Tackling the Toy Box Chaos

If you were to walk into my living room unannounced this is most likely what you would see:
You see, my son loves to dump his toy box out on the floor. 
Over and over.
And over again.

Anyone else relate?

And who do you think picks up all of the toys?
The 13-month-old?
I wish.
Nope - it all falls on this little mama.
I know the day will soon come when he can pick up after himself - and believe me, we're practicing - but that day is not today.

So one day I decided enough was enough.
It was time to 

Enter the main characters:
Plastic shoe box containers
I got a pack of 12 on Amazon for less than $2 each:
{can someone say bargain?!?)

I divided the toys into five different containers:
Then I used Avery address labels to put labels for each day of the work week:
Now, when we wake up in the morning, Hudson and I find today's box of toys on the shelf and pull it down. He loves flinging off the lid and digging into today's treasures. This way, he has fewer options and the toys seem more special since he only sees them once a week or so.
Plus it means that I'm only cleaning up about 1/5 of the toys that I usually do :)
Have you met Mr. Pig?
He's kind of the best! :)

But wait, you might be thinking - what about the weekends?
Weekends are special family time, so I didn't make separate bins for Saturday and Sunday - usually we're busy playing outside, spending time with friends, and going out to explore our beautiful city.
Plus Hudson has this special bin (fully approved by his hockey-loving Dad) filled with special Dad toys. This bin gets used a lot on the weekends:

So there you have it - a simple but effective way to organize the toys and cut down on the toy box chaos. Don't they look so neat and organized on Hudson's shelf:
I used the rest of my leftover plastic shoeboxes to organize other things:

  • Cups & containers
  • Outside toys
  • Summer sandals & hats
  • Bath toys
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Etc.

Another tip that one of my friends suggested was having a "Toy Time Out" bin - this is for toys that are being fought over during playdates (or with siblings). If the kids can't agree to share or compromise, then the toy gets put away for a little while. Now my son is too young to understand this, but I figured while I was printing labels, I'd make this one too :)

Do you have any other tips for organizing toys (and keeping them organized!)? I'd love to hear them - leave a comment below!
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