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Organizing Kids Toys So Mom Can Stay Sane {Part 2}

I love the idea of play kitchen because it can keep my little one out of my kitchen {if only for a little while}. It's a great training tool to help kids maneuver through a kitchen and introduces them to organization, at least it does in my house. Play kitchens and play food can very quickly take over the room and random pieces of fake food can end up everywhere. Let's talk about keeping the play kitchen free of clutter!

Our Play Kitchen on a Bad Day

No matter how organized a mom is, their kids are always a different story. Kids need to be able to play freely {within reason}, but in our house, when playtime is over, it's clean up time. Just to show you that I'm not immune to the mess of a preschooler, here is the mess I find:
Sad to say, but it looks similar to how our own kitchen sink area can get at times. Ouch! To top it off, my son is a dumper. Yup, any chance he gets, he just loves to dump toys into a mountain of mess which we then have to sort through together. That, parents, is the key...teaching through play.

Teaching Through Play

Play kitchens are wonderful things because they have storage already built into them! I used it as an opportunity to teach my son how a kitchen is organized and what goes where. By doing this, he learned what foods go in the fridge, how to separate fruits from vegetables and how to put dishes away {a skill I hope he'll use often as he gets older}.

There were some accessories that came with the kitchen itself, then we also bought a play BBQ grill to accompany the kitchen. We bought the play food separately, and found it at our Costco when the toys make their appearance during the holiday season. In order keep it all organized, all I needed was the help of two tiny pieces to make this organized playtime successful.

How I decluttered the Play Kitchen {and took a baby step to go green too}

Along my journey to a clutter free house, I have been taking baby steps toward being green {who isn't, right?}. Part of that meant getting rid of our plastic tupperware and replacing them with glass containers. What does this have to do with decluttering the play kitchen, you ask?

I used two of my smaller somewhat beat up pieces of tupperware and used them to organize my son's food in the play kitchen. Because a major part of being green is reducing waste, I decided to reuse them instead of toss them. Your'e welcome, Earth. Baby steps, right?

So now instead of food spilling out each time we open the fridge, a simple piece of old tupperware organizes "fridge food" and contains the clutter that can spill over.

I also took the labeling method is used in the first part of this series and made labels where I could. Each bin has a picture and word label and the spot where the bin goes has a matching label.
My little man loves to match, so this was right up his alley. Easy and fun clean up! A win for everyone!

Our Play Kitchen on a Good Day

Because I love a good before and after, let's take a look at our play kitchen on a good day.
Are you ready for a closeup!?! Here is your aaaaah moment!
I'm not one for keeping a perfect house. Messes happen and I am not a fan of cleaning. But organizing? That's right up my alley and if I can use my gift for organizing to train my son, then I'm using my gifts in the best way I know how...gift it forward! Is your play kitchen organized to emulate your own kitchen? If your house is not like that, this would be a great opportunity to engage with your kids! Declutter that play kitchen and teach your kids the value of keeping things orderly. Gift.

Has anyone else used something around the house to organize their play kitchen? I'd love to know what it is! Share it in the comments.

If you missed the first part of this series, read it here!

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