Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Works-For-Me-Wednesday: Toy Storage

Those who know me understand my need for order. Even in chaos, I must find some sort of order. So it is only natural that I endeavor to bring my son into that world, too.

Poor thing.

I have used these white “dish” tubs from Wal-Mart for his stuff since before he was born. They’re cheap. They’re a great size, holding everything from diapers to blocks. They fit just about anywhere. And did I mention they’re cheap?

So it was only natural that his toys were stored in these tubs. But there was no order. No rhyme or reason.

So here’s what I did.

I decided how many tubs I needed, and what would go in each one. Then I took a few items from each category and took photos.I imported the photos to an editing software, resized the picture to business card size (2 1/2 x 3), added text and printed.toy tub labelI then attached these business card holders to the tubs and slipped in the photos. My thought was that it would be simple to switch out the labels when we shift things around.

It worked great. Except that my sweet little boy loved to peel the business card pockets off. The adhesive isn’t that great, but it would’ve been ok if he’d left it alone.

Since I had a label nemesis on my hands, I kicked it up a notch. I used clear tape. It took two pieces of tape to sufficiently cover the label. He hasn’t yet figured out how to peel off the clear packaging tape, and the labels are holding up beautifully. When I need to put different labels on the tubs, I’ll just peel off the label, tape and all.DSC02059It makes it tons easier to pick up toys and keeps everything neat and organized. And things get put away in the right place (generally) when I’m not the one supervising, too. (The one on the top right isn’t missing a label…it’s currently EMPTY!) DSC02055I also labeled the shelves in his Gent’s Chest. These are still the business card pockets. He hasn’t peeled those off. Yet.DSC02061 Poor boy. He doesn’t have a chance.

For more ideas and tips, head on over to We Are THAT Family for more Works For Me Wednesday.

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  1. Cute cute cute! Walmart has red dishpans too--but they're $2. Still pretty cheap and fun. Love the labels--DS 5 knows where all his toys go now but DD 2 upends his room and does not. Picture labels would really help us--thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Wow, work it girl! I love my p-touch labeler. That thing rocks.

  3. You are so OCD.

    And I HATE for things to be in the wrong box. Is that bad?

  4. What a great idea with the labels. We do something similar with Sterlite containers with lids.

    I like having the lids, so my kids can't dump those out as quickly. Especially the baby, who gets into everything.

    I have always meant to label them, but haven't gotten round to it yet!

  5. I am going back and reading some of your old WFMW and the former teacher in me would like to tell you how much we appreciate parents who do this. I have many reasons why but will only name a few.
    #1 You are teaching C to "match" toys with pictures. That's an important skill and one he can't go to kindergarten without.
    #2 C will know how to clean up after play time because he does it at home.
    #3 Organized parents in general make our job much easier. You can't imagine the parents who never check back packs or bring forms back waded up like they are still high school students.

    Thank you on behalf of early childhood educators everywhere.