Here’s an email I received about organizing toys. Can you relate to this one?

“Hi…Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your blog………I love to organize and I am constantly looking for new ways to organize stuff…My major problem is toys!  We don’t have a playroom or basement in our house. Our “playroom” is a sectioned off area in our living room. How can I organize my daughter’s toys in a neat way and also keep my living room a “living room”? Her toys are taking over! I try to declutter and get rid of any toys that she has out grown…but it is just overwhelming!!!!”

I think anyone with kids can relate to this problem! Toys, toys everywhere!!! So what’s a Mom to do? Here are some ideas.

To change the situation, you can either add more storage or have fewer toys (or possibly a combination of both.)

For storage options, you could go as elaborate as adding built in cabinets to house toys behind closed doors. If you make this investment, consider sizing the cabinets to hold baskets and bins of toys, with like items grouped together. Look for cabinets with adjustable shelving, so as your daughter grows up and has new interests (and toys) your cabinets can easily adapt to these changes. You could use a similar strategy with a bookshelf or storage cube and baskets to hold toys.

You could also considering adding furniture pieces that double as storage. Look for something that goes with the decor of your room, and no one will ever know toys are lurking inside. From storage ottomans to coffee tables with drawers to trunks there are a number of options for pieces that can serve double duty. Closed storage where items can be stored in bulk is probably the best option to make clean up easy for your daughter, and to keep the room looking suitable for grown ups when play time is over. If your daughter is playing with toys with small pieces, you can group these toys together in smaller, lidded containers that fit inside your bigger storage pieces. Remember to keep in mind the size of your daughter’s toys, and what she’s likely to grow into, before investing in a storage solution.

Once you have storage in place, it’s a matter of living within your storage limits. If toys are also stored in another room in your home, like your daughter’s bedroom, inevitably they’ll find their way to the living room. (Isn’t it funny how easy it is for toys to make their way to the living room, and how hard it is for them to find their way back to where they came from?) I know. It happens here, too! Here’s a simple fix. When your living room toy storage starts to overflow, grab a handled container (and your daughter) and haul a load of toys back to the bedroom. Be sure to leave some breathing room in your living room toy storage containers each time you take a trip to the bedroom—you know, to make space for that next set of toys that mysteriously make their way out of the bedroom and into the living room!

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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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