Let’s commence with humor, because humor will make motherhood (and life) a lot more fun.
“When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out.” ~Erma Bombeck
Earlier this week, I posted about organizing kids’ bedrooms and I had some moms ask for specific tips on organizing toddler rooms. While all the steps from the last post still apply to toddlers, I want to share with you my favorite tips about organizing toddler rooms.
1 – Use a mix of matching containers
While matching your containers will instantly make any room look tidy, they don’t all have to be the same exact container. Closed toy chests work well for large toys, medium bins are great for small toys and open containers work well for storing books. Containers can be stored inside bookshelves or inside kid’s closets. Use toy chests for stuffed animals, blankets or place 2 or 3 open containers inside to sort smaller items. Otherwise, small items will get lost in the bottom of the toy box.
2 – Label bins using text and/or picture labels
When labeling bins for little ones, it’s a good idea to use a picture of the content of the bin, instead of text.
3 – Make items accessible for toddlers
Toddlers will only put away toys if they can access them. And even then, we know it can be a challenge. Even if you have to do some or most of the work (especially if they are toddlers), it will be easier for you to put away their toys if there is a system set up.
Also, they will only play with items they can access so be picky with what you leave at arms length. I choose to keep my son’s DVD’s at a height that he cannot reach because I know that he would take them apart daily if he could.
4 – Create a Reading Station / Nook
My toddler’s room is small, the smallest room in the house. Although a sizable reading station was not possible, a little nook in a corner was. I did not have space for a bookshelf so I added a shelf that could hold a small amount of thin books. He has more books inside his closet but these are the ones he reaches for time and time again.
Consider bins for odd-shaped books. Some books fit nicely in a bookshelf, but toddler books come in all sizes and shapes and sometimes a bin is the best spot to store them.
5 – Have a spot to place clothing they have out-grown.
I keep an open bin at the bottom of my toddler’s closet where I can toss items that no longer fit. I prefer an open bin for this so that it is an easy system to follow. When the bin is full, I sort through it and donate the items.
Beneath the bin I keep boxes of hand-me-downs from my older son, with the following size he will wear. The next size or two he will use go at the bottom of the closet and the rest go on the last shelf of the closet, right up to the ceiling.
We started with humor so let’s wrap it up in the same fashion:
“The quickest way for a parent to get a child’s attention is to sit down and look comfortable.” ~Lane Olinghouse
Isn’t that the truth?