I’m still here in Texas, enjoying my time with my sister-in-law and her baby girls. She and her husband have a neutral-toned and somewhat minimalist home decor that has been thwarted by brightly-colored toys and books in the past year. Because they have a one-story with an open floor plan, the most logical place to keep toys is in the living area. But they needed a way to store and rotate toys without turning their home into a preschool play area.
Their 19-month-old doesn’t have too many toys. In fact, she rarely plays with the toys she has and many of them seemed too young for her as an active toddler. We brought all the toys together and sorted through to decide what would go into rotation, what would be saved for later, and what would be donated.
This bin of toys will be boxed up and stored in a closet. It contains toys that the toddler has grown out of but that the new baby may soon grow into. Also there were a few great gifts that they received recently that she isn’t quite ready for.
We filled two bags with donations.
The remainder of the toys we separated into three baskets. Each basket has a variety of toys– sorting, stacking, stuffed animal, electronic, ball, etc. She will get one basket per day so that the toys stay interesting and new. As her parents determine which toys she loves most, they may decide to keep some out for longer or put some away. It’s also a great system because there is a fraction of the cleanup they had before.
We got these naturally grown Abaca baskets at Target. They match their style and can later be used for any type of storage.
Books are stored in the same Abaca media baskets. I prefer the long and narrow shape for books so that young children can clearly choose which book they want.
A few toys and books will stay in the parents’ bedroom so that the older baby can play and read while her mom is taking care of her baby sister.
Toy organization is tough, especially with a toddler who has her own idea about arranging things. I hope the changes that we made will work for them for now. I can imagine how things will change when the little one is running around with her own toys!
Any advice for managing toys and books for toddlers with infinitesimal attention spans?