Garbage galore

The new refrigerator is finally here and phase one of  "Project Clean the House" is finished. The proof is below.

Ton of trash Doing our part to recycle

This would be all of the garbage and recycling that we set out. Please excuse the gross nature of the photos (the kids are much nicer to look at), especially three of the cans that were original to the house.

The lesson learned, we need to purge "stuff" more often. Having open space for the boys to play in is important. Once we move toys and clean upstairs we will have a great playroom.

So here are my questions to you this week as we plan phase two of "Project Clean the House":

What are the best ways to store and organize toys? Remember my boys are 5 and 21 months old. Have you ever had a yard/garage/tag sale? If you have had any, tips would be greatly appreciated. We will likely have a sale in the Spring.



Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the Mr. Linky there if you are participating.

 Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #36



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  • Jen says:

    One of the best things I’ve ever done is to divide my kids’ toys into 4 separate bins. I did this when they were toddlers/preschoolers. I would only keep one bin out at a time and then rotate them every month or so. That way they didn’t get bored of them too easily.

    We usually have a yard sale once a year.

  • Vicki says:

    I had 3 kids and each of them had their own toy box. I took the toys to Goodwill when they got tired of them.

  • sagemom says:

    Oh gosh…that’s a hard one. I have hampers and bins and boxes…but it’s so hard to stay organized…there’s just too many toys!

  • Big plastic bins work great for toys. We also had the Little Tikes Toy box. For my grandkids I use a big plastic bin to store their toys….grandson loves to dump all the toys out and sit in it. I also go through their toys and change it out.

  • Heather says:

    I use big plastic bins for the most part. However, I have 2 large plastic 3-drawer organizers for little things like tools, cars, balls, etc. I label them with a picture (since the tot can’t read) and then he can match up where things go.

  • Sarah says:

    I use the bin method. Seperate it into however many you need. Stash some for later. Makes clean up a lot eaiser and gives a good rotation of “new” toys.

  • Elizabeth says:

    When they were really little, it tended to be in toy chests, etc. but I quickly moved to big open shelves where they could see everything and learned where it belonged.

  • Nina says:

    I bought some open shelves that are only three shelves high and used baskets to put all the boys toys in. Each basket is labeled and it keeps us organized. When things start getting to full it means it is time to get rid of a few toys.

    As for the yard sale, instead of tagging everything I make signs… For instant baby clothes: Pants $1.00, Shirts $1.00, Sets $2.50 and so one (I hook sets together). I also tell people all prices are negotiable because some outfits are in much better condition than others and if it is worn out more I bring the price down some. It is so much easier than putting stickers on everything.

  • Lori says:

    We have one of those things that has all the colored bins in them for all of Tay’s little toy (matchbox cars and animals, etc.) like this one
    and for his bigger stuff we have a cubby system with baskets from IKEA like this one, ours has 8 cubbys with 4 baskets, I use the empty cubbys for his little people barn and such. Then we also have a bookcase for all of his books. I tell you, I am anal and we have no toys on the floor, its great!

  • Karen says:

    I definitely feel your pain. We are doing a lot of this ourselves right now. Tomorrow I paint V’s bedroom and next week I paint the kitchen. I have been working on organization a lot and trying to keep it up.

    Right now I am using hampers in the basement because I have not made it that far on my project organization but it is coming in the next few weeks. Upstairs though I only let the kids have a couple of toys at a time. If they want a new toy they have to put one back. I am getting a fake leather ottoman looking thing that opens for the toys on main floor. Right now I just keep them in one area and try to keep them there.

    I am looking at bins and plastic containers to store the basement stuff in. I like the idea of rotating out toys to keep them from getting bored.

  • We did 2 garage sale and it was way more trouble than it was worth. I’d rather just give stuff to goodwill really. As for organization. W.W. just gets it out as fast as we put it away so I just have several of those open canvas storage boxes in the living room that make it easy to put things in and take them out. ;)

  • Well, we bought a bigger house. That seemed to help a lot! :-) ha ha. I’m terrible at organizing, so I mostly throw stuff in bins or get rid of it. Good luck!

  • Tara says:

    Oh my.. its seems like I try no organization methods each week lol.. I have one of those big pop up garden bags that I bought at Bed Bath and Beyond..and I put all my sons stuffed animals in it.. and it sits in his closet.. lol and I have some tubs stacked.. like his train tub. But I find myself.. constantly going thru the toys.. wanting to get rid of them. I am starting to realize that boys just want a train and a few cars and they are happy lol

  • Nancy says:

    We have the same toy organizer that Lori (#9) above has and it’s awesome. Other toys are in small bins by type – plastic food in one, Mr. Potato Head pieces in another. Our organizing system has sort of evolved over the years so we have different things in different places.

    The only garage sale I’ve held was when Jon’s Grandma died and it was not something I want to repeat! Clothes Zach has outgrown go to consignment or on eBay. Clothes Jon and I have worn out go to Lupus (they pick up donations). Toys and other odds and ends we don’t need/want anymore go to my cousin for her garage sales, or on Freecycle. Larger baby toys I’ve listed on Craigslist but haven’t had much luck there.

    Good luck getting rid of everything!

  • kailani says:

    I buy those huge bins from Costco and separate everything by toy type. The girls can’t play with another bin until they clean up the first one.

  • Grrrl You need a vakay after all that cleaning.
    I love the plastic drawers for all my organizing. We have stations too, but that doesn’t work out to hot.

  • Toy storage is something I struggle with too. The best way I’ve found to keep things cleaned is the toy rack with bins.

  • jenn says:

    I agree… BINS, BINS,BINS!!! I have tons… clear or colored ( your preference) and they can be moved into a closet or somewhere when company comes… each of my children have them in their bedrooms for toys, books, just stuff in general. I also found these cute cloth things that hang in the closet on the rod with the days of the week and for my 2 younger kids we lay out clothes a week in advance in these cute cubbies.. its so nice to get up & moving in the morning and not have to spend an hour on picking out clothes! Congrads on the new fridge! Hope its a nice one!

  • Elle says:

    We use bins too. Especially for the matchbox cars and the Thomas Trains, oh and the GeoTrax trains, oh and the dinosaurs. It does seem to work with a little extra effort every few weeks from me. I also number their puzzles. I’ll number the back of each puzzle piece so that all the 1’s go as one puzzle, 2’s as another and then put that number on the outside of the box also.

  • Joyful Noise says:

    I have a bucket for legos, one for zoo animals, one for dinosaurs, one for farm, one for little people, etc…they are supposed to pick up the one bucket before getting another out…sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. If my husband cleans up a mess he just shoves them all into buckets without sorting and then my work starts over though. It is a good system that works if you can get them to clean up one before taking out the others…

  • Organize all the toys at the grandparents and take them over for a few hours every time they want to play with something. :)

  • I’m not really sure how to organize–I’m going to have to read through everyone’s suggestions myself!

    Anyhow, just a thought for the garage sale–we got together with a bunch of our neighbors to join in with us and had a “block yard sale.” That way, we were able to get more people to come down and it was a lot easier to advertise.

  • angela says:

    This is how we do it at my moms shop. The infant toys, keys rattles etc… are placed in one ares. If you have sets of toys then they are sold as sets. If you do not then sandwich bag blocks, hotwheels, and other little piecs.

  • I’ve tried the separate bins thing, rotating them or organizing them by types of toys but at two years old my son still won’t adhere to any system I set up and it seems I won’t either because even the rotation never seems to last long…

  • pam says:

    I have tried bins, never works for me. I always seem to be getting rid of things. Junk (like McDonald’s toys) are thrown away, and other better stuff gets donated. We have a small house, and if they let their stuff pile up things get cluttered up pretty quick. I have to keep on top of it!

  • Damselfly says:

    I’ve heard the toy rotation idea many times, but I just don’t know where I would put the toys that aren’t out for the moment! There are toys in every room of my house! We definitely need to purge some stuff, especially before the baby comes.

  • I use bins and canvas boxes on shelves. So far, so good. It’s hard, I know.

  • We bought one of those shelving units that holds the totes…we still use it to hold all kinds of toys! Love it!

    We usually donate the things that they outgrow to help keep things under control.

  • I have had a garage sale. I did it terribly and was completely unorganized so I cannot give you any advice.

  • I have wooden cabinets and plastic ones for his toys. We also have some wooden shelves where he displays some of his favorite collections.

  • Liz says:

    We are buying a whole wall of
    from IKEA. With (almost) 2 kids getting ready to share a room, it’s the only way we can think to maintain our sanity. It’s also a finite limit to the number of toys that can enter our house. I’ll try to remember to share pictures in 6 weeks or so when it’s up.

    (Apologies if I messed up my attempt at html)