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Alejandra Costello is a Certified Professional Organizer who teaches individuals through videos and webinars how to become more productive and more organized on a daily basis by setting up systems in their home and life. Alejandra started her company, AlejandraTV, in 2008 at the age of 23 and to date has shared her organizing expertise with thousands of people in over 60 countries around the globe. Named 1 of the 7 most organized people in America, Alejandra's organizing expertise has been seen on HGTV, NewsChannel8, Family Circle, The Washington Post Express, The Washington Times, and Woman's Day to name a few. If you have organizing ideas for videos you’d like to see on Miss A, please visit Alejandra's YouTube channel and request your topic in the comments.

A Heavenly Toy Room

Staying organized can be a difficult task when children are involved. The toys, books, stuffed animals, dolls, and trains can be overwhelming and add to the clutter of everyday life. Below are a few tips on how to organize your child’s toys: 

Designate A Space – You bought the house and you work to pay for the house. The house belongs to you and not your children. Therefore, your child’s toys should not be scattered in every room (and they should definitely NOT be in the master bedroom). Designate a space within the house for all of your child’s dolls, blocks, and action figures. Whether the space is a separate play room, the basement, or even a corner in the family room, all toys should stay in the space you select. Think of your child’s toys like groceries. Would you ever keep the eggs in the home office and the bananas in the bathroom? Absolutely not! So why should you keep the board games in one room and playdough in another? Okay, if you want to keep a “candy dish” (small amount) of toys in the family room then that’s not a big deal, but make sure you have no more than three toys in the candy dish at any given time. Designating one space in the house for toys will keep everything centralized and will make putting things away a whole lot easier. 

Everything Has Its Place – You’ve selected a space for all of your child’s toys. Now, everything must have its own place. Divide the space into specific zones. The idea is to have a separate zone for each different activity that occurs in the space. Never have more than six zones within one space. Examples of zones include: Arts & Crafts, Games & Puzzles, Books, Movies & Music, Dolls & Figures, etc. Dividing a space into separate zones will help keep the clutter at a minimum and help you understand how your space is being utilized.

Eliminate the Toy-Clutter – Clutter is easy to accumulate when children are constantly outgrowing their toys. Every six months re-evaluate your child’s collection of play items. For each toy, ask yourself, “when was the last time my child played with this?” If you can’t remember, toss it to the donate pile. Your child isn’t playing with the toy for a certain reason and won’t be playing with the toy in the future for the same reason. The key to eliminating ‘toy-clutter’ is to only keep the toys your child absolutely loves, uses, and values. 

Sort & Containerize – Sorting and containerizing the toys is one of the best things to do to stay organized. Toys should first be sorted by type then appropriately containerized in bins or baskets. For example, all of Ethan’s toy cars should be stored in one bin while all of Molly’s doll clothes are kept in another bin. Try using clear plastic bins to contain items. Using clear bins allows you to see the contents without opening the bin. Storing similar toys together in separate bins teaches children about categories and like items. 

Label, Label, Label – If everything was labeled, wouldn’t you know where everything belonged? Absolutely! And so will your child. Label all bins and containers with one word that describes the contents within. Also, try labeling the shelf where the container belongs so your child knows exactly where to place the bin after it has been removed. If you’re a stickler for color-coding (and you know we are), assign a different color to each child. Use different colored labels for each bin, basket, and container. If Ethan is assigned blue, he will easily be able to identify which bin belongs to him by the blue label.

Organizing the toy room doesn’t have to be a tedious task if you use the these simple tips.

Pictured Above: White elfa Toy Storage by The Container Store. Elfa is the ultimate solution for maximizing storage space for books, toys, craft supplies, puzzles and games. No matter how much space you have, elfa can be configured to fit your needs. Add space-saving accessories for a complete solution.  Made from exceptionally durable epoxy-bonded steel, customizable lengths and widths, divided vertical space allows for more storage, and easy to install.

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