Hurricane Cora. That’s what we call the mess left behind by my beautiful, busy toddler daughter at the end of each day. And now that we seem to have even more stuff from the holidays, I’m documenting some of my survival sanity tactics I’ve had success with in taming the crazy.
Let me stop right here and preface this post by saying that I would not constitute my toy organization as being “on lock” by any means (exhibit A: my living room). I don’t have it all figured out, but I’m here to share some of my strategies and goals for staying as on top of it as I can.
- Setting up rotating toy “stations.” Instead of having all toys in the primary place where you spend the most time (for us, this is our living room), I’ve started setting up stations throughout the house where Cora can have some toys to play with. In our office/play room, in her room upstairs and in our room. Having toys in various places can be helpful to give her activities to do when I have things to do throughout the house. Rotating the toys in the places also seems to help keep toys novel and capture her interest more. Win-win!
- A word on books. Ahhh, books. I completely underestimated the wear and tear books would endure in the hands of a toddler (anybody else or is this just my daughter?). Originally, I kept the books with all of Cora’s other toys, but quickly realized they weren’t always being used for reading (often, they were being trampled over). I’ve recently separated her books from the toys so they could be brought out for reading time only so they wouldn’t get sucked up by the aforementioned Hurricane. I also put books in various stations throughout the house similar to the toys.
- Putting away toys that aren’t age-appropriate. Okay, this one seems like a “duh,” I know. But I’d be lying if I said that I have always been on top of removing and storing away toys that were no longer age-appropriate. Teething rings, toys meant for baby floor play and even walkers are all items I’ve only recently packed away and I give myself pep talks to keep an eye on this over time. Not only is this good for Cora, but it also protects the toys for future children.
- Car toys. The car is technically another “station,” but I also try to rotate the toys and books we have to entertain Cora in her car seat. This is a pretty important one, especially when she was younger because she hated the car. There’s still major opportunity here in the way of keeping the car toys organized because they end up everywhere (usually along with a stray sock and shoe), but I’m sure Pinterest has some good suggestions.
- Building up and storing your craft stash. Now that I have a full-blown toddler on my hands, crafts are becoming more of a thing in our house. I’ve only recently started building our stash (crayons, finger paint, construction paper, etc.) but this will likely grow. I keep this in a basket on a shelf in our pantry but will likely evolve over time and perhaps be more accessible to Cora as she gets older.
See? I haven’t cracked any codes but this is working for us now. What does everyone else do?