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moms of girls how do you keep it all organized?


lynn
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DD loves her my little pony's, barbies, blocks, legos, art stuff, dress up clothes etc. She really does play with everything but it so many pieces. We are working on clean up what's out before moving on to play with something else. I have a friend who keeps everything in seperate shoe boxes and when her dd wants something she has to ask for it and can not get something else out or go out to play until that one is cleaned up. I like this concept but I don't know if I am follow through every time. How do you do it? Ideas or suggestions welcomed.

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I have baskets, some are open, and some are plastic with attaching lids. They are all stored on a bookshelf within kids reach, and I keep on top of making sure they participate in cleaning up, and help them with it. Helping, to me, means different things at different ages. Of course my 3year old needs me to be actively cleaning up with her, whereas my 9yo might need direction if there is a big mess.

However, we currently have most of the toy shelves in an alcove, where there is just a little room to play on the floor. So there's only room for one thing, or the basket is removed from the alcove, and picked up and put back before THAT child gets something else out. This works really well for us, as the spontaneous act of getting something else out is hampered.

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I used Rubbermaid-type plastic drawers on wheels for nearly everything. I kept costumes in a Rubbermaid tub with a lid.

 

For dolls and their clothes, I used the drawer sets that had 3 large, deep drawers. For art supplies, I used the kind that had 2 large, deep drawers, with 2 shallow drawers atop them that I used for paper.

 

We had built-in cubbyholes in the play room, and I used tall, plastic, see-through bins for the blocks and legos.

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One Gallon ziplock bags - the kind with the plastic tab you pull across (like a real zipper). Little fingers can close it themselves. I label the bags BARBIE, PONIES, etc and toss them into a small laundry basket. I think DD was about 7 before she could reliably get everything back in the bags when she cleaned up, but it made it MUCH easier to find the right bag for that one pink shoe! :)

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Open baskets on shelves. And lots of them. Target or Ikea have attrative systems that are not crazy Pottery Barn $$. They play as they wish and combine lots of various toys. That's how it goes. So what if they make a mess for a bit. You scoop it all up and put it in the baskets. Doesn't need an elaborate system.

 

My 10 yr old is readng over my shoulder and she is horrified by the shoe box system. "That ridiculous! You have to mix toys! The playmobil trees go with the harry potter lego. And the pokemon guys fit perfectly on playmoobil furniture! How can you even use your imagination or have fun that mom's way? That poor kid!"

Edited by LibraryLover
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DD loves her my little pony's, barbies, blocks, legos, art stuff, dress up clothes etc. She really does play with everything but it so many pieces. We are working on clean up what's out before moving on to play with something else. I have a friend who keeps everything in seperate shoe boxes and when her dd wants something she has to ask for it and can not get something else out or go out to play until that one is cleaned up. I like this concept but I don't know if I am follow through every time. How do you do it? Ideas or suggestions welcomed.

 

Honestly, I've decided to let my kids be in charge of organizing their stuff. We don't have many toys, but those we DO have are in a million pieces (legos, dress up, art, blocks, animal figures, dolls). I had a fabulous system of open-top baskets that held toy-specific items (one for blocks, one for legos ...) but that didn't last long. When it came time for pickup, the kids just randomly put toys in the closest, least-full basket.

 

Drove me right crazy, but I decided to let it go. So long as the toys are off of the floor, the kids can "organize" them any which way they'd like to. I've noticed that the older my son gets, the more he wants to store his things in "correct" piles - lego blocks, lego extras, army guys, etc - just so he can more easily find what he wants when he mixes and matches his toys during playtime. My younger child still doesn't care, and thinks it's great to re-find "new" toys she had been missing.

 

I've just left available the containers I had originally bought for MY storage ideas and have let the kids use them as they see fit. I don't purchase new containers; if toys overrun, the kids know it's time to sort and donate. About once a month we'll do a thorough sort and clean, but again - it's them doing the sorting and organizing in a way that makes sense to them (but keeps toys off of my floor!)

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Honestly, I've decided to let my kids be in charge of organizing their stuff. We don't have many toys, but those we DO have are in a million pieces (legos, dress up, art, blocks, animal figures, dolls). I had a fabulous system of open-top baskets that held toy-specific items (one for blocks, one for legos ...) but that didn't last long. When it came time for pickup, the kids just randomly put toys in the closest, least-full basket.

 

Drove me right crazy, but I decided to let it go. So long as the toys are off of the floor, the kids can "organize" them any which way they'd like to. I've noticed that the older my son gets, the more he wants to store his things in "correct" piles - lego blocks, lego extras, army guys, etc - just so he can more easily find what he wants when he mixes and matches his toys during playtime. My younger child still doesn't care, and thinks it's great to re-find "new" toys she had been missing.

 

I've just left available the containers I had originally bought for MY storage ideas and have let the kids use them as they see fit. I don't purchase new containers; if toys overrun, the kids know it's time to sort and donate. About once a month we'll do a thorough sort and clean, but again - it's them doing the sorting and organizing in a way that makes sense to them (but keeps toys off of my floor!)

 

 

I agree. Kids should be in charge of their own play and toys. Some might need us to help them organize and tidy, and some do not. I don't see how toys are any less important than anyone else's stuff.

 

Of course, I also don't get why some people think houses with children need to look like children do not live there. Why are we always hiding toys? We have a gorgeous wooden german dollhouse that is nicer than most of my funriture. lol I just don't get why toys out are such a big deal or why every single toy needs to be put away each evening. If a kid spends all afternoon setting up a cool Playmibil or My Pretty Pony scenario, why do they have to take it all apart? It seems that play should be 'to be continued' at times.

Edited by LibraryLover
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We have Rubbermaid containers with lids, all neatly labeled (because Mom is nuts like that). There's a My Little Pony bin, Only Hearts Club Dolls bin, Dress Up Clothes bin, etc. I bought her a Caboodle case for all her hair clips, bows, headbands, etc.

 

The same goes for my son's toys. Lego bin. Star Wars bin. Knights bin.

 

I like all the toys to be cleaned up before bed (doesn't always happen). I tell them over and over again, if you want to be able to find your toys, you need to put it away in the right bin every time, then you will always know where to find it.

 

I've recently started the youngest on the same thing. He has a bucket with a lid for his dinosaurs. He's been really good about cleaning up his dinosaurs. I need to get him a few more containers for his other toys.

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