I have self diagnosed OCD. I load the dishwasher the same way every time. I have the same routine at bed every night. I will change the toilet paper if it’s on “backwards”. While I’m not good at staying on top of organization, I have a set way of how I do things. It’s bad. My poor family.
On top of my household quirks, I also had the terrible habit of living vicariously through my children. I’m in recovery now. If there was a toy that reminded my of my own childhood, I bought it. If there was a toy I always wanted as a kid but never had, I bought it. If there was a toy from our favorite stories, I bought it. If a neighbor had a cool toy, well you get the point, I bought it. I’m not one to hold onto things. I probably throw/give more away than I should. When it comes to toys, I’m the opposite. I feel like if the kids have two or three of the same type of toy, there won’t be fights when friends come to play. I also keep the toys they have outgrown. What if my friends bring their little ones over? I need something around for them to play with that they won’t choke on. Yes, I’m a toy hoarder and I can justify just about every toy in the toy room. Maybe I’m not in recovery like previously stated.
I had to do something to keep my sanity. If I can’t get rid of the toys, I need them organized; everything needs a place to be put away. I have a friend who is an obsessive labeler. I LOVE IT! I have not purchase my own label machine yet and it’s probably for the best for everyone. I borrowed a label machine, and went to work on the kids’ playroom. Honestly, it was embarrassing seeing how many ‘things’ they have, and it also made me sick to think of the money wasted.
I started by purchasing clear plastic boxes. Mostly, the shoe box size. Some were a little larger to fit the bigger sized items. I chose clear so they could easily see what was in each box while it was on the shelf. I divided the toys into the boxes. Barbie’s went in one box, tools in another, Mr. Potato Head in a third and so on. Originally I just printed a label and stuck it on the box. But my kids couldn’t read. Eventually the My Little Ponies were in the Thomas box; enter the OCD. I decided to take a few toys from every box and take a picture. I taped the picture under the label. This way they can see what should go in each box once it has been emptied. This also helps when friends come over. They can see that the toys don’t just get put anywhere. It also makes play time easier. The kids are not left searching for all the items. Trains and tracks are kept together; babies and bottles are easily accessible.
My mom had purchased some great cupboards that she no longer needed, so I took two of them. My son and daughter each have their own, separate, toy cupboard. Now if I could just convince myself that if it doesn’t fit in the cupboard they don’t need it!
What are you tricks for keeping your kids things organized?