We’ve just started a new year, and the holiday season and all its gift-giving is behind us for now — which means you probably have a whole bunch of new clutter to manage in your house! You probably don’t want your living room to turn into some sort of plastic toy showroom with toys all over the place. Even if you have a playroom, you might not want an entire room of your house looking like a toy explosion. And your child’s room should be calm and restful, instead of a place where toys are piled high and toy boxes are overflowing.

Managing toy clutter was a surprising part of parenting when my husband and I decided to start having kids. Who knew babies came with so much stuff? Who knew those sweet babies would become toddlers with even more stuff? And then preschoolers with even more? It just didn’t cross my mind. But over the years, I’ve developed a few tricks for managing the toy clutter in our house. These tricks have helped me maintain my sanity and keep our house from becoming overrun with toys.

Tips to manage toy clutter // rightstart.com

Baskets
I have strategically placed baskets around our house with the primary task of managing clutter. A larger basket in the living room acts as a simple (but stylish) toy holder. I swap the toys in and out of this basket as interests change. Baskets set on the stairs make sure toys that wander out of a child’s bedroom make it back to the proper child’s room. Baskets on bookshelves hold books that are oddly shaped. The greatest thing about using baskets instead of toy boxes is that you can use them throughout your house and in different ways as your child grows. Honestly, baskets might be my signature decor item!

Tips to manage toy clutter // rightstart.com

Shoebox-sized plastic tubs with lids
Inexpensive and versatile, shoebox-sized plastic tubs make a great tool for toy organization. The clear sides make it easy to see what’s inside. Plus, you can easily stack them in closets or on book shelves. Small enough to slide under dressers or beds, these plastic tubs can hold toys with lots of parts (like puzzles or blocks) or toys that are a set (like action figures or tea sets).

A closet with good shelves
When all else fails, a closet with shelves is a clutter manager’s best friend. A toy storage closet gives you the power to circulate toys. You can keep kids from getting overwhelmed by limiting the options that are out at once. It also gives you a place to hide toy clutter away – in an organized way, of course!

Tips to manage toy clutter // rightstart.com

Clean Out
My number-one trick for keeping toy clutter under control?Regularly clean them out. I get rid of any toys that are broken, not played with or outgrown. Then I donate what is in good shape, sell items that are sell-able and discard items damaged beyond repair.

What’s your best tip to manage toy clutter in your house?

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