Everyday Organizing for a Toddler

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January 23, 2013 by Gina

Like Carin, I’ve been on an organizing and cleaning out kick. Maybe it’s the new year or the new baby or just that I’m a bit obsessive about everything being in it’s own place.  All three of us bloggers are like that.  It doesn’t mean our houses are ALWAYS clean or tidy, but we do like an organized home!

I grew up this way.  My parents are neat freaks.  You don’t even want to know how many times my dad vacuums everyday or how often my mom dusts.  Heck, they do it at my house when they visit!  So, it’s engrained in my DNA.  I learned organization from a very early age and was held to it.  We had a play room with a closet devoted entirely to our toys.  The shelves were lined with bins, each marked with the type of toy for each bin – cars, animals, dolls, baby clothes, etc.  First, they were marked with pictures cut out from magazines and then words on them once we could read.

All you need for labeling your toy bins - photos, photo pockets and velcro!

All you need for labeling your toy bins – photos, photo pockets and velcro!

We knew that if we wanted to move onto the next fun activity, we had to put away whatever we had been playing with.  I do the same thing with my kids.  It works well – they know that before lunch we pick up all the toys or before bed, everything gets put away again.  They learn to pick up and I don’t have to do it all.  I’m not naive enough to know this will happen all the time, but it does the majority of the time and hopefully it will continue.

Newly labeled toy bin

Newly labeled toy bin

So on my recent organizing kick, I decided to label the kids’ toy bins the way ours were growing up.  I took pictures of their toys, printed them out and then reused a small 4×6 photo album that remained unused.  I took the album apart, trimmed the top of the pockets, inserted the photos and put some sticky velcro on the back.  I stuck the picture pockets to the bins and voila!  Instant labeling that my three year old and one year old can understand.  This took about 20 minutes from start to finish and the kids were really excited about it when they saw it after nap and quiet time.  I’m planning to do the same thing with their toy bins in the toy room (this is upstairs in our living room).

I recently read my friend Smitha’s blog, Smiling Colors.  She must be thinking along the same lines as us “Mamas” because she writes about a great way to track her toddler’s daily routine.  Simple, quick and easy to understand for kids!  I absolutely LOVE this and will likely be adding this to our organizing in the near future.  Thanks Smitha!

What are your everyday or simple organizing ideas for kids – toddler or any age?

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One thought on “Everyday Organizing for a Toddler

  1. Smitha Katti says:

    I love your idea of photos on the toy bins! We are learning to pick up our toys before bedtime, and it this would make things easier 🙂

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