Keeping toys organized. ALWAYS a number one issue for clients, friends and often myself. Creating an easy system is KEY in maintaining a clean and organized space. Although I try my hardest to have the kiddos clean up after themselves, the truth is 35-40% of the time, it is good ol’ mom who is doing it. Or perhaps, Dad, their friends or the ever-helpful babysitter. And sometimes, that’s part of the real problem in keeping bins organized. My boys know which bin holds which toys, as do I. However, we are not the only ones who clean up their spaces. Having labels on the bins helps others put things back where they go to (and where to find something so not ALL bins are dumped out). Therefore, when organizing my home and clients’ homes, labels are a must. However, getting your kiddos involved in creating custom labels helps ensure success for others AND encourages even more involvement from the kiddos in the clean up process; they are excited every time they look at the bins! I have organized numerous toy rooms for clients and they are continuously amazed at the change in their children’s play behavior and clean up ability when all the toys are organized and clearly labeled. Children are conscious of which toy they are looking for and have the determination to upturn every bin in order to find it if everything is just mixed together. And they will upturn E.V.E.R.Y. bin.
To start, my boys and I spent an afternoon taking photo shoots of their actual toys. They had a BLAST (as did I working with them) selecting which toys to use and posing them-and boy did they pose them! Lol.
They also had fun picking font styles and colors to coordinate with the each labels “theme.” We used Picnik’s collage function to customize these labels (sadly, we will have to do it a new way after April 19th when Picnik closes, but until then-play away). We used pictures and words to cater to the various ages and skill levels in our household (ages 3-7). That way, no one has any excuse to not understanding what is in each bin. 🙂 It also helps my emergent reader with word recognition.
After that, we simply put a bunch of them into an excel file to save on print and laminate paper. We printed them out on cardstock, laminated them and cut them out. After hole punching them, we used binder rings to snap them around the toy bin handle.
Here are some of the other toy bin labels that came out of this fun day!
What ways do you organize the chaos that is toys?