Organizing All the Toys

I saw Trish’s Inspiration on Monday link-up and, like many of the fun things that Trish posts about, I decided that was something I should try and it fits in well with my latest past time. I have been in the midst of a pretty hardcore decluttering of the house lately (despite being forever on the waiting list for The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up). I’ve donated bags and boxes of clothes and games and household goods. I’ve recycled nostalgia. I’ve tossed broken things I’m never going to fix.

But one area that I have not yet decluttered is kids toys and books. 8.5 months pregnant means I’m not in the right state of mind to get rid of kids’ stuff. Instead, I’ve just re-organized it.

I find that making sure everything has a home is the key to keeping the mess under control. Lots of baskets and bins and dedicated shelves. I like having toys and books accessible around the house instead of confined to one room (I think my room, the kitchen, and the bathrooms are the only toy-free areas). My house in the middle of a Saturday afternoon looks like a colorful war zone. But by Saturday night, we’ve generally picked it all up. And it doesn’t even take that long.

So, here is what my toy organization looks like.


My greatest creation:



EVAN’S ROOM (I actually like keeping this pretty toy-free)


And, just in case you felt bad that everything was actually picked up, this was the state of my back porch the morning I took photos.

So, what is your toy/book strategy? Do you corral them all into one room, close the door, and stay away? Do you allow the toys to take over the house? Do you take the minimalist approach and limit the amount of kids stuff that comes in the house?

6 thoughts on “Organizing All the Toys

  1. Lindsey June 15, 2015 / 10:00 am

    Yup, we keep toys and books all over the house too. I think the hardest part is the books all over the place, because they are just hard for little people to fit back on the bookshelf!


    • Michelle June 15, 2015 / 1:45 pm

      Evan is the worst at putting books back the right way. He just puts them on top. 🙂


  2. Iris June 15, 2015 / 10:02 am

    Wow! I’m just looking through these pictures as inspiration. We still have toys pretty organised due to Pim not playing with that many different things. We have one big bin in the living room which we open when he’s on the floor so he can pick & choose himself, and we are still looking for a good set of shelves for him that might go either in his room or in our living room depending on the size. I’m not sure how we’ll manage when he starts walking around however. We probably do need a proper organisational scheme like you seem to have here!


    • Michelle June 15, 2015 / 1:46 pm

      Our system has evolved with Evan. I’m sure you’ll figure it out as Pim gets older as more mobile. 🙂


  3. Trish June 15, 2015 / 12:47 pm

    Um, thank you for including the last picture because I was starting to feel like a failure. These days we basically only pick up on the Sunday night before the maid comes (and this is a new thing because I was going insane trying to clean the house on top of just tidying it). Like you, we have toys downstairs and up and corral them all in bins and bookshelves (I love you IKEA Billy Shelves!). I’m kind of crazy about keeping like things with like things (because how else will you be able to find all the pieces of the “toy” you want to play with!) but Scott says this is insane and it will never stay clean that way. Though I find that cleaning up like things also helps the girls stay focused (get all the books first, then the musical instruments, then the legos, etc).

    Love those green cabinets that you have!


    • Michelle June 15, 2015 / 1:48 pm

      I like keeping like things together as well and I do think it helps Evan know where things go. Once in awhile I have to go through and re-organize the things that have gotten mixed up. But I kind of like doing that. 😉


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