Last week we talked about picking up toys often, and about making sure everything has a spot.
Today let's look at how to categorize your toys so that it's easier for kids to clean them up.
Part of making categories involves planning ahead.
As kids grow, they often end up really loving certain toys. My boys played with cars for the longest time. Then lego. The girls love their babies. So when grandparents ask for ideas and your kids love playmobile, give them some names of different sets you don't have yet. Now obviously I'm not saying that you can't ever get random gifts for kids, but as I work with clients sorting their children's toys, I often find that it's those one or two items that don't fit into any of the groups we've sorted that are actually the toys that the kids don't ever play with anyway.
When you're sorting toys, let the categories be as wide as you can. Being too picky makes it harder to clean up.
In this drawer where Cate keeps stuffies, we also have her pet carrier, pet leash, etc..
(Barbies are on the right in a separate box.)
In these 3 bins labelled "Barbie", the dolls, furniture and clothes are all mixed up. Clean up time needs to be quick and easy without a lot of frustrating sorting.
This tray holds colouring books, papers and notepads.
It doesn't matter how they get stacked into it.
Books on this shelf go wherever, as long as they can find a spot to stand.
Of course there are always things that won't fit into a category so a miscellaneous or treasure storage spot is a must!
Make sure your kids understand the rules you have about clean up time.
We keep our game remotes in 2 baskets. Now I don't actually care if they fold them up all neatly like you see them in there now, but I do care if they leave them out on the floor attached the the game box when they're not using them.
Our dvd's are in alphabetized boxes. Would I like it if every movie was in alphabetical order?
But I know that's me being picky, so I just ask that they get the movie somewhere into the right box so we can find it again easily.
Kids will have much greater success at clean up time if the items they are picking up are sorted in loose, easy categories that are clearly marked and easy to access.