Let’s face facts. If you have children, you have toys. Toys always end up in the living room because that’s where the family hangs out. While it’s wonderful for the family to spend time together when the children go to bed the last thing you want is to be surrounded by toys. I’m sharing 3 fabulous tips for organizing toys in the living room so that you still feel like you have an adult living space.
Adult living space
Your lovely living room doesn’t feel or look so lovely when you are surround by toys. Toys on the coffee table, Legos under foot, and crayons, markers, and miscellaneous puzzle pieces scattered about.
When the children are not home or are sleeping your living room can look like an adult living space. The pillows on the couch can be puffed up. There may be magazines or books on the coffee table but no toys in view.
Does this sound like it’s impossible to achieve? Well, it may sound that way but it is absolutely possible with a little creative thinking. Organize the toys in the living room so that they are easy for your children to access, easy to put away, and you can have an adult living space when the toys are not in use.
3 Fabulous Tips to Organize the Toys
Limit the number of toys that come into the living room. When the designated places for the toys become a little crowded have your children return some toys to their bedroom. You can also rotate toys in and out of the living room by putting some toys away in a closet.
Limiting the number of toys is a great strategy because with fewer choices children tend to engage more completely with the toys available to them. It also helps to organize the toys in the living room. This article has some interesting ideas for toy organization in the living room.
- Place a short shelf or group of cubbies behind the couch in the living room. Keep games, Legos, and blocks here. It will be easy for your children to see the toys they want to get out.
- Designate a low shelf on your bookshelf as a place to keep read-aloud books, coloring books, and crayons and markers.
- Use an ottoman that has storage inside as a place to keep cars and trucks, dress up clothes, or other big toys.
Teach Your Children Organizing Skills
Take the opportunity to teach your children organizing skills and have them organize their toys in the living room.
Every evening before they go to bed ask them to pick up and put away their toys. Teach them categorizing skills by asking them to pick up one category of toy at a time. For instance, ask them to pick up all the books and put them on the shelf. Check out Suzie’s Messy Room and Benji’s Messy Room for more tips on guiding a child to pick up a room.
When you break down the task for your children it is easier to complete. You know this to be true because when you break one of your own projects into small steps you, most likely, find it easier to make progress.
Another tip is to ask your children to put away toys as they finish playing with them and before they take out anything else. This reinforces the organizing mantra of putting things back where they belong.
As they get older your children will appreciate the fact that you taught them valuable life skills. They will know how to pick up and put away their belongings, how to categorize, and how to break a large project down into small steps.
And in the process, you get to enjoy spending time in your living room. This lovely adult space that is not overrun by toys.
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize in Atlanta, Georgia. Diane specializes in residential and home-office organizing and working with people affected by ADD, hoarding challenges, and chronic disorganization.