Remember when you were a kid? How you used to throw your stuff under the bed, or leave it on the floor, strewn everywhere? You hate that, right? You were so disorganized.
Think about your kids. Do you want them to learn how to be organized?
Of course, you do. The best way to start is by building them a toy closet. Plan, partition, and organize the toy closet in the most kid-friendly way. You want them to learn how to keep their own things organized, right?
Let me tell you what you should do.
How To Build a Toy Closet
Step One: Begin by Partitioning the Closet’s Wall Space into Vertical Sections
For the bigger ones, keep it to a maximum of 24 inches. This is where you will keep your child’s board games or their toy storage containers.
And for the smaller sections, make it around 12 inches. This is where you will keep your children’s individual toys. Remember to make the shelves adjustable as that will help you use the space more efficiently.
Step Two: Ensure Each Shelf is Tilted
You see, when the shelf is straight, it’s likely for the balls and other circular toys to roll out and fall on the floor. Tilt the shelves to the back to ensure this does not happen. Otherwise, instead of the order you are seeking, you will get disorder, with toys and balls strewn on the floor of the closet.
Step Three: Don’t Make the Shelves too Deep
14 or 12 inches is pretty much the maximum. Think about the little kids. Their little arms can’t reach as far as an adult’s. You want the toys at the back of the shelf to be just as easily accessible as those at the front.
When your children cannot view or reach their toys with ease, they will tend to neglect them. Apply this same logic to toy boxes and chests: too deep is a no-no.
Plus, when the shelves are smaller than an adult-size shape, it gives the closet a doll-like effect. It makes it look so cute and cozy that your little ones can’t help loving it because they can tell it has been made just for them.
Step Four: Raise the Bottom Shelf
The bottom shelf should provide ample space for your kid’s larger toys. For instance, their strollers, their toy kitchens, their larger trucks, and so forth. It’s also worth keeping in mind that larger toys tend to be heavier, so it’s better to keep them on the bottom shelf than in the higher ones lest they overstrain these higher shelves.
Conversely, the top shelf should be reserved for old toys. Toys your kid doesn’t play with that much anyway. It’s the best place to store them for longer durability. This will teach your kids the value of old things; that they don’t cease to be important or useful just because they are old; that they can still give pleasure if you take good care of them.
How to Organize Your Child’s Toy Closet: Useful Tips
1. Plastic Containers for the Small Toys
It’s a wonderful organizing hack to store all the small toys in plastic containers. Ensure you have a separate container for each kind of toy.
So you should have a container for action figures, another for your kid’s crayons, another for the dolls, and so forth.
This will make it much easier to know what toy is in which container. It’s also an excellent way to teach your kids how to be organized.
2. Toy Boxes Should Remain Open for the Younger Children
Don’t shut the toy boxes or containers, unless the children are a bit older.
For the younger kid, it’s difficult for them to retrieve the toys from a box if it’s firmly shut. Leaving the box open makes it easy for the children to insert their little hands to take out their dolls when they want to play.
3. The Importance of Toy Tool Boxes
Children want to emulate adults in most things. So the little ones want to play and handle tools just like they see you doing.
But these toy tools often become a nuisance for you as the children leave them lying around everywhere: on tables, under the bed, on the potted plant, and so forth.
Teach your children to store their tools in the right place by buying or building toy tool boxes for them. Show them your tool box, and explain that that’s the more grown-up way of doing things.
Wanting to emulate their mommy or daddy, the children will become more organized, putting each little tool in its tool box.
4. Think Small
Make everything small, not just the shelves. The drawers should be small, the cubbies, the storage bins, and so forth. You want the kids to feel that this is their closet and no one else’s.
And the boxes in which they store their toys should also be kid-size as well. This sense of ownership will give the kids the motivation to be proactive in organizing their closet without help from mommy or daddy.
The boxes/baskets should be lightweight so the child can take it out and put it back with ease.
5. Put Labels on Things
If your kids are sharing the toy closet, it’s wise to organize it in such a way that each child has his/her own toys in their own place. Place name labels or tags to identify each child’s basket/storage bin/drawer.
This will go a long way in preventing rivalries and disagreements amongst your children. It will also teach them the value of respecting other people’s property, and how to be organized as an individual even when space is shared communally.
6. Color-coordinated containers
Children, especially those who haven’t learned how to read yet, are very responsive to colors. They may not be very keen to remember labels, but their minds readily absorb colors and what they represent.
So color-coordinating the containers will help them know what toy is in which container. It would also be a substitute for labeling.
Give your children a pleasant surprise and build them a toy closet. They will be thrilled to see how cute and just their size the closet is.
And make sure you teach them the importance of being organized. That way they can keep their toy closet organized without excessive input from you.