Get Organized: Eliminating Toy Clutter
Your child's room doesn't have to look catalog-ready, but you should be able to see the floor and easily find what you need—and so should your kid. Follow these steps to make your child's space calmer, more enjoyable and easier for him or her to clean!
Here's how to clear out excess toys, clothes, books, etc., and leave only what they use, need and love: Step 1: Pare down to the present. Eliminate everything that they don't currently use and love.
- Toss items that are broken or worn out.
- Box up outgrown clothes, toys and games for your next child. Label boxes by size, age and gender. (Not having a "next child"? Give away all of the above!)
- Store away purchases and gifts they haven't grown into yet.
- Photo and text logs: Create a simple library system for storing photos (in folders if online or in photo shoeboxes if printed). Label them by year, age range (baby years, toddler, etc.), or occasion (parties, vacations, etc.). Buy a pre-organized "My Childhood Years" book or create a Word document on your computer to track memorable firsts.
- School and art archive: Set up a cardboard banker's box or a plastic file tub with 14 folders—one for each year of your child's schooling. During the school year, toss all "possible" candidates for the archive into a separate bin or crate and at the end of the school year, go through the bin with your child, and pick out the favorite pieces to transfer to the archive. Never save more than will fit into the confines of a folder (about 1-2 inches of papers per year).
- Treasure chest: Designate a big storage box or trunk as the holder of a limited number of treasured baby clothes, toys, books and other memorabilia. Add to it over the years, but always keep the volume confined to what can fit in the box. This "time capsule" can eventually move from your home to your child's first apartment.
Ready to keep organizing your life? Check out the rest of the challenges in our Get Organized Boot Camp with organizational guru, Julie Morgenstern:
- Challenge Week 1: Cleaning out your bag
- Challenge Week 2: Getting rid of toy clutter
- Challenge Week 3: Cleaning out the car
- Challenge Week 4: Finding "mom time"
- Challenge Wrap-up: Staying organized
- Changing handbags
- Getting started at home
- Keeping home organized
- Simplifying your commute
- Creating storage in your apartment
- Finding time to organize
- Cleaning with partner
- Staying motivated
- Organizing home after baby
- Managing laundry
- Cleaning out the closet
- Getting out the door faster
- Making bill-paying easier