Once you realize how many diapers a baby can go through, it’s not long before you start buying them in bulk. If you have ever purchased a case of baby wipes, you know that each case comes with a new plastic dispenser bin. Well, you only need so many of those dispensers and if you’re like me, you save the rest. As a side note, this drives my husband crazy and is, in part, why I save every last one.
Picture the conversation going something like this:
T: Why do we have so many of these things? (As he heads toward the wastebasket with several in hand)
R: (Panicked) No! Don’t throw them away, I’m saving them.
T: (puzzled) Why?
R: I don’t want to throw them away; I might need them for something…someday.
T: (eyes roll)
R: They are perfectly good…for something…I’m sure? I can put toys and stuff in them. Just leave them in there, please. I’m not tossing your stuff out.
T: (heavy sigh)
R: (smirk, I won!)
It wasn’t until my first little angel was older and had acquired more toys that I knew what to do with them. I finally came up with a true purpose for the bins. Cleaning up was more ‘me’ trying to find creative ways to tuck and shove things out of sight for the 2 hours she was napping before it was all spewed around the room again. The job of “clean up” was not only a daunting task for my then-2-year-old but becoming rather difficult for me as well. I didn’t want to just leave everything out, I was determined to have “adult space” for the 30 minutes between her bedtime and the time when I would be passed out on the couch waiting for my husband to wake me and tell me it was time to go to bed.
So, back to the baby wipe bins. I realized one day that my darlings were better at clean up if it was more of a matching game. Put the blocks in the block bin; put the pony things in the pony bin and so forth.
After the first few bins appeared with pictures on their sides, we had a new game on our hands; making more picture-coded bins. We went off to the trusted computer and clicked on Google and then on Images. Then, type in the name of the toy for which you are trying to create a container. Find an image that will be easily recognizable to your little one and make 3 or 4 copies of that image. Print them out then cut and tape them onto each side of the bin. Not only will clean up be easier, but they will also be able to find the toy they are looking for with a little less help from you. The added bonus is that all those bins stack up very nicely making the toy area tidy.
Have fun organizing!