What are some tips for organizing kids' clothes and toys?

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Answered by: Sheila, An Expert in the Children's Organization Category
Organizing kids' clothes and toys successfully, is a challenge for all parents. The result must be that everything is both easily accessible to you and your children, as well as being neatly and attractively stored. Your children will be more able and willing to participate in keeping their things organized if everything is easy for them to reach and put away.



Organizing kids' clothing can be a daunting task. There are the play clothes, the dress up clothes, the school clothes, the winter and summer clothing, and on an on. If you store clothing bought on sale for your children to grow into, that is an additional organizational issue. What works well in our home is to put every single shirt and jacket on a hanger and hang them in the small closet in the children's bedroom. This frees up valuable drawer real estate for bulkier items like blue jeans and pajamas.

A tip for organizing socks and underwear is to buy all the same style and color for each child. This way, if the "sock monster" strikes in your dryer, there isn't an obvious stray sock that you have to decide what to do with. Store clothing where kids can access it easily. If little ones can't reach the top draw of their dresser to retrieve items or put them away, save that drawer for out of season or little worn items. Labeling drawers with a photo of the item(s) to be put away in that drawer is a good way to help kids participate in putting their clean clothes away.



Organizing toys and games is, like organizing clothing, an ongoing process, as children outgrow these items as they get older. When our kids get a new game, I store the pieces in a zip lock bag that is labeled with the name of the game. The bag goes into the game box and the whole things is stored on a shelf in their bedroom that is just for games. Books are stored on a shelf designated for books and as the kids get older I donate books they have outgrown so their library doesn't get out of control. Toys go into plastic milk crates or Rubbermaid containers with lids (think Legos!). In a perfect world, this mommy's OCD would be honored and all the trucks would be in one crate, all the stuffed animals in another. While it doesn't always happen this way, the "milk crate method" makes it easy for the little guys to pick up their toys, helping them make quick work of the process.

Kids' art supplies are their own animal when it comes to organization. We use a large clear plastic tote with a lid and everything goes in there. Using shoe boxes, we separate the crayons from the play dough from the paint brushes and it all goes into the tote. From time to time I add new items that my children are unaware of and this makes for a nice surprise for them one the next snow day or rainy weekend.

Organizing kids' clothes and toys will never be an exact science because, well, kids are kids and time is precious. But by applying a few of these tips the storage and organization of your children's belongings, you can help them enjoy their play time and space more and preserve some of your sanity.

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