Friday, July 17, 2015

23 Uheart Organizing: Smart Storage for Small Toys

I think we can all high-five to organizational solutions that are inexpensive, quick, easy and effective.  That said, Chelsea deserves some major high fives and low fives and on-the-side fives!  She is stopping by today from her blog, Two-Twenty One, to share with us her brilliantly simple solution to all of those toddler toys that contain multiple pieces.  It leaves me wishing I would have done something similar when my boys were younger.  Here she is now to spill her secrets.



Today I wanted to stop by and show you guys how I'm organizing some of my son's toys; specifically toys with small pieces like puzzles.  Because there's nothing more annoying than trying to complete a puzzle and you're missing a piece.

My answer to the where'd-that-puzzle-piece-go conundrum? Mesh lingerie laundry bags. That's right. Lingerie bags aren't only for your unmentionables, friends.


I use two different sizes of zippered, mesh bags. These larger bags, which I purchased from Walmart, hold larger puzzles and the pieces well.


While these smaller mesh bags are perfect for smaller puzzles. Plus, I scored them from the dollar store - 3 for $1.


But I didn't stop at puzzles, I kept the mesh bag party going and used it for other toys with small pieces.

Now, I must also add that before I became a mom, I worked as an infant and toddler developmental therapist (DT). And the basis of the therapy I did was play therapy. So while using the bags and teaching your kiddos to clean up after themselves, you can also throw in some educational components. For toddlers, you can sing the "Clean Up" song, and teach words like "in" or "put in". The kiddos I worked with also loved when I would say "boom" every time we put a toy in the bag. And then you can say "zip" when you or your kiddo zips up the bag.

And instead of giving a child all the pieces at once, I would give them the puzzle board first and withhold the rest of the pieces. We would work on either signing or verbally saying "more" or "more, please".  Once the kiddo would sign or say "more" or "more please", I would give them one piece at a time.


While we're on the topic of mesh laundry bags, I also use one in our bathroom for Owen's bath toys and cup. I used a Command Brand bath hook to hang the bag on the side of the shower.


Now all of his toys can dry while staying out of the way.

I've seen other bath toy storage organizers for $13-$15. I'm happy to report that my solution cost less than $5.


Now, let's talk about bigger puzzles with more pieces. I picked up some pencil cases from the dollar store to organize those puzzle pieces.


And back to referencing my DT days, zippers are great for strengthening fine motor skills.


Plus, there's an added educational aspect because kiddos have to match the correct bag to the puzzle when grabbing the puzzle piece bags.


I store the puzzles and other toys in fabric bins in my son's nursery closet shelving system. I love using fabric bins because they're easy to grab, play with the toys inside, and then slide them back into the cubbies.



Hey friends! I'm Chelsea from Two Twenty One! I'm a twenty-something living in Indiana with my husband, Brad, and our crazy mutt, Jack. My loves are photography, travel, DIY projects, baking, wine, sarcasm and my iPhone. The husband and I are attempting to make our home a little less cookie cutter and a lot more awesome. My little slice of the internet, Two Twenty One, is where I share my latest home improvement projects, furniture makeovers, crafts, recipes and home & seasonal decor ideas. I am beyond excited to join Jen and the rest of the IHeart Organizing team!

23 comments:

  1. Genius! I saw "storage for small toys" and thought this post would be post-toddler. This will be perfect for my boys. Thank you!

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  2. As a grandma, can I just say thank you very much. Love this !

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  3. Wonderful post and great ideas, and I love the small mesh bags! I bet they would also be great to store makeup and pens as well.

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  4. So smart! I love using pencil pouches in my purse to help keep things organized but never thought of using them to corral small toys. Thanks for the ideas!

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    1. That's funny, I've used them for toys, but never for my purse! That is why I love this site so much, the people on it are so amazing and have such good ideas.Time to go organize my purse!

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  5. What a great idea for all the little things that kids have. Great tips...thanks soooooo much for sharing!

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  6. Some really great ideas here! Lingerie bags are also great for keeping tiny socks together. I hang one on my boys' hampers. Both my 3 and 5 year old know to put their dirty socks in them when they get undressed. Then I just zip them and toss them in the laundry. Keeps all their socks together!!

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    1. Completely agree with this tip, we do the same and love the ease! May have to quick tip Tuesday that one. :)

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  7. We're currently using ikea sandwich bags but your idea is a lot classier 😉

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  8. This is a great tip! I was doing this with her chewey rubber blocks and animals but I'll get some for her puzzles too!

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  9. I could see this working for Lego sets you want to keep together.

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  10. Zipper freezer bags work great too. I also found it helpful to write the #of puzzle pieces on the outside of the bag to help with counting (and keeping track).

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  11. I use the zippered pencil bags for busy bags. It's very easy to put a few in the car & take into restaurants. Love the mesh bags for puzzles. I don't really like our metal puzzle holder. The kids drop them trying to put them back.

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  12. This is a genius idea and I will definitely be using this for my kids. :)

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  13. I love the laundry bags for toy organization! I've found these at the dollar store..my clients will love this idea, thanks for sharing!

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  14. This has been the post I've been looking for! My daughter is one and she has PLENTY of little toys (shape puzzles galore). I try to keep up with all the pieces, but it's tough. Some of them get lost, and some pieces I find under tables or other unsuspecting areas of the house. This mesh bag and pencil case solution is great! It'll keep her toys organized and save us the hassle of searching for the pieces half the time. THANK YOU! for such a simple and smart idea :)

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  15. Just implemented the mesh bag bath toy storage idea. Thanks!
    Along the same lines of the pencil pouch storage idea -- if you have scrap fabric lying around, it's easy to make duct tape no-sew zipper pouches (one can search for instructions online) -- we use these to store small toy collections (bouncy balls, finger puppets, etc). Then we just hang a little tag from the zipper with a picture or words so we know what's inside.

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  16. Thank. you. My mind is running with possibilities of mesh bag organization for toys and puzzles, diaper bag and purse, make-up and toiletries, packing and travel, ETC!! Love that they wear well (if you know what I mean), and don't get 'cloudy'/dirty-looking like ziplocks for storage (like in the diaper bag or suitcase), and they're see-thru for easy reference (unlike the dark, messy depths of a make-up bag ;-).

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  17. Such a creative and ingenious organizing idea!!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Lauren Baxter | LB Designs
    xx

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  18. This is a similar idea to one I have used for years. I found that upcycling the clear plastic zipper bags that bedding usually comes in works great for small games or toy sets. Since they come in many sizes, I usually always have one on hand that is just right. And the bonus is that they're free!

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  19. This is my favorite blog ever. Organizing and seeing things neatly organizing is such a satisfying feeling I can't even begin to explain! My brain feels so clean and calm just looking at the photos here. Haha!

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