The toys have been a problem for quite a while. It's hard to know what to do. Kids will be kids and they make big messes and throw toys all over the place. I pick them up and they end up all over the floor again 15 minutes after breakfast. We had them in 2 toyboxes. 1 is pretty big and the other was a bit smaller. The smaller one they could lean into and reach things easily, even Tyler. The bigger one Dawson could but not Tyler, so he would climb into the toybox and just throw everything out to find toys. It was getting very old and I'd be so tired at the end of the day that I'd skip picking up because what's the point, they'll be all over the floor again in the morning anyway!
I asked some people online and it sounded like they agreed the big toybox led to the same results with everyone's kids. So I did some looking online and they had some good ideas. They said several smaller bins are way better because they can get at the toys better and they are mostly all visible, where in the big toybox they have to dig and hope to find something they want to play with.
I was walking around Target and usually like heading to the kid's bedroom aisle to see if anything is on clearance. Just my luck, they had clearanced all the canvas bins, some were 50% off! I called Dan to see if he thought it was a good idea, I usually don't splurge on big or even medium things without getting his opinion. I find it helps sort out the wants from the needs and it's always good to have communication, especially since I do all the spending of his paychecks! He thought it was a great idea, so I got 4 of the smaller and 2 of the bigger bins. They are navy blue with a red trim or red with a navy blue trim, so I got half and half to make things look cute and colorful.
I often rotate toys to minimize the mess. I already have all the smaller baby toys in a plastic tote, so I went around and filled a tote with stuff they don't play with. This of course resulted in 2 boys following me around looking panicky and trying to save their precious toys from the tote! The next day Dawson found the tote and brought about half of it back out into the living room. So I waited until they were in bed, put those toys back in the tote and then filled a 3rd also. Sounds like a lot, but some of those toys are so big! The last bin only has about 5 toys in it. I put them in my closet instead of his room so hopefully he won't find them. I then set up the shelf and the bins and started sorting toys. Feels so nice to have everything organized! Dan even tipped back the couch so I could get the large amount of small pieces and toys from under there. Finally all the puzzles have all their pieces and all the toys have their parts too. Tyler especially gets frustrated when he wants to play with something and there's no pieces to be found. The bigger toys are sitting on top of the shelf and the smaller things are organized in bins. We also have 2 plastic storage things with clear drawers that I'm using for toys now too. That worked great for all the play food, blocks and other smaller things and I wouldn't want easily tipped out of a bin.
The boys were so excited when they got up this morning and saw their new toy corner. Dawson said "Oh, what's that?!" and ran over there. Didn't take them long at all to find their vehicle bin and dig out their favorite cars. The room was much less messy all day and I noticed much less unecessary stuff was dragged out. Tyler happily went from his piggy bank to the shape sorter to his other toys with small pieces and was having lots of fun. I'm hoping to be able to keep on top of this, I guess we'll see how that goes. I actually took the picture tonight after I cleaned up since I forgot to last night.