Toy Organization ~ How to Make Your Own Labels

Toy Storage Solutions and How to Make Your Own Toy Bin Labels



You have probably seen our schoolroom toy organization from our past homeschool room posts. Every summer I go through our toys and reorganize, purge, and make new labels to get things back in order.

My purpose in toy organization is keeping things simple for kids to clean up easily and independently.  I like the open drawer system and the labels for this.  My kids have always cleaned up independently because of this system.  It was an upfront expense for the Trofast system from Ikea that we use {not sure our exact towers are still for sale, we have 4 tall towers hooked together}, but so worth it for many reasons. It is by far my favorite method and has worked for us very well for years.

Toy Organization

This year I needed to add some toys into the system and I didn’t add space!  Since we are no longer doing our All By Myself Preschool Boxes, I wanted to come up with a new way to store the baggies of learning toys I had created, making them easy for Ladybug to see and tell me what she wants to play with. I wanted to get everything in one space, which until now, it was not.  Until now, I kept most learning toys in the Trofast system, but the rest were stored in our storage room and a bit harder to get to. I grabbed all of our baggies of learning toys from the storage room, sorted them and purged a bunch, then made a plan for what I wanted to keep and have accessible.

I used the same method of using pictures on labels but made some bins with multiple toys separated by baggies. This helped me save space but still have things easy for the kids to get to. They are zipper top baggies so the kids can easily open and close them

Toy Organization

 

Now, all learning toys are in one place, since I added clear boxes {got them from Costco} on top of our Trofast system.

Toy Storage

The most used items are in the system below, and the others are in the bins on top.

Toy Organization

She can easily see the large graphic labels and ask me to get the bin she wants down. Asking me isn’t exactly ideal, but with the labels she can see and I can jump up and grab a bin for her.  Until now these toys were thrown in bins that only I accessed to create All By Myself Preschool Boxes for her. She loves that she can see them all now!

Toy Organization

 

Yes, we have a lot of learning toys.  This always comes up and here’s the basic answers to common questions.  We have a lot for many reasons ~ I was a teacher and came into motherhood with some, the grandparents graciously buy learning toys for birthdays/Christmas, we have many blog review items in our stash {we have kept favorites and donated others}, and we shopped consignment sales.  Why do we keep so much?  Honestly, I hope to use it in the future possibly teaching a group of kids either in a co-op or in my home.  Once my kids are older, I know for certain I will feel lost without tots and preschoolers to hang out with.  I have not passed on many quality learning toys because I hope to use them with others one day!

Want to see what we have?  Here’s a {very informal} video tour, showing what’s in the boxes. Question about a specific item, just leave a comment and I will direct you! I couldn’t remember exact names while making the video no matter how hard I tried!

 

Feeling discouraged because you are short on space or finances?  We have not always had this yet somehow I always made a system of easy to get to – easy to clean up work for us.  Here’s a post sharing how we stored our learning toys in baggies in a wagon in our tiny schoolroom! Baggies are a lifesaver for space.  You can even hang them up, here’s an example of that.  Heavier items obviously won’t hang, but many of our items would! Find a method that works for your budget, your space, and your personality.  It may not be ideal, but you CAN make something work!

 

Want Some Toy Storage Labels?

I can’t share the exact labels I made since I used many images straight from a Google image search. But you can make your own!  I use PowerPoint, so that’s what I am showing below.  If you use a different program to design, maybe some of the tips may help.  Using Word is not the easiest method, so if you have PowerPoint or Publisher, it’s much easier.

Hopefully these graphics will help walk you through the process of making some basic labels. The tutorial doesn’t include fancy stuff, like the background, but you can play around and add things yourself!

How To Make Labels Using PowerPoint

How To Make Labels Using PowerPoint

How To Make Labels Using PowerPoint

How To Make Labels Using PowerPoint

Want the tutorial in pdf form?  Download it here!

Homeschool Room Tour 2013-2014

Homeschool Room Tour 2013

Note ~ there is a video tour at the end of this post!

Our Homeschool room has evolved greatly over the years.  Here’s a look back, for those of you who like to see how I got to where we are now.

Now, an updated view into our “new” schoolroom which we have now happily and GRATEFULLY used for 3 years!  This will be our 4th year in this room and I am still so thankful for this amazing space!

I do not think everyone needs a specific homeschool room, nor one this large.  Many families enjoy schooling all over the house and not having a designated room.  Some aren’t able to have a designated room, or have a very small area.  I don’t think it matters at all!  We were blessed with this amazingly large space and I am forever grateful for it.  It fits my personality perfectly and feels a bit like God reached down and gave me just the perfect “I love you” gift.

Our schoolroom opens into our dining room, as you will see.  This is the view as you are walking in…

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I will take you through the room, with details about each of the main sections.

This is the front left corner, which has a little play area, our large US wall map {no clue where it’s from, it was a generous hand me down gift}, and our movement area.

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I repurposed an old shelf and created a little play area for the kids.  It is also used for Ladybug’s theme work display if we have a theme going on.

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This is our movement area, the basket in the corner is filled with all sorts of PE type things, they mostly enjoy the jump ropes!  We also have an exercise ball, but have to keep it up since the cat likes to claw it!  The kids LOVE the trampoline, it is a fabulous addition as of last year for helping with the wiggles.  The things on the left are called paralettes and are for working parallel bar skills {for Krash who is on a boy’s gymnastics team}.

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We have 4 tall Trofast shelves put together, but the ones we have are not on their website anymore.  I am not sure if they still carry the exact ones we have at the store or not.  The easel is also from Ikea. 

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Each bin is already labeled like this, or in the process of being labeled.  I copied the image from the product site or a Google search and printed them on cardstock, then laminated {no, I don’t have a printable to share, sorry}. This has been a wonderful addition, helping the kids remember all of the great stuff we have to play with!  The kids are allowed to access any of this at any time.

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This is Ladybug’s current learning area, the shot was taken right before school started this year…

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Items you see: Large Pocket Chart, blue calendar, red weather calendar{similar}, cork boards, Trofast shelf, Trofast drawers.  Desk is from Ikea, but it is no longer carried.

 

Below is a new shelf repurposed from another part of the house.  I wanted all of our Bibles in the schoolroom next to the beanbag {Ahh Prods}, and a place for our essential oil diffuser!  I also made the bottom shelf for Ladybug, to put her letter focused activities on.

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I reworked this area below into a writing/drawing area, but the kids have largely ignored it so far. The basket is filled with different scrap paper, our drawing books are on top, and different coloring books, activity pads, blank pads, etc. are in the drawers.

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This is Krash’s area, his desk is an old Ikea table donated to use by friends.  His is the brown chair {Ladybug’s desk is right net to his with the red chair}

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The green drawers used to be his Workboxes, but we don’t use them anymore, I followed the lead of the child and he wasn’t digging them.  He likes his work better on a list to check off.  So now, he has some storage drawers, which he really needed since he drags things everywhere. 

To the right of K’s desk area, is another storage area, where a variety of items are stored.  {links to bookshelf and ledges in this post}.  You can see much of our All About Spelling and Reading items on the shelves. The crayons are in these, also from Ikea.  On the top of the shelf with drawers and the bottom book ledge is our current continent study materials.

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To the right is a white bookshelf from Ikea, which stores our MANY books {well, part of them}.  See our book storage post here!  Near the top is where our Continent Boxes are stored, as well as a few math supplies.

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This is Pac’s desk, links to specific items he has are in this post.  New this year is an additional shoe shelf {from Target} for his textbooks.Homeschool Room -5943

 

This is on the wall opposite of Pac’s desk, the door leads to our mud room/garage/outside the front of the house door.  Much on the wall isn’t school related, but more “front door” related.  We have books and other school supplies stored on the back shelf. In the white cabinet is our games, and other books.  The cabinet is from Ikea too, shocker {no clue what it’s called}.

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These are more learning tools, Spielgaben on top, phonics drawers on bottom along with learning supplies we use often {green boxes are from Target}.

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I store office supplies like this, in the plastic Target bins.

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This is a view of my desk from the front of the room {links and more about my desk here}.  The kick out portion of my desk is where the kids come to sit with me individually when they get their 1:1 instruction, or when they have computer time {we have a family desktop computer}.

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Beyond thrilled that Target dollar Spot allowed me to refresh the look of my desk for SUPER cheap! All of those nice new orange and pink bins are new!

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For those of you who are super interested, I made you a video tour!  I consolidated as much as possible but I still blabber a bit, so it is about 9 minutes long!

Our Homeschool Room 2012-2013

Homeschool Room

Our Homeschool room has evolved greatly over the years.  Here’s a look back, for those of you who like to see how I got to where we are now.

Now, an updated view into our “new” schoolroom which we have now happily and GRATEFULLY used for 2 years!  This will be our 3rd year in this space and I am still so thankful for this amazing space!

Our schoolroom opens into our dining room, as you will see.  This is the view as you are walking in…Homeschool Room-0986

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This is taken from the back, looking towards the dining room…Homeschool Room-0984

 

I will take you through the room, with details about each of the main sections.  This is Ladybug’s Tot School area,  her desk is from Ikea {they no longer carry it}, she has this pocket chart hanging behind her desk for easy display of her Animal ABCs right now.  You can see her All About Reading Poster hanging on the wall, and her Ikea Trofast shelves and bins, which hold her rotated Tot School toys and tools.

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This is to the left of Ladybug’s desk area, it is where we store all of our favorite learning toys, and a few other random things.  We have 4 tall Trofast shelves put together, but the ones we have are not on their website anymore.  I am not sure if they still carry the exact ones we have at the store or not.  The easel is also from Ikea.  The red pocket chart behind the easel is where I store her upcoming units, we are almost done with Animal ABCs which is why it is mostly empty!

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Each bin is already labeled like this, or in the process of being labeled.  I copied the image from the product site or a Google search and printed them on cardstock, then laminated {no, I don’t have a printable to share, sorry}. This has been a wonderful addition, helping the kids remember all of the great stuff we have to play with!  The kids are allowed to access any of this at any time.

Homeschool Room-0981

 

This is our calendar/geography area.  We use Calendar Connections, although I didn’t update the Olympic cards from July, just left them there!  You can see our We Choose Virtues stuff, our Little Passports map, our dry erase board, and some storage things above {links on this page}. The puzzle map on the floor is this one.

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To the left of that area, is where I am now keeping our new Continent Box {on top of the shelf}.  The drawers in the Trofast shelf store various items for each kid, and our All About Reading, All About Spelling supplies.  Their lap trays {from Michaels} are stored to the right.

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This is Krash’s area, his desk is an old Ikea table donated to use by friends.  Homeschool Room-0934

The green drawers used to be his Workboxes, but we don’t use them anymore, I followed the lead of the child and he wasn’t digging them.  He likes his work better on a list to check off.  So now, he has some storage drawers, which he really needed since he drags things everywhere.  He has 3 random “toy” drawers {when upstairs toys migrate downstairs and he needs to clean up quickly, he puts them there.} The other drawers are labeled: money, junk, magazines, school supplies, pencils/markers/crayons, and words {his sight word cards for review}.

The colored bins on the top are from Target.  Fidgets are things for his little active self to hold when I need him to sit still.  They are random squishy things, mostly from the dollar store.  Krash isn’t diagnosed with anything, I just try different techniques to help him focus, he is VERY active and wiggly. Homeschool Room-0936

 

To the right of K’s desk area, is another storage area, where a variety of items are stored.  {links to bookshelf and ledges in this post}.  On the top are our ABC Soup cans, middle shelf are various books and our Draw, Write, Now set.  On the bottom shelf is our iPad plug in area, books, and our color sorted crayon area. The crayons are in these, also from Ikea.  On the floor is our All About Reading/Spelling board, which is used by Krash right now.  I also use this board to teach Pac anything that requires a board.

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To the right is a white bookshelf from Ikea, which stores our MANY books {well, part of them}.  See our book storage post here!  Near the top is where our Continent Boxes are stored, as well as a few math supplies.Homeschool Room-0946

This is Pac’s desk, links to specific items he has are in this post.  The shape string, added by him randomly one day.  He’s creative like that. I keep our red bean bag chair for when we sit and read back there, mostly with Pac for his science, & history.Homeschool Room-0927

New additions are the Target shoe shelf that now sits on top to sort out his school books.  His laptop is stored to the side unless he really needs it, I found it way too distracting last year when open on his desk at all times.  On his red magnetic board, he now has a daily routine pocket chart {got for $1 at Target years ago}.

Homeschool Room-0928  Homeschool Room-0930

This is on the wall opposite of Pac’s desk, the door leads to our mud room/garage/outside the front of the house door.  Much on the wall isn’t school related, but more “front door” related.  We have books and other school supplies stored on the back shelf. In the white cabinet is our games, and other books.  The cabinet is from Ikea too, shocker {no clue what it’s called}.

Homeschool Room-0948  Homeschool Room-0952

These are more learning tools, I moved them out of the homeschool storage room, so the kids could play with them more.  The boxes are from Target.

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I store office supplies like this, in the plastic Target bins.Homeschool Room-0960

This is a view of my desk from the back of the room {links and more about my desk here}.  The kick out portion of my desk is where the kids come to sit with me individually when they get their 1:1 instruction, or when they have computer time {we have a family desktop computer on the left.}Homeschool Room-0953

I have all sorts of things stored above my desk, my new recent favorites are these boxes from Target, they hold K and P’s school books that aren’t being used right now, but will be this year.  The current manuals and books stand to the right. Below hangs our daily routine {will share later}, and my calendar {also from Target}.Homeschool Room-0964

Hope you enjoyed the little {well, big} tour of our homeschool room.  If you saw something I didn’t link to or share about and you are curious, check the comments below to see if someone else already asked, and if not, leave me a comment and I will share more!


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