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View Full Version : Organizing... I'm In Over My Head...


youretooloud
07-09-2011, 08:12 PM
I can't figure out how to clean and organize my daycare room. It's honestly gross and filthy, and cluttered and not working well at all.

But, I don't know where to start, or what to do to fix this.

The small toys are everywhere.... nothing is where it belongs, I've had to put a lot of the toys up high.. but, they are just balancing on the tops of shelves. It's truly dangerous.

I need motivation... or a dumpster... or something. How would you fix a HUGE mess?

AnneCordelia
07-09-2011, 08:15 PM
Hmmmm, I would take everything out of the room, firstly. Paint it a fresh, inspirational colour. Then I would put back large items that MUST go in and storage furniture. Then I would put items in in order of importance and put the rest in rubbermaid bins for storage/rotation. BE FIRM with yourself and DECLUTTER! I find my children make such better use of their imaginations when there isn't clutter around. Physical clutter contributes to mental clutter.

Good luck and have fun! I love rearranging my daycare room!

Meeko
07-09-2011, 08:44 PM
I'm re-arranging a lot....I tweek every few months because I get bored!

But some things stay the same. I have clear plastic drawers (Walmart) for the smaller toys (legos, bristle blocks etc.) The kids can see the toys easily.

We have a rule when cleaning up the toys. Everything has a home. I do not allow the kids to just fill each drawer with whatever they can lay their hands on and then say the room is clean. I look through the drawers after the room is picked up and if anything is in the wrong drawer...it gets put right back on the floor again and they have to re-do it. It was such a hassle at first...but now they have it down!! The toys are always organized and neat. The kids who have been here a while will tell new ones
"Not there!....the legos go HERE!" They train each other!
For bigger items, I have tall shelving units turned on their side and the "shelves" become partitions for the large items. Higher shelves....out of the kids reach....store plastic containers with toys that get rotated.

Good luck....it can be daunting to start...but you will love when the day goes smoothly and you feel on top of things.

I have found that my mother was right.:rolleyes: Everything must have a home. If it doesn't....it will just pile up or get moved all over the place and you can't find anything!

littlemissmuffet
07-09-2011, 09:01 PM
I agree with Anne on decluttering... it will not only be good for you, but good for the kids too - they will indeed be more imaginative and creative!

I am with Meeko on everything needing a home. I am a neat freak by nature and that does carry over into the playroom. Everything has it's place. Everyone knows where everything goes. Within 2 days of starting here a new child will know where everything goes - the other kids help remind. My littles start to help with cleanup at 16 months.

Take everything out of the room. Wash everything down. Start moving back in the NECESSARY items and pack everything else away for rotation... let go of items that you know you can part with. Bring in a plant or something else new every once in awhile to keep things diffrent.

Have fun!

Crazy8
07-09-2011, 09:06 PM
I tend to be an "all or nothing" person - if I have a BIG project like that I want to do it 100%, I can't just do it little bits at a time so I'd go with the taking EVERYTHING out and starting from scratch that AnneCordelia recommended. You can probably get it done in a weekend.
I am hoping to redo my playroom one of the next few weekends - I have Mondays off for the summer so hoping with a 3 day weekend I can get it all done!

WImom
07-09-2011, 09:06 PM
I'm re-arranging a lot....I tweek every few months because I get bored!

But some things stay the same. I have clear plastic drawers (Walmart) for the smaller toys (legos, bristle blocks etc.) The kids can see the toys easily.

We have a rule when cleaning up the toys. Everything has a home. I do not allow the kids to just fill each drawer with whatever they can lay their hands on and then say the room is clean. I look through the drawers after the room is picked up and if anything is in the wrong drawer...it gets put right back on the floor again and they have to re-do it. It was such a hassle at first...but now they have it down!! The toys are always organized and neat. The kids who have been here a while will tell new ones
"Not there!....the legos go HERE!" They train each other!
For bigger items, I have tall shelving units turned on their side and the "shelves" become partitions for the large items. Higher shelves....out of the kids reach....store plastic containers with toys that get rotated.

Good luck....it can be daunting to start...but you will love when the day goes smoothly and you feel on top of things.

I have found that my mother was right.:rolleyes: Everything must have a home. If it doesn't....it will just pile up or get moved all over the place and you can't find anything!

We do the same here. I still have one though after 3 months he still puts stuff where ever. The kids are always telling him not to..lol.

I bought some white storage cabinets from Target. Everything is hidden like art supplies and games, extra toys for rotation, etc. I can't stand clutter.

Cat Herder
07-10-2011, 11:46 AM
I re-arrange often to prevent whatever issue is coming as the kids reach different age milestones.

I also have many 10-20 gallon rubbermaid bins to keep toys in.

I rotate the bins all the time instead of keeping all the toys out at any given time.

I store them upstairs in the attic and bring down a new box whenever they seem to be getting bored of the current selection.

I toss them all in the bathtub with bleach/q128 water for a good decon, dry them, then put the old bin back upstairs.

Simplifies things for me. :Sunny:

youretooloud
07-10-2011, 12:06 PM
I re-arrange often to prevent whatever issue is coming as the kids reach different age milestones.

I also have many 10-20 gallon rubbermaid bins to keep toys in.

I rotate the bins all the time instead of keeping all the toys out at any given time.

I store them upstairs in the attic and bring down a new box whenever they seem to be getting bored of the current selection.

I toss them all in the bathtub with bleach/q128 water for a good decon, dry them, then put the old bin back upstairs.

Simplifies things for me. :Sunny:

I think this is probably what I need to do. I'm in here right now getting started. I itch just going through some of this junk. (i think that's just psychosomatic)

I have a bath tub right off the playroom.. so, I'm just going to fill it with bleach water. (i'm anti-bleach too.. so that's weird) and start with an empty room.

Cat Herder
07-10-2011, 12:33 PM
I think this is probably what I need to do. I'm in here right now getting started. I itch just going through some of this junk. (i think that's just psychosomatic)

I have a bath tub right off the playroom.. so, I'm just going to fill it with bleach water. (i'm anti-bleach too.. so that's weird) and start with an empty room.

That is exactly what I do once a month. ;)

Bleach is just the cheapest way for "large cleans" and brightens the toys back up to almost new. Especially the playmats/napmats. ;)

For daily cleaning I use a hospital disinfectant concentrate & water both in a spray bottle w/ "never used" cloth diapers and the bathtub method.

To dry bulk toys you can toss them in a mesh laundry bag and hang somewhere outside on a sunny day, too. ;) I use plant hooks off my deck. :ouch:

boysx5
07-11-2011, 04:37 AM
I use try to fit every toy I had in my room not a good idea. Now I keep bins of stuff and change things around each month they love it its like getting a new toy. It keeps things neater and more easy to organize.

youretooloud
07-11-2011, 08:47 AM
Well, I did a lot yesterday. I still have a giant pile of stuff to go through, and the diaper changer area needs to be redone. But, I made a huge dent.

I have a long way to go... but, I at least feel good about the headway I'm making.

MarinaVanessa
07-11-2011, 09:17 AM
I use try to fit every toy I had in my room not a good idea. Now I keep bins of stuff and change things around each month they love it its like getting a new toy. It keeps things neater and more easy to organize.

Yes this! Exactly what I do. Each time I get a new toy or someone donates something to us I make sure to either have room for it in a bin or get a new bin (clear) with a lid for it. Everything is sorted with similar toys (small blocks, big blocks, crayons, instruments etc) and even then if I have a lot of something only some of them come out.

I also make it a point to have one type of toy out of a category like art: crayons and paper, blocks: big OR small blocks, manipulatives: fish builders, little people: farm set, only 8 puzzles out at a time, only 20 books out at a time etc. Then I rotate them out every 2-4 weeks depending on the toy and the amount of interest they have in it. It really keeps the clutter and mess down and I find that a toy that they didn't have much interest in that was out for 2 weeks when put away for a month will be a bigger hit the next time it's out.

I'm real big about pushing clean up time and having the kids clean up their messes. I do clean up times before snacks and meals and generally when it starts to get out of hand. Even my 1yo's know which toys go in which bins and will sort out a toy bin that has wrong toys in it without being told if another newer child throws them in the wrong bin. It's awesome lol.

mom2many
07-11-2011, 09:51 AM
I used to have all of my toys out in my playroom, when my own children were young and it was always a challenge to keep things organized. The younger ones liked to dump out the bins and I was constantly sorting!

Now I have everything organized in different bins and stored in a closet. This allows me to bring out age appropriate toys depending on who I am caring for. It has worked out really well for the past 15 years and allows me rotate toys, so things actually get played with! :D