in the playroom. Over the years, I have purged TONS and still have what I think is a lot. But most of the toys are building toys, so there are large amounts (we went a little crazy on Lincoln Logs during our Lincoln Log phase). These are the kinds of toys that are passed from kid to kid that I keep. Basement toys are stored in tubs with lids:<br><br>
Thomas buildings, trains, and track<br>
Legos<br>
mega blocks<br>
duplos<br>
Lincoln Logs<br>
Tinker Toys<br>
potato heads (we have a family of six)<br>
Little Pony toys<br>
dress up<br>
large cardboard blocks<br>
trucks and vehicles<br>
dinosaurs<br>
balls<br>
Transformers<br>
playdoh<br>
wooden puzzles<br><br>
Playdoh is kept on a high shelf along with some Lego kits and floor puzzles.<br><br>
We also have a mini trampoline, kitchen set with food and shopping cart, dollhouse, and activity table. And lots of books. Some dolls and strollers. So we have a lot, but it's mostly building toys and creative things. Some of these things move outside in the nice weather. The nice thing about the tubs is that they close and I can move them under our stairs when company comes, depending on ages.<br><br>
Then DS, 7, has a closet devoted to him where he can keep more Legos, KNEX, and his other toys. We keep games in here too. He also keeps some books and other special things there.<br><br>
They each have a shelf in their room for special-no-one-else-can-play with toys.<br><br>
Youngest DS has things all over the house, LOL. Most of his little chewables and such are in a basket in the living room.<br><br>
Outdoor toys are kept outside.<br><br>
So I purge but I still have a lot, but for three kids, it's not too bad, especially since almost all of our toys encourage imaginative play and can be used by all kids (as they age, of course). We also have lots of playdates and playgroups, so it's nice to have a variety. We love to build things and sometimes set up elaborate forts and cities with everything.
 

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Same problem here. DDs are almost 2 and almost 6 and I've downsized a lot, but there are still so many toys they don't play with but I just can't part with them yet. I bought some of those clear larger sized plastic shoe boxes and that really heped as I can stack them and can see what's inside too. I put dress up clothes in a large metal washtub. It just looks cute and is so easy for the girls to sort through and clean up. Trucks, and cars (yep, my gal loves trucks and cars:) are also in a large metal wash tub.<br><br>
Sandy
 
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