TOYS!

Whether you have an infant in the house or it's just you, chances are there's at least one toy...somewhere.

According to Time Magazine, the United States has 3.1% of the world's children, but 40% of the world's toys.  That's a big difference!  That means a couple things: our children have a lot of toys and it's not just the kids that have those toys.

What a kid (at heart) to do?

Step #1: Get rid of some! Gather all those toys into one room and have the kids go through them, if they are able to.  Let the kids decide which toys are really important. Most parents are surprised by the decisions kids make.  Parents are allowed to veto decisions, but do so sparingly.  Trash broken toys, and donate the rest.

Step #2: Assess where you want to store these toys.  Do you have a playroom?  Or, are the toys all over the house?  Should they stay in the bedroom, or mostly in the family room?

Step #3: Make it fun.  Open bins are great for active kids, where it doesn't matter if lots of toys are visible.  Fabric bins are great to use where sharp corners of wood or hard plastic might cause bumps and bruises. And, don't forget those hidden spaces that you can utilize for storage: walls, under other furniture and even the ceiling!

Try to use storage solutions that are easy for little kids to get toys from and put toys back in to, like these from The Land of Nod.  And, even adults with toy collections can use some creative display options!  Think storage baggies for small toys and puzzle pieces, so they're not loose in bins and rolling away never to be seen again.

One of my favorite toy storage ideas is the toy net.  It gets soft and large toys off the floor, without using something that can topple or fall.  It can even hold unruly items like balls and toy wands/swords for dress-up. 

The key thing to remember when it comes to toys, is to keep it fun. Cleaning up shouldn't be a chore; it should be quick and painless.  And, finding the right toys to play with should be just as easy.  Keeping your toys organized means more time for playing!

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