Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Works for me Wednesday~ Controlling Toys

Today's Works-For-Me- Wednesday is backwards day. Today we are posting a problem that we haven't found a solution to, and hoping to get great tips.

My number one problem I think in the house is controlling the toys in our home. We have a small house, and space is very limited. The girls room is tiny, and if they just get one set of toys out it is a huge overwhelming mess. Getting them to clean up is a huge task in of itself. I really want them to learn the consequences for dumping out all of their toys at once, so I try to make them clean it up.

However, they truly do get overwhelmed and just walk around the room in a confused daze while they try to pick up toys.

We have purged a lot of toys, but still, it is an overwhelming thing for me to deal with; and them too. I have put the most messy toys up out of reach, which has helped. I have told them to take one thing out at a time. I try to make them clean up their room before they go to bed, but some days that just doesn't happen. I have tried to rotate toys, but that is difficult too, because there really is nowhere to store the unused toys. I have tried containers that are hard to open, but they figured out how to open those. Any suggestions, besides locking their bedroom door?! Thanks! :)

To give you an idea of what I deal on a regular basis, here are some pictures in this blog entry.

For more Works For Me Wednesday tips visit here


Susanne said...

What helped in my kids room was when I put in a cubbyhole type shelving unit into their closets, and then put different sized baskets into the cubbies.

FeeFiFoto said...

I would have suggested rotating toys, but if you've already tried that with limited success, I'm stumped. We always dumped toys at my parents' house so the kids would have stuff to play with there.

mindi said...

This is a tough one I deal with as well.
What I've learned to do is rotate toys - bag some up and take them away for a while - and then trade them in for the toys they've been playing with.
Also, I have white bookshelves I use to put toys in, and small baskets for small toys, and larger baskets for large toys.
STILL - I have toys everywhere. I hope you get some more comments!

My Wonderful Men... said...

Good luck! Toys scream.....

Amy @ Hope is the Word said...

I am a messy person by nature, so I by no means have this problem completely under control in my own home, but may I suggest the old adage "a place for everything and everything in its place"? I've found that even with my little girls (ages 3 1/2 and 2), if we have a designated bin or basket for each type of toy (i.e. dolls, purses, puzzles, etc.), they are able to actually put them away.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Mandi said...

I have some tips that I posted on my blog last summer that address this problem. They are our rules for ownership in our house and they have been very effective for us and are very good for teaching responsibility to your little ones. Not an easy job I know! ( :
You can read them here:


Stephanie said...

My girls room drives me crazy too. I have found that telling them to go down and "clean" doesn't really get results. They don't know where to even start. (They are 8 and 4) So I try to be more specific. Go put all your Dora toys away, or go straighten the books. Another thing that works for me... and this is a little devious, is after they crawl into bed and I go to their room to tuck them in, I stop at the door and in a very sad voice say, "Oh... this is so sad. This room looks way too dangerous for me to walk thru, I guess I'll just have to blow you a kiss tonight." If they protest I tell them I'll be back in 10 minutes and give them another chance.

Mary said...

Telling young kids to clean up is very overwhelming for them. They have no idea how to start. It's bad enough if you're an adult and have to clean up a big mess. Where do you start?

I suggest trying to talk the girls into giving some of the toys they no longer play with to children who probably get anything for Christmas.

My daughter found some very nice cubby shelves at I*kea for the boys and their rooms are much neater now. It's a bookcase and cubby combined. That might help.

Hope you solve the problem. I have the same one here and there are no kids living here. There just isn't enough room, so this week I've starting donating to Christmas Baskets. Anything not used in a year goes there and someone gets a gift this year.

Find out how to Be A Blessing This Christmas I'm sure you will have some good suggestions.

SAHMmy Says said...

Containerize! In my son's (closet sized) room we have a bookshelf sized bin holder (Kmart/Target/Walmart--you can get one on sale for about $30) with 9 bins--each toy set (Mr Potato Head parts, cars, animals, etc.)goes in its own bin. We bought cool cubbies at IKEA for $1 ea and mounted them on the wall--one contains puppets, the other hats and gloves. Santa gave my son some dressup outfits last Christmas and was thoughtful enough to deliver them in a Rubbermaid bin that fits under a shelf in his closet right next to a bin for large Star Wars toys. I love it when toys come in a reusable container--he has Star Wars action figures in a tin Disney box (under the bed), and dozens of Galactic Heroes (mini action figures) fit into a giant Mr. Potato Head container that (duh!) some Mr. Potato Head parts came in. After a few months of working this system, my son (3 1/2) knows which bin or box each and every toy belongs in--I laugh my behind off when I hear him correct Daddy who is only trying to help him clean up! Of course he dumps everything out at least once a week, but since every set of toys has its place, I can hand him one bin and direct him to fill it with the toys that belong in it--not quite so overwhelming.

Anonymous said...

Ikea is a lifesaver. We created a built in in our girls' room with many plastic containers from Ikea. That's where all their storable toys are.

I hear you on trying to get the kids to clean up after themselves. Sometimes it just doesn't happen. Other times I help them by working on one "type" of toy at a time together.