Why Toy Organziation Equals More Play
[This post contains sponsored links. The items featured and linked in this post were all provided by The Container Store; all opinions and reviews are my own.]
I am so thrilled to share with you something I recently discovered: why organizing your child’s toys equals more play time for them. With my older girls getting out of school a couple of hours later than my son, it leaves just he and I at home each day for a couple of hours by ourselves. Our typical routine is to come home, let him have a snack, and then have quiet play time while I squeeze in another hour of work.
For some time now, he has asked to sit out in our living room with maybe 1 or 2 toys but ends up just sitting and resting/singing. This is fine, but I kept finding myself saying things like, “with so many toys in your room, why do you not play in there more”? He typically would say he likes the toys still, but that he didn’t want to play with them. At times, it was a cycle that left me perplexed because it seemed as though he should have plenty of toys, books, and art supplies to keep him occupied for at least an hour haha!
It wasn’t until I took on this organizing project that I realized what the root of the problem was; all this time it had to do with his toys being disorganized, baskets too big to find anything other than what was on top, and honestly, just too much stuff!
I am going to walk you through what we did in my son’s room and how it has rejuvenated his love for playing in his room with his toys and books once again!
You can see in the picture above, how his toys were piled up high, balancing on tall baskets that were just too big for him to do anything with. Several toys were missing pieces and scattered about. His books were not stacked neatly, and most of the books he could get to were ones that we had read 100x or were too little for him now. I knew that our first step was to go through everything, sorting into three different piles along the way. We created a giveaway, keep, and trash pile. Paul was an excellent helper, and he knew what he wanted to keep vs. giveaway (I couldn’t have done it without his help!) That didn’t take longer than about 45 minutes; then we were ready to move out the giveaway items (totaling six yard-size trash bags full!!).
It already felt better, and Paul was seeing toys and books again that he had not seen in months. He was feeling excited!
Now we were ready to organize with the beautiful pieces I found at The Container Store. My husband and Paul built the gorgeous Weathered Smoke 4-Cube Cubby Shelving units found here. We used two and placed them side by side. We then added two gray soft storage cubes to each 4-cube group and even labeled them with these handsome bamboo bin clip labels. Paul is not reading yet, but he can decipher that the label that starts with a “D” is his dinosaur cube. These cubes held his bigger toys such as transformers, dinosaurs, remote cars, and hot wheel race cars. We then added these clear stacking bins to the other empty cubby’s to hold smaller items that may get lost in larger bins such as nerf darts, Lego’s and his magformer sets. These slide out, so they are super easy for Paul to access! All of his toys now fit into these eight cubes, and everything has a home.
For books, we went with this elfa utility Kids Playroom Door & Wall Rack White, and I love it! I not only enjoy the way it keeps his books organized, but it is such a fun wall piece to add to Paul’s room. The books we placed in these baskets are ones that we love and ones that he has grown into now. Reading is fun and something he wants to do nightly again.
One of the values we have as a family is to be creative in your play; whether that means drawing, coloring, making animals out of play-dough, or building something out of Lego’s! This was difficult for Paul to do in his room with his old desk. It was too much of a “big boy” desk and didn’t have much space to enjoy this creative play time in his room. We needed something that was just his size and would provide ample space to spread out and get his creative juices flowing! We couldn’t be happier with this Kids' Coloring Table Mesh White that has ample table space and handy drawers to hold all of his supplies. Sitting at this table is something that gives him hours of creative playtime.
Speaking of artwork, we have enjoyed displaying our children’s artwork when they were young, and I love these photo and memo clip strings to create a great focal point in his room. It gets these happy pieces out of a closet or storage bin and brings them to life.
Paul enjoys using his imagination too by dressing up in his superhero costumes, playing with Star Wars swords, and putting on his Hulk hands. He also loves playing with balls in his room and outside with his dad or sisters. These items are larger and needed more space. They had been confined to a small basket in a corner that was overflowing and just a tall stack that was frustrating to get to (they’d all roll out when you tried to get a certain ball to play with lol). This awesome gray box bench was the perfect piece to place these things in, and it acts as a bench at the foot of his bed as well! It is a win-win, and Paul loves opening the top up and grabbing what he needs so easily now.
Last but not least, he still enjoys having a few (special) stuffed animals and blankets around. This soft floor storage bin looks nice and is the perfect size to hold these beloved “friends.” The old basket was not functioning well, several broken parts and not suitable for a kids room.
We could not be happier with how his toy and book organization turned out. By discarding things that no longer were being played with or worked, and implementing toy storage, it has reignited Paul’s play time in his room. It is so much fun watching him enjoy his room once again. From soaring around his helicopter (that had been unplayed with under his bed for months) to sitting down and coloring at his table, it has been such a great investment of our time and resources.