This toy organization tip from the experts is a big mistake.
And you are probably doing it right now.
The biggest myth of toy organization is that your home should look like a preschool, with separate bins for each type of toy (perfectly labeled and color-coordinated to boot!)
Okay, yes it looks wonderful.
It’s colorful and fun and invites kids to play.
But any parent in the history of toy bins knows that most children will dump out the LEGOS and the Little People, and the Cooking Toys and the Blocks and the… on and on.
Dumping out the toys becomes the play.
Then there are so many toys on the floor that it’s impossible to actually play with the toys.
Your child becomes overwhelmed with the toys and refuses to play or to clean up.
Why oh why did pinterest lead you astray?
Here’s what you will have to do to maintain such a wonderful toy room look:
- Discipline your child every time they dump out more toys than necessary.
- Clean up and sort a floor full of toys every day pretty much by yourself (small children do not sort by type very easily) OR give up and have empty useless bins AND toys cluttering everything.
- Deal with toys scattered all over your house because they are out of control.
Does any of that sound like fun?
Sure, I know some moms are fine with all that and they choose the appearance of organization over function. If that’s you, keep on doing you.
But all that is not worth it to me. I’m all about low maintenance play areas. Low, LOW maintenance.
I’m talking a clean up routine that even a 3 year old can tackle on their own.
How to Create a Low Maintenance Play Area
Here is my sons’ play area. Their beds are to the left.
Notice the *gasp* labeled bins.
These are not what you are thinking.
I have three boys ages 5, 3, and 1. I would never, NEVER organize their toys into these bins for reasons I mentioned above.
We use a toy rotation system. Can you see that big plastic bin in the back that says “Toy Box”? That’s where their current toy collection goes. The rest of the toys are stored in the garage, ready for rotation.
So what’s in the bins on the shelves? Isn’t that exactly what you said not to do?
Not really, but kinda.
Here is how I get away with it. The stuff in the bins is just other stuff for my kids that aren’t exactly toys. And it’s definitely not stuff we use daily.
I have art supplies, music toys, homeschool manipulatives (like counting bears), and games.
My most favorite bin is the charging station. It has a strip cord and all the essentials for my kids to place and charge their tablets out of sight. (This bin is at the very top so my little ones can’t get to it).
But what about all those small pieces in the other bins? Don’t they get dumped out everywhere?
My kids used to get into these bins all the time until I out-smarted them. I left the bins completely empty for a few weeks. They would look in, see there was nothing there and left them alone. Pretty soon they learned they weren’t any fun and stopped messing with them. Then I put the art supplies, counting bears, play-doh tools, etc. back in the bins and they still didn’t bother with them.
Now, if those bins were full of toys that we were constantly getting out, they would get wise and start the dumping fest.
Because they aren’t, these bins are just part of the background.
I love that these bins are quite handy to store our supplies in for when we do need them, but they aren’t a temptation to my children because we don’t use them daily.
If you want to learn more about how to organize all your toys and teach your children to clean their own room, check out this post.
Or get right to it and download your FREE printable bin labels and get organized today! The labels are editable so you can use them however you like!