I love for everything to have its place – my three-year-old, on the other hand, could care less. And I’m okay with that. I wasn’t organized until adulthood, and still manage to swim under clutter every now and then a lot more since the birth of our second. She doesn’t have a lot of toys, but the ones she does have tend somehow to get everywhere. And since we’ve recently switched from nap time to “quiet time,” she’s got a good chunk of time to herself to get into all sorts of mayhem.
We recently bought shelves and storage buckets at Ikea, which work great. However, when it comes to clean-up time, all the toys are tossed hither and yon into whatever bucket is closest (and you can believe me when I say it’s like fingernails down a blackboard for me when that happens – but I keep my mouth shut). I understand that she’s too young to sort well, and she can’t yet read. So.
Question: How can I label these identical buckets so she can sort-of put her toys away where they belong?
I took out a couple toys in each bucket and took a quick snapshot. Here is her pretend food:
I then printed the photo and taped it to the bucket.
Walla. A really high-tech, fancy label that will hopefully help my preschooler know what goes where.
(Notice how one bucket is already turned upside-down as a makeshift dining table.)
And I’m not so delusional to think she will now put everything exactly the way I would want it. I know there will still be mayhem and some gnashing of teeth come clean-up time. But perhaps this will help a bit, and will inspire this independent, I-wanna-do-it-myself little girl to keep her room a smidge neater.
I’ll let you know how that goes.