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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Home Organization (DIY Toy Labels)

Try as I might not to overwhelm my young son with too many presents at Christmas, he has extended family- you know who you are, ahem, GRANDPARENTS, who love to spoil the little guy.  They give in love and are just delighted to be able to give.

This Christmas, my son slept until 8:30 (he normally gets up around 7), leaving two very anxious parents sitting on the couch waiting for him to wake up and see what Santa brought.

When he finally woke up, he spent over an hour playing with his new train . . .  
but then got the hang of opening the rest of the gifts.


Later that night, with a toy explosion occurring in our living room, I knew I needed to get the situation under control and find a new home for these toys.  


I gathered all the toys together, including emptying out James' two toy boxes in the living room, and sorted his toys into piles.  Five main categories of toys emerged and I figured the quickest, easiest solution was to put them in baskets with labels so he knew where they go when it's time to put them away.


To make the labels, I googled clip art for each item, then copied and pasted the image into a blank document on my computer and also spelled out the word in an easy-to-read font. 

I cut each label and taped it to a pieced of card stock, then laminated it and tied it to a basket.


I moved the big leather chair and ottoman back into the bedroom sitting area so James could have more room to play downstairs.  


Now, he helps put all the toys away before nap-time and bedtime.  We still use the toy large white toy boxes for miscellaneous toys.  It's nice to have the living room cleaned up at least twice a day now!

If you have kids, have you figured out what to do with the new toys?  

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32 comments:

  1. Great solution, Megan! I clearly have NOT figured it out b/c new toys are littering our whole downstairs. :s It's driving me nuts!

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  2. Love this idea - the pictures are a great idea so James can help. And how adorable is he Christmas morning?! Love the paper ripping :)

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  3. thanks for sharing Megan! I'm going to add the pictures for our toy storage too. I can't stand the toys every where but like to keep the toys organized in little baskets and this might help someone besides myself know how to properly clean up after the kids go to bed :)

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  4. Hey Megan! There's nothing getting all the new Christmas toys sorted and into their new homes. I love the labels you made!

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  5. Looks like he loves his new train set. Even though we had girls, the Brio trains were their favorites!! Great organization tips. It's great when they can help clean up without feeling overwhelmed.

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  6. We've been doing some of the same. Cleaning out toys the kids have out grown and reorganizing the new ones.

    The labels are perfect!

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  7. Love this idea! This was our first Christmas with our kiddo (8 months old) and very generous family has left us wondering what to do with all of the new toys. I really like the basket idea with labels.

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  8. You captured such cute pictures of him that morning. So sweet. I love the labels. We do the same. Ours inevitably get to be a mess over time but then it's easy to clean and sort them again. I feel like we are always having to stay on top of the toys. You are already off to such an organized start this year!

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  9. these are adorable Megan!! do you have some kind of machine to laminate? I must look into that!!

    I have been sorting and purging our playroom and the family room (because you know the playroom clearly does not have enough space! kidding!)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, we have a laminating machine here but you can get things laminated at most computer stores too.

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  10. This is such a great way to label toys! I think a lot of us can relate with wonderfully generous grandparents. ;-) Out playroom is at the top of my organizing projects this years and we'll be using this kind of labeling. Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year!

    ~Anneke at This, That and Life

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  11. I take my (just turned)5 year old with me to the Goodwill a lot. He loves to see what toys they have. I usually let him buy one small thing. This year, a few days before Christmas, we cleaned out his toys in the living room, and his toys in the bedroom and filled 2 trash bags with toys to donate to the mission. He knew where they were going, so he was very willing to give up some things to make room for more from Santa. My son is Obsessed with trains! He got a Diesel Works from Santa and didn't even care about the rest. He collects the battery operated, the metal one, and the wooden ones. I sometimes feel like my house is over run with trains! I usually can't even get his door open all the way because of some track he has built. I try to organize it, but I need to label everything because if my husband cleans up he has no idea where to put it all.

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    1. Yes, it's all trains here too! I want to do the same thing and take his old toys he doesn't play with anymore and donate them. I meant to do it before Christmas, but time got away from me.

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  12. My son just turned 2. About a week before Christmas, I moved almost all of his toys upstairs. I packed away the ones that he has outgrown but we want to save for #2 and I divided up the other ones into totes. We no longer have a kitchen table in our house and that nook area now holds my desk & computer and his small table, chairs, kitchen and toys. It's downstairs and right in the middle of the action, but off to the side so I don't have a ton of toys in my living room 24/7. The toys that are kept upstairs can be swapped out with the ones that are currently downstairs to give him something "new" to play with every once in awhile.

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  13. Such a great way to organize Megan. I like that you get James involved with helping to put his toys away. I bet he likes being a big help! What a cute photo of him in his Christmas pjs ripping the wrapping paper off. What a fun morning that was at your house. Happy New Year to you!

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  14. Just picked up some baskets at Target today for the new toys, haha! :) Since my son is just over 8 months, I don't think I need to label quite yet, but that time is coming!

    Question.... where did you get the train? Was it and the tracks a complete set? I'm thinking for down the road...

    Thanks!
    ~Laura

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    1. We got our train at WalMart.com. It came with the table, tracks, and little train pieces too. Our train table is similar to this one: http://www.walmart.com/ip/KidKraft-Rising-City-Train-Table-and-Set/16829730

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  15. Happy New Year!!! Your picture of James playing with his trains tore my heartstrings. My "baby boy" just turned 18 last week & to think about the hours he spent playing with Thomas Trains melts my heart. His trains (both wooden & die-caste) are one prized possession I will never part with.... until his baby can play with them. Enjoy your guy; it goes way too fast!!

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    1. I already feel like my son is getting so big so fast. They will always be our baby boys- no matter how old they get.

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  16. Happy New Year!!! Your picture with James playing w/ his trains tore at my heartstrings. My "baby boy" just turned 18 last week & so many memories of him playing with his Thomas Trains came flooding back. Those train sets (both wooden & die caste) are a prized possession in the attic now; that I will only part with for his babies one day :).

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  17. In preparation for Christmas my girls and I actually went through all of the toys and books they had outgrown and we put them all into a big box and donated them to a local charity that provides clothes and gently used toys to families in the area. It was a great way for us to make more space and for the kids to learn the Christmas is about giving not just receiving.

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    1. Such a great thing to do- someone will get use out of the toys and you teach your kids about giving.

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  18. Such sweet pictures! I love the one of him playing with his train. My older son loved his so much and it brings back great memories. I don't envy the toy storage days though! Watch out for legos when he gets into those. They are killer on the feet!

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    1. Oh, I know! I've already stepped on some!

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  19. I bought Carter that same train set for Christmas. Oh and a ride on fire truck {that he is too little for right now} Isn't that what Grandparents are for? To spoil our grandkids :) Such a cute idea to get al those toys organized. Happy New Year Megan!

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  20. HI! Found your blog when I went searching for Houston bloggers! Just moved to the area and attempting to feel somewhat connected. HA!

    LOVE what you did to organize your sons toys. I've actually been thinking I need to start figuring out how I want to do that for my daughter, as she is rapidly approaching a year and her toys are getting bigger in size. Do you have your own machine for lamination?

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    1. I'm so happy you found my blog! Welcome to Houston! :) We do have a laminating machine- it's super easy to use.

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  21. Love your toy labels. I've been wanting to do this for our toys too. This might be a silly question, but how did you get all of your clip art pictures to be about the same size? When I googled and downloaded pictures it seems as thought they vary in size. Yours seem to be more uniform. Would love some help!

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    1. That's such a great question! When I copied and pasted the clip art, I was able to "resize" each picture by clicking on the corner of the picture and dragging it to make it smaller. Are your images letting you do that?

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    2. Yes! Thank you so much. I really appreciate your response.

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  22. Such a great idea! I'll have to remember this one!

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