Spring Spruce Up: Round Two

So we’ve decluttered.

We’ve reorganized.

At least I hope it’s still organized–Frick and Frack were playing in the playroom since Round One was written.

Today’s all about storage.

Where do we store all of the toys?

We bought storage units from Target some time ago.  This gets kind of pricey, unless you buy the units during a sale and with gift cards as we did.  Other options are getting storage containers from a dollar store or reuse ones around the house you have been neglecting.  I’ve saved baby wipe containers for puzzle pieces, legos, and crayons.  There are so many options for organization.  I just happen to use what we already had this time around.

Several years ago, we discovered this table from Pottery Barn Kids:

It’s a beautiful and an extremely useful piece of furniture, but it didn’t fit into our budget.

After studying it for some time, BP thought he could make something like it himself.

And so Mr. Handy Dandy got to work.

He created this table by using the Pottery Barn one as a guide:

It contains storage for train tracks, hot wheels tracks, etc. in the baskets, a space to set up all of said tracks on top, and the mini trampoline underneath the table.

I love this piece of furniture.

And Mr. Handy Dandy.

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As far as organization of toys, my tips for you include:

1.  Baskets, baskets, baskets.  Buckets, buckets, buckets.  It makes clean up easy for the smallest of children and keeps things organized.

2.  Store similar items together.  Cars in one basket, puzzle pieces in another, and tracks in a different one.

3.  If you are like me and kind of anal about where things go, clean up with your kids at first so they learn where to put things.  It may take several days for them to get the hang of where everything goes, but once they learn it, you can run a well oiled cleanup machine.  I’ve done this clean up process in my preschool classroom during centers.  We play a song called “Tidy Up” by Dr. Jean (sung to the tune of Jingle Bells).  The children sing as they clean the classroom.  If you set the bar high, the children will jump to reach it.  It’s all about expectations.  Now, does our playroom stay clean 100% of the time?  Of course not.  But when we do tackle it, everything has a place and my children get it done.

As they whine about it.  😉

_________

Don’t forget to check out my friends and their spruce ups:

Sprucing Up the Laundry Room | Mama’s Laundry Talk
Sprucing Up the School Room | Homegrown Mom
Sprucing Up the Craft Room | Many Little Blessings
Sprucing Up the Bathroom | Feels Like Home
Sprucing Up the Playroom | …Life’s About a Dream
Sprucing Up the Garage/Storage Space | A Slob Comes Clean
Sprucing Up the Master Bedroom | Raising Arrows
Sprucing Up Your Homeschool | Jimmie’s Collage
Sprucing Up the Kitchen | So Happy Together
Sprucing Up the Garden | An Oregon Cottage
Sprucing Up the Backyard | Successful Homeschooling

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carletta
    Mar 22, 2011 @ 07:49:40

    I totally agree that kids will meet the expectation if you set the bar high. My kids are 100% responsible for putting away their own toys, and keeping everything in the proper place.

    I never thought about using old baby wipe containers for puzzle pieces. That’s a great idea.

    I love the shelf your husband made. You must love having such a handy husband!

  2. Jill S.
    Mar 22, 2011 @ 09:53:53

    You could also put clip art pictures (or photos) on the ends of bins identifying the contents so everyone knows which toys go in what containers. This was very helpful with our dress up clothes. I found clip art for western, military, princess, etc. and then the littlest ones could still clean up on their own. Would love to know the words to the Tidy Up song!

  3. Mandy
    Mar 22, 2011 @ 13:10:46

    Great idea Jill!
    Tidy-Up Song (to the tune of Jingle Bells):
    Tidy-up, tidy-up, put the toys away.
    Tidy-up, tidy-up, we’re finished for today.
    Oh, tidy-up, tidy-up, put the toys away.
    For we’ll get them out again
    The next time that we play.

    🙂

  4. Jimmie
    Mar 22, 2011 @ 21:29:34

    He did a great job on that piece. Pretty and practical both!

  5. Jami @ An Oregon Cottage
    Mar 23, 2011 @ 00:06:05

    Very clever hubby- that’s a great table! Love your idea about the clean-up song, I do the same in my preschool and the kids clean much better than without it. 🙂

  6. Angie ~ Many Little Blessings
    Mar 23, 2011 @ 02:53:44

    BP did a really great job! Kudos to him!

    In our playroom, it really helped when I put pictures on every basket. I took a picture of things that were commonly going to be found in that basket, and then laminated it, hole punched it, and hung it from the basket. It has worked so well!

  7. Tanya
    Mar 23, 2011 @ 11:57:25

    Great ideas and wow, what a great job he did with that table! =)

  8. Anti-Supermom
    Mar 23, 2011 @ 13:22:33

    Mandy, you *do* have one handy man! What a nice and useful piece of furniture, tell BP way to go! (and you too!)

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