Friday, February 4, 2011

Organised Home Project 3 : The Kids Toys

Hello all, I hope you've had a great week. The kids toys was a project a lot of you wrote as being one of the main things you wanted to get organised and I was definitely one of them too! I am so not complaining about having lots of toys- we are very lucky that our children have so many to play with and also get given lovely toys by friends and family.  But the good thing is that having a bit of a sort out and donating a few toys to charities means you get to do something good while sorting out your own house!

This was the toy situation in our house...
* too many little bath toys that were taking me ages to pick up out of the bath every night (ok not every night, just when I could actually be bothered!)
*playhouse toys out of control
I think Every Single Toy was tipped on the floor that day!
*dress-ups all over the spare room floor most days
*paddling pool toys all over the lawn (the kids hardly played with them, Stella just threw them all out of the pool after getting in)
*toy storage containers and cupboards bulging with toys
Toy cupboard in the lounge
Plan of attack
1. I went through the dress ups and just kept 10 things in Amelie's room now and put the rest away
2. We had this neat road bath toy set with cars, trucks etc. Most nights Stella just tipped the entire bag into the bath and didn't even play with them! So I just chose 1 or 2 of each thing like 1 car, 1 truck etc and probably only kept a third of what was in there
3. I declucluttered heaps of the playhouse and paddling pool toys.
4. For the toys in the lounge and kitchen I made myself choose 10 toys to get rid of. 
5. I took all the toys and some of our books (not the kids books as I can't get rid of any of them!) and some other stuff to the Salvation Army shop.  Women's Refuge, Plunket or places like Bernardos are other great places you could possibly donate toys too.
A lot of stuff leaving our house yay!
The really amazing thing I have noticed since all this decluttering is that they are actually playing with the toys sooooo much more than before when they just tipped them all out and moved onto the next mess! And it is so much quicker to tidy up after they've gone to bed because firstly there's less toys and secondly there's more room in our storage places to throw them all!
Much better... well for now anyway!
And don't forget...having a tidy house and having an organised house are two very different things I think! My house is hardly ever 'tidy'- there are always toys and books all over the floor, things set up by Amelie using cushions/furniture,...and the day I can walk in a straight line from one place to another in our house without side-stepping something will be a miracle! I don't worry about picking anything up till both girls are in bed though unless I've got someone coming round, otherwise I would just spend my entire day following them around and picking stuff up! 

So here are some things I use for toy organising...
* Whenever I buy pillowcases or sheet sets I keep the plastic zip bags they come in- they are great for puzzles or other little things. I've also made some fabric puzzle bags too.
* In the lounge I've got a couple of storage containers that don't scream 'kids' even though there's kids stuff in them
Kids books in a little basket
 * I like using soft rubber buckets like the pink one below for toys. They fit heaps and they can squeeze into whatever space you have. They have heaps at Briscoes- I got this one for $8 on Sunday when they had their big sale. 
Kitchen toys and books
I also like Ezibuy for their storage containers -that's where I got these for Stella's room a few years ago.
* I re-use cute boxes to keep puzzles and little things together too- this spotty box had a set of toiletries in it
* I like using a trug type container for crafty stuff- easy to throw everything in when Stella throws it all over the floor (did I mention Stella has a throwing habit...) and with the handle it's easy to move around depending on where Amelie feels like drawing that day. 
Blue trug from The Warehouse
* Although I haven't tried it, I really like the idea of toy rotation where you bring out different toys each week. Of course, you need good out of sight storage for this to be able to work!
* I use bookcases for all the girl's books but I love this idea and want to make one for Amelie's room.
Melanie's office nursery book slings
* and finally, here is some drool worthy storage inspiration rounded up by Lil Magoolie.

Phew, that's another project done (for now!) and it really has made a difference to the overall feel of the house I think. I don't know much about feng shui but it really does feel like the house has a more positive energy and is somehow 'lighter' if you know what I mean!  Would love to hear any of your tips or storage ideas too.

It was so great to see the link up's and read all the comments last week thank you :) The winner of last weeks prize is Wendy.
This week's prize is two zippered bags for keeping puzzles and other little things together. Just link up with your organising pics, leave a comment telling us about some organising you've been up to, or let us know any tips or ideas you've got and you're in the draw.
Next weeks project is family photo's/memories. Some things I would like to get done are either print out and put all of 2010 in some albums (oh boy, thats a big job!) or make some books using Snapfish, make another DVD of the girls, print some family photo's to put in a collage type frame, delcutter my iphoto albums and print and frame some photo's of the girls for a wall in our hallway. A couple of these have been on my to-do list for over a year at least! The latter part of this week has gone a little pear shaped though -sick child, quick trip to Auckland needed (unrelated to sick child!)- and we've got a wedding next week so even if I get one of these done next week I'll be happy! Maybe you've got heaps of photo's to print out or put in albums as well, or you've been wanting to frame a few special photo's too.

Happy organising :)
Megan x
PS: If you are decluttering fabric or old clothes at the moment check out this website- Sarah would love to hear from you!


Anonymous said...

You have such great ideas Megan!! I am about to organise the toys in my house now I have a crawler on the loose! I am going to convert the bottom shelves of my bookcase in the lounge to toy storage since they seem to be the first place Grace heads to with her new found freedom! I am going to the Storage Box (or is it The Plastic Box?..) to get some fabric storage boxes to put them all in :) Hope your girls are all right?
Cousin Vicki xoxox

Michelle said...

Oh Megan I can so relate to the kids toys saga, though my kids are a lot older now the toys have just changed, from tonka trucks and rubber duckies to motorbikes, surfboards, bow and arrows, bikes, horses, fishing gear oh and books, books are found eveywhere!!! They are all avid readers and when we go to the library we take a big plastic box to carry them all home in. It also doubles as a way to store them when we get home! Another tip I would like to share is for the Lego fans out there. When the boys were smaller Lego would be found in all sorts of nooks and crannies and trying to pick it all up at the end of the day was such a mission. So we ended up laying a sheet on the ground and pouring the Lego on top so when they had finished all we had to do was dump the sheet into the container and pick up a few stray blocks. Sometimes they were threatened with the vacuum cleaner trick!!!
I know everyone is different but we would always get our kids to help pick up at the end of the day and finally we are starting to see the dividends of this, they are not perfect by any means! Your house is looking great too by the way!

gretbert said...

It all looks great! I love baskets and buckets too - I saw on a show once that you shouldn't try to use storage with lids in kids rooms because it just won't happen...

Stella said...

So inspired! Actually, Eleanor doesn't have heaps and heaps of toys (yet), but still has way more than she actually needs right now... I have a lot more work to do before I'm happy with her room, but for now my biggest achievement is having found a space to stack suitcases, each filled with different types of toys. That way they are out of sight, organised, and if she wants to play with a certain type of toy then we can just open that suitcase and pack it away before playing with anything else.

Of course she's still too young to really get it, but I think it will be helpful in the future!

Anonymous said...

You have great tips here and have inspired me to get stuck in to the mess that is my children's toys...I especially love the idea of recycling plastic zip bags from linen.

monkeemoomoo said...

I am exhausted just reading this. Our playroom is fairly organised, I did this just before christmas, although there is still 2 boxes of extra things to be sorted under my daughters bed. I am going to go and sort that right now!

With all of our rainy holidays I couldn't see our play room floor. Last weekend the kids helped and we put back everything in it's place, and I'm proud to say they have been keeping it tidy and packing up before starting with something else. Now, every time, I walk around the corner I have to catch my breath at what a lovely room it is. I am so used to seeing it messy. Finger crossed it stays this way:)

As for photos next week - you are on your own. That task is even more daunting than my wardrobe!

Photography said...

I am so loving your posts on this challenge (wishing i was as organized, only just making it through the days right now...) Thanks for all you tips and your home looks lovely!!

Megan said...

Hey, my name is Megan too!! I just love all your organizing ideas for your kids rooms! We will be moving to a new house soon (THANK THE LORD)! So, I want to start out fresh and organized!
Adding you to my blogroll! =)

becs said...

This is so inspirational, it must be so satisfying! Thanks for the tips, you have done a great job.

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