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Organize + Energize: 6 Tips to Organize Kid’s Toys Before The Holidays

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


If you’re bringing more toys into the home for the holiday, it may be time to do a little decluttering.  If the toys are taking over your bedroom, kid’s bedrooms and living areas, it’s time to get organized and develop a plan to tackle this project!

Here are 6 tips to get you started in the process. 

Get your kids involved. Let them help in this process. I find that it’s much easier for kids to let go of things than it is for the parents. If the kids want to let it go, then let it go. If you want to hold onto it for the memories, create a memorabilia bin and store it there. Don’t keep it with their active toys. If you’re keeping items for your own purposes, really think about why you are keeping them.

Take inventory.  Focus on one room at a time, one category at a time. Focusing on one category will allow you to limit distractions and stay focused, which will make this a quick process. 

Declutter.  If it’s broken, get rid of it. You may have high expectations of fixing it, but be realistic. Are you really going to fix it?  If pieces are missing and the game can’t be played without them, get rid of it. 

Organize. Talk to your kids about how they want to function going forward. Your kids are going to be using this system and maintaining it, so help them create the system. The simpler the system, the easier it will be to maintain. If each child uses certain games, create a space for each of them so that when they want a toy, they can go to their section. 

Organizing supplies. There are great organizing supplies out there for all types of spaces. Choose the products based on what you have to hold and measure the space to maximize. Choose a solution that has a purpose and one that works for what you are holding. Don’t buy it because it’s pretty.

Maintain. Put the responsibility on your kids to put things back once they are finished using them. Have them work with the system and tweak what’s not working. If there are working, functional systems in place, you’ll never have to tell your child to clean up the playroom again. 

Most people will say that a playroom can never be organized. I’m here to tell you that you can have an organized playroom. You have to create working organized systems in the playroom and every item has to have a designated space. If there aren’t designated spots or systems, chaos will ensue. It also takes work to get your kids in the habit of picking toys up once they are finished with them.  Talk to your kids about the system and tell them it’s going to be easier to put things away in the moment than spending half a day straightening a room. Explain to them the reasons that you’re having them do this rather than just telling them they have to straighten the room.  The hard work will pay off in the end. The routines they create will form habits and from there it will become an everyday way of life.


Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. Kristin's CD, Organizing Basics, is a 1-hour guide for the person who wants to get organized but doesn't know where to begin. She is also available for organizing workshops.


Related Slideshow: 10 Minute Organizing Projects

Declutter and Organize

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As you take all of the spices out of the cabinet, check for expiration dates and smell for potency. Categorize and itemize your spices to how you utilize them. Contain them in a spice rack that fits the space where they are kept. Don’t purchase a spice rack until you are finished organizing. You want to measure the space and make sure the rack fits and holds all of your spices. There are a variety of spice racks out there. Choose the one that best suits what you need it to hold.

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How many items do you touch in the morning to find what you need?  You want to be as efficient as possible in the morning and having your makeup organized will be a big time saver. Do you have difficulty deciding what to keep or toss? When is it time to throw away makeup?  Aline Sarkis, a Providence, RI-based makeup artist, states lipstick can be used for 2 years or until it starts to smell like a crayon. Mascara is good for 2-3 months. Eye shadow is good for 2 years and foundation is good for 1-2 years. Aline also states that some makeup and skincare will be marked with an expiration date of 6-12 months. Begin counting once you start using the product

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Women: Purse

Depending on the size of your purse, and what you keep in your purse, this may take you a little longer than 10 minutes. Empty the entire contents of the purse on a table. Declutter, categorize, and itemize the contents. Break this process  down and take it one category at a time. Develop a system going forward so the inside of your purse doesn’t look like a cyclone hit it. Contain receipts, gift cards, money, and makeup.

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Men: Wallet

It’s time to empty all of the receipts out of your wallet. Do you also store receipts and random items in your car? While you are tackling this project, head over to your vehicle and declutter the center console and glove compartment.

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Underwear drawer

If you aren’t using drawer organizers, you should start now. They are very inexpensive and will maximize the space in the drawer. How many of you wear the same item over and over again? With drawer organizers in place, you will be able to see everything you own and can categorize and itemize. Nothing will ever get pushed to the bottom of the drawer again.

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Under the bathroom sink

If you haven’t taken everything out of this area in awhile, you may find some scary items under the sink. Empty the contents, itemize, and categorize. Throw away anything that you can’t recognize. Contain items in containers that fit the space like a puzzle. Once again, utilizing containers will maximize the space and allow you to store more items. Develop a simple system where you can locate items and locate them quickly.

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Ninety percent of my clients have a pet. It’s time to organize their belongings. Medicine, leashes, bandanas, clothes, dishes, food, etc. Take this time to also organize any paper work related to your pet. Set up a filing system for your pet. Keep their medical records, rabies and vaccination information categorized in these files.

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Junk drawer

Nobody says you can’t have a junk drawer. Junk drawers can be organized. You just have to think about if you need everything in this drawer and if there is a better place to store the items. Remember, store like items together. If you have tools in the junk drawer, maybe you should keep them with the tools in the basement.

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Office supply drawer

So many people have office supply drawers that are out of control. Money is wasted on purchasing duplicate office supplies. It’s very difficult to figure out what you need to purchase if items are scattered all over the office and are disorganized.

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Top of your office desk

If you can’t see the top of your desk, take this time to focus on this area and categorize and itemize what is there. Do you have a working filing system in place?  If so, once your desk is cleared, make a habit of filing once a day or a couple of times a week. If your system isn’t working for you, it may be time for you to re-evaluate your system and make it work for the way you function.


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