Organizing Garden Toys:
There is nothing quite as magical as seeing your child playing in the water or chasing a ball or a butterfly in the grass. It’s so freeing. There are no carpets or walls to worry about, no one to complain about the shrills of laughter and tears – just the glorious sun beaming down on you. I live downtown in Toronto and I have quite a few friends with young children who also live in the city, and don’t have a garage for storage, or a garden to play in. Whether you go to the local park to play with your children outdoors or have a back garden, the organization of outdoor playthings can easily become problematic and high maintenance. The reason for this is three-‐fold:
- If it’s been outdoors it most likely is dirty. And if it is dirty then putting it away involves an extra step of cleaning/dusting
- If you have to travel with the toys (either from the garage to the back garden, or from your home to the local park) then how you get it from point A to point B can be awkward and time
- A lot of outdoor toys are large and finding accessible and appropriate place to store them when not is use can be a challenge.
Here are some tips for managing the storage of outdoor toys:
- Use lightweight storage containers that are safe if they are Watch out for sharp edges and hardware, dangerous hinges, splintery wood and tall pieces that might topple over. Fabric bins and thin plastic containers are great choices.
- Storage containers that are water resistant and can drain/air properly. Pop-‐up laundry bags are great, as the water/sand can be shook out of them. What I sometimes suggest if you have to transport the toys in a car or trolley is to put the mesh bag with the toys in a clear plastic bag while it is being transported. This way the water/sand doesn’t leak.
- Bins with These are great as they are mobile. You can wheel them around outside and indoors. Mesh is great as the water and dried dirt/sand can drain out.
- Label, label, label. Don’t rely on your memory when putting them away for the
- Toy vehicles can be stored outside under a tarp that has been “cut-‐to-‐size” and Velcro straps attached so that it fits snugly. You can also make a mini garage/shelter in the garden.
Photo by: Thad Zajdowicz
Isolde O Neill is the founder and president of Getting It Together Organizing. As a professional organizer with o
ver 13 years experience in business and residential organizing she has seen how cluttered environments affect your health and happiness, productivity and efficiency. She specializes in working with entrepreneurs, executives, not-for-profit organizations, individuals transitioning their life/careers, as well as parents juggling a work/life balance. These situations require a great deal of sensitivity, ingenuity, and insight of which Isolde has been able to employ in order to help her clients achieve their dreams and enjoy the work they do much more by helping them create a working balance to manage them out of overwhelm and onto success! In addition to organizing your home or business Isolde is also an accomplished workshop leader. Her workshops, based on her Organizational Personality Types, have been a great success with corporations and groups. It has been featured in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and Global TV.
Isolde served on the board of directors of Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) and has been recognized by POC as a Silver Leaf member. This prestigious designation recognizes industry members who have attained an elevated level of experience and expertise.
For more information, please visit her website at: www.gitorganizing.com