How I Keep My House Toy Free

So it's no great secret that I love to organize and I strive to keep clutter to a minimum. My little girl is 2 years old and when I learned that she was on her way, I knew that I would do whatever it took to keep my house from looking like a toy store. After all, baby girl moved in with us, not the other way around. But, anyone with a child will know that toys seem to multiply like rabbits! Here is how I keep all our toys and books organized on a daily basis.

Most of the toys are kept in my daughters room, specifically in her closet. I found this bookcase at Sams Club a couple years ago and it has proven to be invaluable to keeping toys organized! It is the perfect size to fit nicely in the closet. I love having the different canvas bins to store and categorize toys. It's also easy to teach her how to put all her toys away when she's done playing. If she wants to play with something outside of her room than we'll take a limited number of toys out, always making sure to put them back in their home when she's through playing with them. (Note that the bins aren't labeled, I just labeled them so you could know what's inside each one)

I have the majority of her books on this bookshelf or in the basket right next to the rocking chair in her room - our favorite reading spot! I found the library style bookcase at goodwill and spray painted it to match her room. I love having the books displayed like this. My my 2 year old can see her books, it makes reading inviting, and she can easily put her books away in their home. Win-win-win!

In the kitchen, I have 2 bins that are hers in an easily assessable location. One holds coloring books and crayons and the other one is full of puzzles. Whenever she wants to color or do puzzles, the bin comes out and everything is all together. When we're through with the activity, everything goes back in the bin and back in its home.

I love that my little one loves to read! But, with that love comes many books. She has too many for her bedroom bookcase so the rest are in a basket in the living room. Its nice since she isn't always looking at the same books all the time and it gives her something to do if she's in the living room. A pretty basket goes along way for containing these books.

She received a kitchen and play food at Christmas and I originally thought it would be a nightmare to keep up with the play dishes and food. But, it hasn't been that bad so far once things were organized. I also have a small table in the office for coloring and drawing, and outside toys outside, but for the most part these are all of her toys and how I keep them organized.

Now that I've shown you how I organize all the inside toys, here are a few tricks that have proven to be useful the past couple of years in keeping toy clutter in check:

Purge, Purge, Purge 
You have to stay on top of things or else things get out of control very quickly. I will go through and purge a couple of toys here and there that I know are not age appropriate or that she just doesn't play with anymore.

Contain it 
This is my favorite trick to use around my house. You can throw whatever in a bin/basket and it still look great because it's hidden and people see a pretty basket, not brightly colored toys or books. Also, when something is in a basket/bin it creates easy and fast clean up since everything goes in one location.

Keep it simple
If your toy organizational system is too complicated than it simply won't work. Keep it simple and age appropriate.

Be Selective
Be selective of the toys that you allow in your house. My thought is that I would rather my child have 10 quality toys that will last for the long haul than have 50 cheap toys that don't. If your house is overflowing with toys than you may need to take a step back and assess things. 

Get your Child Involved
The organizational techniques that you employ are not going to work for the long haul if you are the only one doing them. Teach your littles to clean up after themselves and how to put things back in their home.

So there are my secrets to a toy free house. What are your toy storage secrets? Do you like using baskets and bins? Do you also keep your kids toys in the closet?

Looking for more baby organization posts? Check out this post to see how I store out of season clothes and this one to find out how I organize my little one's closet and dresser.

Linking up to: Not Just a Housewife, A Bowl Full of Lemons

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