Reader Question: Organizing Bath Toys

source: Larsz

source: Larsz

Last week I received an email from Nikki wondering if I had any suggestions for organizing bath toys. I promised her an answer this week, and I wanted to share it here in case anyone else is wondering the same thing. I hope you all will have some suggestions to add as well!

Before my actual suggestions, let me start with a disclaimer that this is one area where I am completely minimalist. My girls’ favorite shower toys right now are three kids cups from TGIFridays (we always get them water and bring the cups home with us to reuse for a variety of different things!) and a condiment bottle. There’s a Little People boat in there too, but I don’t think anyone has played with it in a couple of weeks.

That said, we’ve had more bath toys in the past, so I still have some suggestions:

1. Minimize the number you use in each bath.

Okay, I know you’re rolling your eyes because I just said I have real suggestions on organizing them, but I think this one is important. There are a couple of reasons to minimize the number of toys you dump in the bath each time:

:: Clean up is easier. The less you get out, the less you have to clean up. I know it’s tempting to add all the fun toys to the bath tub each time, but I’ve seen over and over again how much better my kids play when they have less to play with, and easy clean up is an added bonus

:: Toys last longer.
One hazard of bath toys is they tend to get mildewy and gross over time even if you’re doing your best to dry them after use. You can always wash them, spray them with a disinfectant or run them through the dishwasher to keep them clean, but you still end up needing to replace them more often than other toys just because of wear. If you use less for each bath time, you won’t end up having to replace all of them at the same time.

2. Keep a small number of toys in the shower/tub and the rest under the sink or in the linen closet.

Keeping the toys in two separate places gives you control over rotating them without the hassle of having them spread throughout your bathroom on a daily basis.

3. Clean up after every bath or shower.

Use one of the ideas below to allow bath toys to properly drain after they’ve been cleaned up so that you don’t have to leave them sitting in the bottom of the bath tub to dry. If it’s too much of a hassle to clean them up, you probably still have too many out, so it may be time to sort through them again!

shower-curtain-with-pockets
I love the idea of this shower curtain, which has mesh pockets mounted right on it. I’m not sure how much weight each one can hold, but the mesh pockets would be a great way to drain the toys while also limiting how many toys you keep out.

frog-scoop-organizer
This Frog Pod organizer takes the hassle out of cleanup with its detachable scoop for scooping the toys right out of the water before hanging them on the wall to drain. Our main shower doesn’t have traditional tile walls, and a suction cup organizer won’t work, but if it would, I think this is the one I’d opt for because it’s cute and functional!

corner-mesh-bath-toy-organizerThis corner mesh organizer (which also attaches with suction cups) is another great alternative, offering space for toys as well as soap and other bath accessories.

There are tons of other organizers available, but there’s no reason you have to buy a specialty item. Pick up a couple of plastic baskets from Wal-Mart and drill a few holes in the bottom for easy and inexpensive toy storage, or use a mesh laundry bag and a suction cup to make your own organizer!

Now it’s your turn to weigh in. What advice do you have for Nikki? How do you organize your bath toys?