If you’re anything like me, your life as a mom is a constant whirlwind. Finding that balance between being productive, assertive, and organized, while at the same time being the spontaneous & adventurous mama bear that our kids crave can be a challenge.
I love allowing my kids to be messy and seeing their creativity bloom, but I also want to be able to enjoy my home, and minimize chaos especially when it comes to toy storage ideas!
I am relatively new to the northern Nevada area. My husband and twin 18-month-old daughters, and I recently moved here for his new job. With that move gave me an opportunity to go through all of the things we accumulated over the years.
This included lots of my own JUNK as well as my girls’ items we have collected over the multiple baby showers we had, Christmases, and their first birthday. So many things.
Then, of course, came Christmas again! And having two, now toddlers, whom their grandparents adore, you can imagine the LOOT we brought home.
I’ll just say, we needed to borrow my mother in law’s truck to get it all home – true story.
The Path to Toy Organization
My twins, Harper and Willow, do not yet understand sharing, so, we pretty much have two of everything. Time to get serious about organizing and storing toys in our new house.
Set up their toys in a way that is accessible for them, where they can entertain themselves for as long as possible (can I get an amen?).
Set things up in a way that makes MY home enjoyable to be in. How did I do it?
To be honest I broke it into three days. If your life is anything like mine, you have big dreams for home projects you need to get done, so you think, “in the morning I’m getting a giant iced coffee, giving the kids pancakes, they’ll play happily for 2 hours and I’ll get so much done!’.
And then there’s crying, someone won’t nap, and then ya know- the kids gotta eat…again!
Often my projects are left halfway done and leave things messier than when I began. So I decided not to try to do it all at once.
Three Days, Two Kids, and Organized Toys
DAY 1 – Sort & Purge
Separate all the toys into 3 different groups.
Toys they love and regularly play with
Items and toys to store (for memories, or future children)
Toys to throw away or donate.
You can choose to do this with or without your kids’ help. Some kiddos are really traumatized (eye roll) by the thought of giving anything away. So if this is your situation I recommend going through things after bedtime, or when your kids are at school.
Think of keeping things that are actually your kids actually play with. Also, things that they will play with if there were fewer options. The goal here isn’t to get rid of everything, but to have things placed in a way that they can be enjoyed!
Once you have your three piles, put the things you and your kids love in one box or pile to be organized.
For the toys that you want to store, put them in a box, if you already have one, if not you’ll buy this on day 2!
And for all the goodies you are going to donate put in a bag or multiple bags. No judgment!
DAY 2 – Storage
This step is crucial – put the bags for donations in your car! Don’t put it in your closet or garage, get it OUT!
Keep in mind if a toy is broken or missing pieces someone else most likely won’t want it either. So, TOSS IT.
Also, I have been very successful selling children’s items on Facebook Marketplace if you want to try that. Just be sure to keep that stuff in a separate pile.
On the same trip you take to donate all of those bags, this will also be the time to pick up your organization items (if you don’t already have them.)
If you’d like a good place to donate your used toys besides the good ole Goodwill, Boys & Girls Club of America or Big Brothers Big Sisters will take them!
There are so many options now for how you can do this. Go with what fits your home. If you don’t love it you won’t use it, and you’ll just end up with more junk.
If you love a more modern look with a wooden shelf and wicker baskets go for it! There are lots of options at Target and Cost Plus World Market.
Here are some options we love from Amazon, because hello – it’s the best!
Again this should go with your aesthetic. I went simple and my special #momhack is that I use dry erase markers on the plastic boxes and tape. Then, you can change it up when you rotate toys, and you’re not making a commitment to that particular item.
If you’d like something a little cuter there are lots of cute craft tapes out there! If you want to get even more adorable and specific there are Etsy shops with really cute toy labels.
DAY 3 – Organize
Now it’s time to find a place for everything. The goal here is to make it organized. We want it to be easily accessible to your kiddos and you.
Plus, we want it to look nice enough so when the neighbors stop by unannounced, there are no worries.
Put like things together; dolls, cars, play food, etc. Let your kiddos help if they’re old enough. It’s never too early to teach a little appreciation of our things!
Something I’ve learned is to put sets of toys in plastic boxes. This makes it really easy when you are headed out for the day so you can just grab the box of legos or puzzle pieces and you’re set!
I really enjoyed getting things in order, and even though my girls are so young, they are already enjoying our new set up. The look on my little girl Willow’s face when I open our little box with just BALLS in it was so great.
I love that we found a way to enjoy our things more and I hope this helps you do the same! Do you have any toy storage ideas you’d love to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!
Sasha Marks is new to the Northern Nevada area. She is a stay at home mom of 18 month old twin girls. Sasha has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and is passionate about empowering young women.