Organizing with Kids – Toys and Craft Storage

Organizing with Kids – Toys and Craft Storage

Basementbeforeatdoor
Have I ever mentioned that I homeschool six kids? As a result, I have stuff. A lot of stuff. Not only do we have a lot of toys and games (multiply just six gifts a year times six and you’ll see my problem. Of course, they get more than six gifts each!).

Photo 1
I have spent years coming up with systems for keeping toys, games, and puzzles organized. I have definitely found some approaches that work. For example, storing games vertically works better than horizontally or in bins. What also works is using our old ping pong table to provide storage for suitcases and bins underneath. What isn’t working is the putting away part.

Crafttablebefore
Not only do I have six kids full-time, but I have had 11 more joining us for homeschool activities on Fridays. Our super fun co-op activities require lots and lots of art supplies. Using them is fun. Putting them away isn’t.

Benchbefore
As you can see, I’ve tried clever strategies for storing paints and underneath the bench are more art supplies.

Betweenracksbefore
Yet another problem with our storage area is that it isn’t just for kids. We keep our gifts, gift wrapping supplies, electronic accessories, party supplies, and seasonal decorations here, too.

Costumeclosetbefore
In our playroom is a second closet we use for costume storage. This is another area where I need A LOT because of our co-op activities. This year we had to dress for the Revolutionary War and for Africa.

I was determined to get control of these areas while participating in my simplify101 class and to be ready for next school year. The good news is I no longer have toddlers or preschoolers. In theory, the kids should be of help. 🙂 I did enlist everyone’s help in decluttering. The approach that works best for me is to lay out a blanket on the playroom floor. Any of the kids may take items that they wish to donate to the blanket. Anything not worthy of donating goes directly to trash bags. This system works beautifully because everyone can see what is ostensibly being donated. Otherwise the older child gleefully puts all the younger’s favorite toys out for donation. Likewise any educational items would go bye-bye without my watchful eye. My husband played a crucial role in boxing up all the donated items and drove them to the charity the same day.

I haven’t shown you every part of the storage room (there are other shelves that were organized and hidden bins that were emptied), but these are the results!

IMG_2809
The red bucket on the right is my solution for keeping this room organized. Anything that needs to be put away goes in the bucket, NOT on the table. When it’s full, it will be emptied.

Basementtableafter
My other idea was to put plastic tablecloths I already owned on the ping pong table. The paint is chipping off of it anyway and it creates a don’t-mess-me-up atmosphere that partners well with the red tub.

Crafttableafter
The biggest job with the craft and seasonal storage areas was to throw things out.

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Costumeclosetafter
I was able to get rid of enough stuff that I could keep a bin of other costume basics that was being stored with the toys and games. As you can see, I am continuing to store outsized shoes here.

Hope I’ve inspired you to unload toys, crafts, or costumes that you don’t use, need, or love!

 

 

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