By: Stephanie Hawkins
If you’re checking out this Mama Get Organized blog series for the first time, this post is the 5th and final step in the organizing process. Read these posts first to get up to speed:
Step 1: How do I deal with all the toys?
Step 2: How to declutter toys and stuff
Step 3: Give each toy a home
Step 4: Choosing the right storage solution for toys
Step 5: Maintain & evaluate toy storage system
You’ve put in hours of effort organizing your children’s toys to make your home less cluttered and your life more simplified. Finally you’ve reached the last step in the organizing process and the easy part: system maintenance. Check out these simple tips below to maintain your toy storage systems, … and your sanity.
- If there is any confusion about where a toy is stored, label the container with:
- A print label for older children
- A graphic label for younger children
- Both print and graphic label for everyone
- Check out great label ideas on Pinterest .
Make discarding toys a habit
- As soon as you see that a toy is broken, incomplete or never used, discard it.
- Before Christmas, birthdays and other gift-giving times, purge toys that are no longer played with.
- Get your kids involved by talking about giving their old toys to children in need.
Tidy up regularly
- With your children, return toys to their homes at the end of every day or play session. Make a game of cleaning up. And remember, kids are never too young to learn to tidy-up after themselves.
- If toys tend to accumulate in a room where they are not stored, keep a basket in that room. While tidying-up, toss the toys in the basket and transfer to their storage spots at the end of the day.
Evaluate storage systems
- Put a reminder in your calendar at 3 or 6 month intervals to spend 10 minutes evaluating your toy storage systems. Ask yourself:
- What’s still working?
- What’s no longer working?
- What are our organizing goals?
Set the standard
- You’re your children’s biggest role model. Model the behavior you want to see in your child by regularly putting away your things and using existing storage.
You’re done! Or, you’re just beginning… Good luck! And remember, there’s no right way to organize. Aim for good enough, not perfection.
Stephanie Hawkins is the founder and principal operator of Haven Home Organizing. As a business-owner and dedicated domestic engineer, she has a passion for helping busy parents simplify their home lives. With two children, she understands the unique challenges faced by mothers in the workforce. Stephanie has an affinity for order, she has a Master’s of Library and Information Studies from McGill University. You can also follow her on Twitter @HavenOrganizing.
Questions? Send them to me! I’d love to answer your organizing questions and queries. Email me at info [at] havenhomeorganizing [dot] com
Note from the editor: Thank you Stephanie for such a well organized and interesting series! I know I’ve made significant changes already based on your ideas to keep my kid’s space decluttered but I’ll be sure to reread these posts to stay on track. ~ Lee-Anne