There were days when I found myself cleaning up my living room for the tenth time, wondering how in the world it could get so messy again so quickly. I like to have a very clean and organized house and when Titus got a little bit older, that was tested. With the amount of toys, gadgets, swings and everything else you use for a baby, I felt like my house had been taken over. I didn’t like the feeling that may space didn’t look like an “adult” space anymore. So I’ve slowly tried to find new ways to help keep things organized and still feel like I’m in an adults living room.
I don’t know about you but my child has an over abundance of toys and I don’t like to have them all downstairs where we usually spend our time playing, so every morning I bring one of his “big” toys down. It could be his big learning block, his trains, or his soccer goal, but only one a day. I feel like this helps with the mess and also makes it so that he enjoys those toys more. I found that when I had everything out he would get tired of them quickly.
Then I got this really cute bench from target that I’ve converted to a toy box. It goes with my furniture and you would never know that it is filled with books, puzzles, and toys. I also put 2 Storage Bins from Target in the bench and fill those up with toys. At this point in his life, 18 months, I can still somewhat manage what gets taken out of the toy box (I know this will change once he gets older and I’ll have to find new ways to stay organized.) I also only take out 1 storage bin and a few books out at a time. The toys in the one bin and his one big toy usually keep him pretty occupied.
We’ve also already started the practice that before we get new things out, we clean up what we were already playing with. Thankfully I think some of my cleanliness has already rubbed off on Titus because he LOVES to put his books away every night and knows that things belong in certain spots.
These are some of the things that have really helped all of us stay organized, so that I’m not spending countless hours cleaning up toys. It has made clean up so much easier and ensures that once I put Titus to bed I can actually relax.
I hope this helps you with some ideas to keep things organized with kiddos running around! Below are the links for the Bench and Cubes.
Target Storage Bench
Target Storage Bin
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I am all about finding new, cheap ways for Titus to have fun and learn. I’m sure almost every parents out there has experienced buying your child a new toy and they play with it for maybe 10 minutes and then it’s on to the next thing. Or if you just give them an empty box they somehow play with it much longer than any toy that they actually own. That happens often in this house. I like to think that I’m a minimalist when it comes to toys (you wouldn’t know that if you looked in his room) but I’m more of a puzzles, books and blocks type of mom. So I try to find new, inexpensive crafts or toys that I can “make” for Titus to enjoy.
Well, the other day he got a hold of a box of bow tie pasta, which I was fine with. He went all around the house shaking the box, laughing and dancing at the sounds of the pasta. Next thing we knew the entire box opened right in his lap. He thought it was hilarious. He spent the next 30 minutes putting them all back in the box and then pouring them on himself, still laughing every time. I had to take everything away for him to actually go and eat his dinner. I thought man, he is rarely entertained by something for so long that I actually have to take it away. So I decided to create a sensory box with the pasta.
I grabbed a Tupperware box that I had in the attic and added the bow tie pasta along with a box of rotini pasta. Then I found a few smaller toys and some of his magnet letters and added them to the box.
You would have thought I just handed my little boy the world when I put out the sensory box the next day. It has consistently been a “toy” that he spends at least a few hours a day playing with. Finding the things hidden in the pasta, or dumping everything out and putting it right back in the bucket. I am loving this new toy that we made and I’m sure your kids would love it too! Everything is available at the dollar store so its very inexpensive.
What you need:
- Tupperware box/bowl with lid
- 2 boxes of pasta
- Little toys
I’m loving the fact that Titus loves this toy. Sensory boxes are shown to help with language and playing skills, as well as help focus and calm a child. Check out A Little Bin for Little Hands Blog about the benefits of a sensory box.
Now enjoy the fun!
Like and Follow Family.Life.Organized and look out for my new blog on Friday about how I keep my house organized with an 18-month-old.