Today we are going to talk about a topic that has been the bane of my existence for over 2 years now: toy organization. Not only toy organization, but the fact that I seem to be the only human in my home that is capable of putting toys away.
I’m not sure about you, but the last thing that I want to do at the end of a long day is sort and put away my kids’ toys. Drink a glass of wine, yes. Sort toys, no.
I have tried to get my kids involved in the cleaning process. They love to help with a spray bottle of water when I’m dusting or washing floors. They even know how to roughly run our small cordless vacuum cleaner across major walkways.
But toys have been a particular struggle. Sure, I can get the twins to put toys in baskets. But the problem here, is that these 3-year-olds don’t know what toy goes in what basket.
And then there is my daughter. I’m not going to label her at such a young age, but let me just say this: I would not be surprised to see her on an episode of Hoarders in 30 years. She has an incredible gift for stashing random assortments of items (toys and household items alike) in piles next to her bed, or in a basket or purse that follows her around all day. Yes, she can clean up, but there is no system or organization… at all.
A few weeks ago, I had reached my wits’ end. My children are finally at an age where they get the concept of cleaning up, but organizing still eluded them. How was I going to teach a couple of 3-year-olds how to put toys away in their proper place?
Then lightning struck. One innocent comment from my mom, and I knew what we were going to do.
Disclaimer: This is in no way an admission that I think my mom was right. I would never publicly admit that on the internet!!! Just kidding!
My mom told me that a friend put pictures on all of her toy baskets and bins. Genius!
So, I took my camera and snapped pics of our toys. Well, first I organized everything in the bins that I wanted them in. Then I photographed the contents of each bin.
I kind of wonder what the photo developer staff thought about my photo order that day.
Then I used clear packing tape to attach the appropriate picture to each bin.
I will admit that cleaning up continues to be a process. But, now at least when I ask someone where the tractors or baby dolls go, I don’t get blank stares in response.
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