I know Toy storage isn’t just an autism parenting problem. I’m pretty sure it’s a problem for a lot of parents. Currently, we have more toys than I really want to admit, I try and try to come up with organized solutions.
I do have the kids put away things when they are done (at least most of the time). Actually, I scream and yell and withhold iPads until they put the toys away. What I meant was I reward them with ipad time when they have finished cleaning up the toys!!!
I’m so tired of our system because it’s just not working for us anymore and it has me totally stressed out. Therefore, I decided today was the day to start tackling the playroom.
My youngest Joey has so many little figures ranging from animals, dinosaurs, superheroes etc. He will have them lined up all over. It will look like a gigantic disorganized mess to me, but to him, it’s organized chaos. He will first line them up, and then he will play with the toys in a Batcave or a Lion guard house. I love that he has moved from only lining them up to imaginative play but does he really need them all out? The answer is yes, yes he does 🙂
(this is actually very neat for Joey!)
Joey will also go into meltdown mode if he can’t find the tiny orca whale he got in San Francisco’s China town, you know the one he hasn’t played with for months, but he needs right this very moment or the world will end.
I initially stored his figures in bins organized by animals and characters. This did work well until the collection outgrew the bins.
I then tried one of those toy storage bags you see all over Pinterest. The bag is a good idea in theory except Joey will usually just dump out the entire giant bag instead of neatly sitting and playing on the playmat like is suggested in the advertisement. My other issue is when the bag is closed the strings are super long and cumbersome. I then worry he will take the super long strings and tie them onto something or onto himself.
(it’s not just me, these strings are pretty long for kids, right? Almost more dangerous than the cords on our blinds I was always so worried about.)
Then, we move onto the Legos, Tyler Loves his Star Wars Legos so, we have a sea of gray legos… He is pretty good about keeping the sets built but they eventually get dropped or thrown and end up in pieces all over the floor. We are in the process of working on clearing shelves on the bookcases so, we can try and safely store some of the built legos. Hopefully, this will keep some of these bigger sets stay together a little bit longer and limit the frustration over broken battleships, or droids (I have no clue the actual names!)
(I made some progress on the shelves!)
I thought about, trying to separate the Legos in drawers by size and color but that sounds like way too much work for me. I know for a fact I will totally lose my mind if I spend hours sorting and organizing millions of Legos and the kids just mix them all together in minutes… instead we are going try a few plastic storage drawer and throw the random lego pieces in those instead of the yellow Lego heads I have.
As I was searching Pinterest for toy storage ideas, I found this, which makes me think I may just need to learn to deal with the mess and hope they are making memories other than me saying for the millionth time “first” clean up the toys “then” you can have your iPad!
(above photo courtsey of pinterest)
Below is the before toy disaster. I will update you on the after. As you can tell I really should just get the sign from Pinterest and call it a day because it’s really a big mess…