Janet Schiesl shares tips for managing a busy family and organizing your home, such as how to organize your child's toys
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Hi, I am Janet. I would like to now talk to you about how to organize your children's toys. Lets go over some tips. A lot of people ask me, how do I keep my children's toys from overtaking my home? The first rule, I want to give you is to have toy areas and toy free areas in your home. The toy free areas should be your master bedroom, your kitchen for safety reasons, and possibly your living and dining room, if you have other spaces that you can use. The toy areas of course should be a family room, a playroom, your children's bedrooms, and maybe part of your garage or car port, and some of your yard. You need to put the toys where your children spend their time, this way the toys become their possessions and their responsibility, and then they can also become their chore to clean up their toys. So, lets talk about how -- ways you can help your children be able to clean up their toys. First of all, you need to give them storage space for their toys; bookcases or spaces like that, where they can put their toys away. Everything needs a place. A toy box is also a great idea. Toy boxes are great for large odd shaped items. They are also great if you want to put them in the family room, for a quick clean-up if you have a neighbor or a friend drop by. All small toys should be contained in bins or boxes, something like this. It's great if you label them. You can use a piece of the box that the toys came in, or you can put a label on them yourself. If your children are not old enough to read, it might be helpful to draw a picture or have them draw a picture of the toys that are going to be located in that bin. Then you put all like items in that bin. So, all Legos would go in a bin, all Barbie clothes would go in a bin, all matchbox, cars, would go in a bin. Then cleaning up becomes much easier, the kids know where the items go. Another way to work with the inventory of your toys is if you are not sure if your children are interested in certain toys, if they have grown out of them, a great way is to put some toys in short-term storage, maybe in an area of your basement or in your attic. Keep them there for a few months, see if the kids ask for these toys. A great resource to give up the toys that your children no longer need is to give them to younger children that you know, or you can donate them or have a yard sale. A great reason to get rid of things is when a holiday is coming or when you are having a yard sale. Couple of weeks before Christmas, make it a family chore to go through the house and organize things that you no longer need. You always can do it with the reasoning that you will be receiving new things for Christmas so we need a place to put them. An individual's birthday is also a great time to go through their clothes, books or any craft items, also to make space for things that they knew that they might be receiving. An easy way to stay on top of the toy clutter is to take five or ten minutes everyday at a scheduled time, right before your kids get in the bathtub, before they go to bed, or right before dinner. Spend that 10 or 15 minutes cleaning up their toys in their toy areas. The whole family should participate, but that way the kids will learn their responsibility of taking care of their things.