New Year’s Resolution – Toddler Friendly Organization
Mary Piasta-Valluzzo with son, Bobby
In addition to memories to cherish, the holidays leave parents with an influx of toys, art supplies, books and clothes. With toys ranging from small to large, organizing a toddler’s world is always a challenge. And, with the change of seasons and sizes, clothes also provide an organizational challenge. This year, I am going to try a few new strategies to organize Bobby’s world.
Organizing Bobby's space - I organized Bobby's world from his vantage point. I got down to his level (literally) to make sure that things make sense and that things were organized to maximize his play space. After considering different storage containers, nets and bins, I picked out a few open bins for the floor. A few open bins seem to have done the trick. For example, I put a little open basket of books by his reading chair so that he can reach them easily. And, there are a couple of open containers on the floor that house some of his favorite things – blocks and trains.
Art Supplies – What does one do with all of the glue-sticks, glitter, paper and stickers? For me, a few small shoebox sized storage containers and a shelf have tamed the wildness. Basically, I found a spot in my kitchen right above my microwave (that was suggested by a fellow mom) to put the containers. Now, the paint, paper and pens have a home of their own that is out of the way yet organized.
Storing Clothes - When it comes to clothes, things are always changing. Kids grow and seasons change. There always seem to be clothes that are irrelevant to Bobby’s life cluttering up space. Either they are too small or wrong for the season. My new strategy is to keep a storage bin easily accessible for outgrown clothes. That way, it won’t take much time to keep things organized.
Rotating Toys - With so many fun toys to play with, it is time to rotate them. Some of the toys are going to be stored in the Bobby Toy Library. These will be in places that are difficult for him to access. For example, shelves in his room above his height and bins in the garage. Sorting toys by type and size has helped this process. In a little while, some of the toys from the library will make an appearance and some of the other toys will disappear.
Clean Up Time – Keeping organized like anything requires maintenance. So, rather than letting things get completely out of control, things are going to be maintained regularly. Some things daily, others weekly and so on. At the end of the day before bedtime, Bobby helps with putting his toys away. It is easier (and takes way less time) than doing it less often. Ever week or every other week, other things will get tended to – like swapping out a few toys and clothes.
Mary Piasta-Valluzzo is the ultimate Sonoma Modern Mama who loves exploring the town with her eldest son, Bobby and her brand new baby boy, Constantine Joseph. She writes blogs about anything and everything related to parenting young children, including at her own site here. She is also a board member of the Sonoma Valley Mothers Club, an organization that supports women with young children in everything from parenting to socializing. The club is open to all Sonoma moms. For more on the club, visit sonomamothersclub.org or call 996-9890.