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How do you organize block sets, play doh collections, puzzle peices, and play sets with multiple parts?<br><br>
Originally I had everything set out so the kids could play with them when they wanted. Well, one mess after another - they were too young for that.<br><br>
I tried again, and while they did great at picking things up, they still took out more than one multiple-pieced item at a time making pick up time take forever.<br><br>
I rearranged my house and put my dinner table in the room it's supposed to be in, next to my kitchen, and want to bring down the toys of many peices from the play room and homeschool room to their bedroom, to be played with at the table while I'm cooking or whenever they want.<br><br>
What is the best way to keep them organized? Currently all puzzles are in a storage container - all peices and all, making it hard to find the right peices (they are like shapes, ABC's, and outlines of pictures not jigsaw or anything like that). I have a 3 drawer plastic organizer that holds blocks, play doh and baby doll stuff, I am going to move the baby doll stuff I think and put the puzzles in there, then drag the thing downstairs to be kept in their bedroom. We are only upstairs maybe an hour or two per day for schooling, they aren't even in their play room that often because they're too young to be kept unupservised and I'm too busy downstairs to spend hours up in the playroom... So I'd like to bring more toys downstairs, providing it doesn't clutter our living area up because it drives my dh nuts and I really do want to keep the living room free of tons of toys! lol.
 

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oh i hate this! my boys have so many really fun little wooden sets of shapes, blocks, a train, stringing beads, etc and i can't keep them separated into their correct categories. i've given up on that and all wooden toys are just in a big bin. we have a basket with "other" toys (balls, dolls, kitchen toys, etc), and a bin for cars and other vehicles. that's the best i can do, because they do want to mix different kinds of toys together, and i think that's part of creative play. it sucks that, for example, their "doctor" kit is not in the case but scattered in a bin full of other toys, but i'm over it for the most part. i guess i'm just commisserating and not really offering any ideas! sorry <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
however, i do have a couple things i keep up in a kitchen cabinet that are special toys for only at the table: a construction set, a tupperware full of dried beans with mini garden tools, and all their art supplies. maybe i should sift out a couple other "sets" like the stringing beads and the puzzles so they stay tidy (and playable) too. could that be your puzzle solution? take out all the puzzles, put them all together, and put them all away (accessible only to you), and then take out only one or two at a time?
 

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I don't know if this helps, but my boys are 3 and almost 2 and I keep some of their toys in a bookshelf in an alcove off of the dining area<br><br><a href="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3168/2683294703_acba13b0ca_b.jpg" target="_blank">http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3168/...ba13b0ca_b.jpg</a><br><br><a href="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3007/2683248897_3c0479524f_b.jpg" target="_blank">http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3007/...0479524f_b.jpg</a><br><br>
I keep the puzzles in those storage boxes. Books and animals in the baskets above and the shelf above that has baskets of lincoln logs, puppets and art supplies.<br><br>
It is a challenge keeping everything sorted into the baskets, but the kids seem to enjoy the sorting process. My kids are used to the rule that we don't dump all the puzzles out. When we have playdates with some of their more rambunctious friends, I do sometimes have to move the puzzles boxes out of reach.<br><br>
Our playroom is the dining room since like you, my boys are pretty young to be left unsupervised upstairs. I try to keep everything in baskets on shelves<br><br><a href="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3008/2683248857_39ea167fda_b.jpg" target="_blank">http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3008/...ea167fda_b.jpg</a><br><br><a href="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3171/2683214929_432ba9c245_b.jpg" target="_blank">http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3171/...2ba9c245_b.jpg</a><br><br>
I've been trying to keep only the toys that are played with the most out. If they aren't played with, they go upstairs or go MIA.<br><br>
HTH <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I'd love to get this: the Rubbermaid 2-sided Canvas Basket Storage <a href="http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=8198054" target="_blank">http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=8198054</a><br><br>
and rotate what toys every couple days are in there to help contain the "mess". Also, only 8 sets of toys would be accessible at any one time. Make cleanup a 5 minute chore rather than an hours-long ordeal. DH says no, he would prefer the kids have to ask for toys and only have one thing out at a time (guess who is the one who has to get off her backside every 5 minutes to open the toy-storage-room?)<br><br>
For a couple "bigger toys", you could get a storage ottoman or a nice chest and tell your kids they can only have in the family area what can be stored (fit) in the storage piece otherwise something has to go back to the main toy-storage-area to make room for the new item.<br><br>
We do store certain things: art supplies, playdoh, puzzles and board games, away from the kids due to the 1. mess-making factor--want it to be used at a time we are able to supervise or 2. c'mon--doncha just hate working a puzzle only to find out that you've got a jumble of pieces from a buncha puzzles and/or that you are missing one or more pieces? For puzzles, I put the pieces in a freezer bag and the bag into the box. or 3. There are so many little pieces that we need to get in the habit of not leaving little-bitties lying about. Besides, I hate having to go search for dice before we can sit down to Yatzee...
 

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I have had to take drastic measures when it comes to legoes, tinker toys, lincoln logs, gears, ect.. I have two 5 drawer storage chests on wheels. Each drawer has a different type of toy in it. Both chests are in a coat closet, and DD has to request one of those toys specifically by name to get it. I still have tons of little odds and ends all over the floor from the kids other toys, but at least the tiny and pointy stuff is out of sight unless she is playing with it.
 

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1. Reduce...keep only what you and the kids love. I keep quality open-ended toys that I expect to be able to hand down.<br><br>
2. Seperate types of toys in different "zones". I keep all art supplies in one cupboard (It's a bookshelf with cupboard doorsfrom IKEA.) in the living room. (It's locked because of my toddler but eventually won't be.) Puzzles and games are in another closet. Then, toys particular to each child are in their rooms. This typically helps the play to be in the area where the toy/item is kept.<br><br>
3. Rotate toys. I have a garage and rotate in different toys. It keeps the interest fresh and makes for a lot of fun when something "new" comes in. Once the interest wanes, out it goes.<br><br>
4. Labeled plastic totes. One for blocks, one for cars, one for dishes, etc. Only allow as much as the tote can hold.<br><br>
5. Teach your kids how to clean up. Even my 20 month old can put cars in the car tote and blocks in the block tote. Everybody helps in a family.<br><br>
My kids can play with whatever they want when they want it. Just some of it isn't accessable at all times. As they get older and can manage the stuff better I anticipate being able to undo the lock and key. Until people stop cutting each other's hair, we'll stay locked up. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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We have open shelves that hold rubbermaid type containers with parts and pieces. Puzzles are in a puzzle shelf like this <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FMelissa-Doug-Deluxe-Wire-Puzzle%2Fdp%2FB00146I2WM%2Fref%3Dsr_1_4%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dtoys-and-games%26qid%3D1224072003%26sr%3D1-4" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Doug-D...4072003&sr=1-4</a> up high. We used to have them down for the kids, but they would just throw pieces all over, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> so now, I keep them on a high shelf and get them down when the kids ask for them. Same with art supplies. Some basics are in little containers under the easel, but most are in the garage where I can get to them. My 3 year old is very precocious, so rather than find her hot gluing the toilet seat or painting the kitty black, I just keep them out of reach.<br><br>
I try to limit the small piece toys, so far we have beads in one box, dolls and furniture for the doll house, baby toys/rattles in another box, and wood block in a wooden container. We have lots of toys, but it only takes 5 minutes to put them away. Any longer than that and I would consider putting some away.
 

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I sort like with like, and each "thing"has it's own bin.<br><br>
for example: playdough goes in the playdough bin, playdough tools have their own bin. Paper with paper, crayons and markers all have their own pencil case that is stored in the writing tools bin etc...<br><br>
Each puzzle is stored in it's own ziploc bag. You can think about marking the back of each puzzle's pieces with it's own symbol so that if they happen to get mixed up with other puzzles they are easy to sort again. I keep all the ziplocs in one bin.<br><br>
Bins are all stored on a bookshelf.
 

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Good ideas. I also save all of those vinyl like bags that sheets and stuff come in and use them to sort toys with pieces instead of Ziplocs.<br><br>
I also bought storage boxes with lids that lock so that they don't get opened by the toddlerasaurus rex until we've put away the previous multi-piece toy.
 

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We try not to store toys downstairs. They are welcome to bring stuff down to play with but we try to pack it back up before they go to bed. We try not to have to many things<br>
out at once. Using the threading beads to cook is fine, cooking the puzzle pieces is not (since you can't play with the puzzle if you've lost the pieces)<br><br>
Most of the toys are stored in underbed storage boxes. large collections like the duplo and kitchen stuff have thier own boxes. Other things are more mixed up. We tend to bring those out one at a time.<br><br>
Each child also has a shelf with baskets containing smaller things (toy cars, threading beads etc). I rotate contents of these regularly.<br><br>
DS has a couple ff the wooden puzzles out but now DD is into ones with more pieces she has to ask for them.<br><br>
Playdough and other craft supplies are in the dining room and the children has to ask for them. We recently bought an easel and have left that with some chalks/markers.<br><br>
In some ways I would like the children to have more free access to the craft things but it results in more mess than I can handle.
 
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