How to Organize Kids Toys Without Losing Your Mind

As my kids started getting older it seemed the number of toys in our house increased exponentially. Everywhere I looked there was toys. And then the toys started coming with lots of smaller parts. At first we put them in a big box.

But it got really frustrating trying to find the set of toys they wanted to play with. My kids would dump all the toys out and then there would be an even bigger mess.

One day I was at the library when a light bulb went off. The library stored all puzzles in plastic containers. I instantly knew this had to be my motto. I was going to buy a bunch of plastic containers for our toys.

I picked Sterilite containers to store our toys. I liked Sterilite containers because they came in all sizes, the mini clip box, small clip box, large clip box and deep clip boxes. These boxes store 90% of our toys. The other 10% of the toys, the train set, duplo blocks and cars get stored in larger Sterilite containers. The different sized boxes can be a little tricky to find. I found that plastic storage seems to be seasonal in stores. The best places to find them have been Target, Home Depot and Menards. But it really depends on the season. I have also found them online.

These containers stack on on another, the lids of the deep and large clip boxes are interchangable, and the containers fit really well in the space I have. They even fit in our Kid Craft kitchen. That is where we store our kitchen toys.

The rules for the boxes are all like toys get a specific box. We have a boxes for musical instruments, bugs, fluffs, legos, Lincoln logs, plastic kitchen tools, real life kitchen tools, Melissa and Doug Pizza and birthday cake sets, character figurines, Tinker Toys, animals, Minnie Mouse Toys, wooden blocks, puzzles, Lego Train etc. The best part about it is my kids know how to sort their own toys now. If my kids no longer want the toy set we can give that set away full and the container can be used for another set of toys. I always buy a few extra around the holidays to have the different sizes on hand for new toys we get.

At first my husband did not like the cost of containers and did not like how much longer it took to clean up, ie we had to organize instead of throwing in a box. But overtime he has come to see that the system works very well and has not said anything about it since. And now it does not take us very long to clean up because we know where everything goes. And the kids can play with a set of complete toys!

I loved this system so much that I incorporated it for my crayon collection, crafting supplies, and office supplies. I can keep like things with like things and find them really easily. It takes a little bit of startup cost, but it is totally worth it to see a clean and organized playroom. Let me know what you think. Would this system work for your house?

Here are some after pictures of my house.

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List of Disney Animated Movies

Disney Animated Movies
If you are like me, your kids love Disney animated movies. When my kids started getting old enough to watch them I was disappointed by how few of them I could find in stores and on streaming services especially the princess movies. It seems like the only way to make sure my kids can watch these movies is to purchase them myself. And with Disney keeping their movies in a "vault" it is hard to know what movies I already have when I am staring at them in the store or searching Amazon. I put together this list to keep track of all the movies that we have, and what type we have. I added Blue-ray and Digital HD, because it is nice to know if you can put it on your phone or tablet. Also if friends want to borrow a movie and they only have a certain player it is easy to know. One day I would love to turn this into an app. But I tried making apps once and realized I need an apple computer to do so, so until then here is the next best thing. You can print it out and keep it in your purse. Here is the printable version.

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Easy DIY Mother's Day Vinyl Hand Print Project

Mother's day is right around the corner and I have a super fun and easy project for you. The best part is that you can make it with your kids. My kids were super excited to make it. And I have a feeling their Grandma's are going to love it. Here are the supplies for the project. I have outlined the supplies and steps using Cricut tools because that is what I have, but other cutting machines can be used as well.

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DIY Painted and Patterned Canvases

My husband made a set of 4 canvas paintings with flower prints on for our anniversary last year and to say I was surprised and super excited is an understatement.  Here are the instructions on how to make your very own.

  • Design or piece of art
  • Canvas or multiple canvases
  • Pencil
  • Transfer paper
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Picture hanging hardware
  • Ruler
  1. Find a pattern or piece of art.
  2. Decide how many pieces and how large the project will be when completed.
  3. Enlarge it in a graphic editing program.
  4.  If multiple canvases will be used decide their spacing and set up, remember this information to put the finished art on the wall correctly.
  5. Print out the design.
  6. Use transfer paper and trace the design on the canvas.
  7. Paint the designs.
  8. Paint the edge of the canvas a color darker than the darkest color in the design.
  9. Add hanging hardware the back of the canvas once the paint is dry.
  10. Hang on the wall using the measurements recorded in step 4.

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4 Ways to Find Engaging Toys For Kids

Have you ever spent hours trying to pick out a toy for your kid, have them look at it for a minute then go play with the pots and pans? So much time is spent scouring amazon reviews looking for the perfect gift. So much money is spent on buying these gifts and so many homes are cluttered with unnecessary toys.

This blog post contains affiliate links.

Why did your children not respond toys the way we anticipate?  What can you get your child for birthdays and holidays that they will not disregard and in a matter of minutes? I've got a few suggestions and toys that will change your life forever. The key to finding a good toy is how well it engages the children's imaginations. Plain and simple as that, if the child can play with the toy in multiple ways, they will.  If they can only play with it one way they will grow bored with it.

How can we find these toys?  Here are 4 guidelines to examine when buying a toy.

1. Find generic toys.  We bought this kitchen for our kiddos this summer, toys are usually cheaper in the summer.  We  loved the colors because we have a girl and a boy. We wanted both of them to feel like it was their kitchen. The pots came from from Ikea. They are simple and plain, but can be used in many different ways.  My kids have spent countless hours fixing food with friends, having picnics, and cooking soups in the pots. It is one of our friends favorite spots when they visit. My son loves to use the kitchen to play with his cars.  He also cooks food for us. The kitchen also contains storage room for their food so they can pull it out when they want it and put it away when they are done.

2. Avoid talking and complicated toys. We have a lot of talking toys at our house.  Do my kids play with them?  Not really.  The problem with these toys is they only allow the child to play with them one way, they are not using their imagination. The toy is telling the kids how to play with it.  The kids are not engaging their imaginations and become bored.  We bought a hot wheels raceway for our son and gave it to him a month ago.  He plays with it sometimes, but he found the track didn't work very well, the cars sometimes fall off.  Most of the time he ends up just stacking his cars on the raceway instead of turning it on.  I am glad we did not pay full price for it. We are getting him a train set for Christmas and I have a feeling he will like it so much better.  He can move the trains anywhere he wants and there is not a wrong way to play with the toy.

3. Coloring is for girls and boys. My kids love to color, both of my kids do.  I have often heard moms say their boys just do not like to color.  What do they color most of the time, coloring books? No, they color on blank pages.  They LOVE blank pages.  They can created anything they want on these pages.  My five year old now carries around a blank notebook and is writing letters because she wants to, not because the page is telling her to write letters.  My boy loves to color with his markers and makes some of the funnest designs on his pages.

My son's art
Click here to buy on Amazon
4. BlocksLegos, Haba toys and Melissa and Doug toys, are your friends.  What are so good about these type of toys?  They engage their imagination, have I said this already?  They can sort them by size and color.  They can create whatever they want to. The list goes on an on. When my son turned two he instantly gravitated to Duplo blocks.  He spends hours arranging them. My kids love creating airplanes with Legos.  My daughter and son use pattern blocks to create fun unique patterns. There are endless possibilities with these toys.

Now that you know how what to look for in toys, get rid of some of those non engaging toys in your house and find the perfect fun, engaging and imaginative toy for your little one. Your house, kids and pocketbook will thank you.

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