Games, puzzles, Legos, toy cars, action figures. What do they all have in common? If you said creativity, imagination, and smiling. I say, YES! But no, not in this situation. I am thinking of the storage and cleanup.
Home is our sanctuary. Our place to live, laugh, love, and play. With most of us home all day every day working hard not to lose patience while doing ALL THE THINGS, such as school lessons, creative activities, working from home on top of that all your typical day to day chores and activities. I want to share a few helpful game/ puzzle storage options to help with consolidating your space. I know in our home, and even though our kids are older, we have added new puzzles and games to our already extensive collection in the past several months.
Three things to consider if you are ready to revise your game/puzzles/Legos and more.
1. Do you want to store the items in one location, or would it serve the family better to have a few in a couple of places? For example, the family/adult board games are in the family room, but the games for elementary age kids are in the playroom?
2. What are you ready to pass along? Items that your kids/family have outgrown or haven’t played in several years is a great way to start.
3. Are the items in a location that works for the family members that are using it? For example, how will a 4-year-old get to their puzzles if they are stored on the top shelf of a closet?
There are two storage solutions that I want to share.
1. Vertical storage- turn items that are in a box on its side, with them all facing the same direction. It will look like the spines of books. I love it. You can put them by size or in alphabetical order. Find what works for you. Are you wondering if the boxes will fall open? Only when the corners are damaged. If so, add a broad rubber band around the box. There will be no more boxes slipping and sliding when you reach for the game you want. YES!
2. Zipper pouch bags – The new system in our house and I love it—the game-changer, the space saver, the what in the world really system. Get rid of the boxes! Yes, I said it, get rid of the boxes. These pouches come in a variety of sizes. It allows you to eliminate the box. It takes up less space, and cleans up is quick and easy—less space when storing it on a shelf, in a basket, or a drawer. We keep ours in baskets—puzzles in one and games in the others.
These options work for games, puzzles, and a variety of other toys and crafts. But if you are looking for a more traditional storage solution, baskets are a great organizing tool for kids loose toys like action figures, Legos, and toy cars. Clear plastic containment with lids will let you stack them on shelves. An essential step is adding labels to aid in cleanup and getting items returned to its designated location. If you have little ones in your home, photo labels work great. Take a picture of the items in the tub/ basket and print the picture to add to the front of the container or consider both the picture and word. Bonus, your children will associate the word with the picture. Boom, early reading skills in the process.
“Clean up, Clean up everybody everywhere. Clean up. Clean up. Don’t forget your underwear.” I know that is not the right words, but that’s what our boys would say. So, it caught on and still rings true today. Nobody wants to find underwear lying around.
Something I often get asked when working in a home with kids is, “how do you get kids to clean up when playtime is over.” It must become part of their/ your routine. Another saying in our home was, “part of playing is cleaning up!” Yes, with crafting, creating, cooking, and so much more. So, that maybe something you need to make part of your routine as well. I don’t want to be too preachy, but your kids are watching, always watching. They will mimic what you do, so if you are not taking that extra time to clean up and tidy, they will not see the value in the cleanup process.
Organizing and smiling,