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Sunday, October 9, 2016
Organize the Play Spaces in Your Home with these Tips: Guest Blogger
A Message from our Guest Blogger: Kirsten Fisher!
Founder and CEO
Imagine Home Organization, LLC
Organize the Play Spaces in Your Home with these Tips
Whether you have a designated play room or not, you will likely find there are several places throughout the home where toys, crafts and games will live. Follow these guidelines within each space and you will keep from feeling overwhelmed by the kids’ stuff within the home.
1. Sort Similar Items Together.
Putting all the crayons together and placing with other art and craft supplies will make it easier to find and use when the creative mood strikes. Gathering all Legos, cars, dolls, Play Doh and other items and finding a home for each allows for children to fully engage with an activity because they aren’t searching for all the parts but using their imaginations to create.
Find containers for each category of toy that makes sense for you. For example, art supplies might have small containers to keep markers, crayons and pencils separate but then a larger container to house them all together with paper, stickers, scissors and glue. Cars, building blocks and dolls might have open baskets for each. Books may have their own bookshelf (or several in different areas of the home) or sit with other items using bookends or bins. You can be as creative as you want with the containers as long as each item or toy has a home. Containers also allow play time to be mobile. Rather than having to carry all the blocks from the corner to the living room for a family tower contest, you need only carry the bin and then return it to its “home” when the fun is over.
3. Give Everything a Home.
Each toy, crayon, book and monster truck should have a home making cleanup a snap. This is not to say the home is the location where the fun must be contained. Use containers to bring the fun anywhere, just know it goes back home when you are finished.
4. Don’t Forget to Leave Open Space.
Kids need a bit of free space for creativity to flow. Whether they are building a prehistoric dinosaur robot village or adding sparkles to their favorite drawing, transport the items to provide enough space.
5. Make it Comfortable.
Give yourself and your kids seating so it is comfortable to stay, create and play. Child and adult sized seating is important so everyone can enjoy. Seating too is of course mobile.
6. Miscellaneous Bin.
It is OK to have a bin for toys that just don’t confirm to a category. Mine contains special rocks, a tape measure, a tire pressure gage, the latest birthday goodie bag items and a few things I can’t even identify but are precious to the kids.
7. Provide Access.
Use open bins and low shelves for items kids can access on their own. Use higher shelves for things that should have adult supervision. Mid-level shelves might contain things like puzzles and games that are OK if kids reach up and get but are a little more time consuming to pick up.
8. It’s Not About Perfection.
The spaces don’t need to look like they belong in Parenting Magazine as long as they work for you and your kids. You should feel you have an appropriate amount of adult space for your comfort level.
9. Get Outside.
Certain toys can be stored outside and others can come out for maximum enjoyment. I contain most of the toys that stay outside in a large basket on the porch but you could use a small shed or shelves in the garage, especially for more creative items like sand or water tables.
10. Keep Your Home Stocked and Updated.
Every couple of months it is important to go through the kids’ stuff and donate toys that are no longer used or age appropriate. Get rid of dried out markers, broken crayons, used papers and broken toys. Your kids can be a part of this process to learn the importance of giving to others and keeping your own space in order.
Posted by Shannon Booth Lipan at 5:40 PM