I have this idea in my head that I am good at organizing.
Okay, hold on. I’ll just wait for my mother to pick herself up… I’m sure she’s rolling around on the floor laughing.
I like to compare organizing to something like running, or throwing a ball, or painting rooms – just because you’re good at it, doesn’t mean you do it frequently. Maybe you just do it occasionally, and then pat yourself on the back before you crack open a Diet Coke and leave it on top of a leaning tower of magazines.
Organizing has taken on a new meaning now that we have the playroom. As the girls get older, the toys get smaller and smaller and bring even teensier friends along for the ride. One of the most microscopic of the bunch are the Calico Critters. Adorable, fuzzy, and completely kitted out with every accessory a miniature kitten could ever want, they are an organizing nightmare.
And when you have a four and two year old:
I walked into the playroom to see this today. Calico Critter Natural Disaster! What happened?
I was tempted to moan, “The horror! The horror!” a la Kurtz from Heart of Darkness. But then I thought that may be a tad melodramatic.
Still, Lila and Lucy both raised their shoulders in an “I don’t know?” fashion when I asked who dumped the basket of Critters. Maybe there was a tornado? Maybe they’re renovating?
Well, I had seen enough. Obviously a basket that could be unceremoniously dumped at any time just wasn’t going to cut it.
Lila and I sat and organized all of the Calico Critter accessories by category. Lucy crossed her arms and firmly said, “Not me!”
Fine. You were probably the dumping culprit anyways… Fi, Fie, Fo, Fum…. I’m going to trash Calico Corners!!
I have to admit that I was fairly gleeful while we sorted and categorized. Maybe because it was with miniatures? I love tiny things…
In the end, our Calico Critter village was restored to order, and if Mrs. Mouse wanted to have a cup of tea and perhaps a gardening cultivator, then she could easily fetch both.
And to Lila, it was as if the game had been reborn for her. She set up tiny dinners and teensy campsites. Having everything in order changed the way she saw her toys. We’ll see if this plastic case manages to find itself upturned on the floor one day, but for now, I’m quite happy with my hyper-organizing endeavour!
Are you a bit nutty about keeping something in order? Are you like me, who will let a hoard grow in her spare room, but will spend a half hour sorting out toys smaller than your pinky fingernail?
Tell me I’m not alone!
You’re definitely not alone! I love organizing, but fuss over the details (which doesn’t translate well to completing projects quickly). I find myself making similar decisions all the time to beautify one teensy tiny spot instead of spending the time (some would argue more efficiently) to get more done not so beautifully.
Thanks for this great idea. I’ve been drowning in tiny pieces thanks to Playmobil for the last several years. I have officially crossed the line into tiny pieces land this Christmas with Legos, lego friends, and my daughters new obsession Calico Critters. Her birthday is this week and she has gotten at least 6 sets to add to the couple she had. In particular for the Calicos I was looking for a way to store the tiny pieces in a more organized manner. Never really cared as much to do this for the Playmobil sets but the critters seem like they need it. I just ordered the same bead organizer. I can’t wait to organize it all. My daughter loves small things, my son too actually. They like playing with minuscule toys like safari ltd. mini rubber animals! It’s crazy. Those things are all over my house. I know my daughter will enjoy sorting the tiny pieces and these organizers will probably become a staple in our home. We also love the sterilite show off containers with the handle top that snaps on. My kids keep Playmobil by set in those and can easily carry all around the house and clean up quickly to put away. There are even big ones that can fit a good sized barbie collection or growing calico collection!
Misty – You and I live very similar lives. My girls have accumulated so many more teensy little pieces since I wrote this post last year.
We’ve headed into Playmobil and Lego. Oh holy messes-of-all-messes.
I’ve also just discovered that there are amazing organizers in the Tackle Box genre of boxes and dividers. And they’re often much bigger. I’ve inherited a few of them lately, and I think I might end up getting some more. (Especially if I can find them second-hand or on CL).
I’m a bin-addict (like yourself, it seems). I love big clear containers with snap on lids. I find that it keeps one set of toys together and there’s much less “Barbie shoes in with the Critters who are also in the same box as the Hot Wheels”.
So glad that you liked this idea! Hope to see you around here again!
Hi there 🙂 I found this calico critter organizing post while looking up homemade calico critter dollhouses. I’m so glad I found this! My niece is almost four and she has a growing collection of calico critter stuff but my sister and I decided early on, upon opening boxes at Christmas, that she should keep all of the little mini accessories in a zip lock bag. Because of the choking hazard to her infant (now toddler) brother and the depths of their carpeting, I’m not sure whether she ever uses the accessories. This bead/embroidery floss container would be a great solution!
Where did you get that dollhouse?
For Hannah’s Christmas present we’re thinking of getting her the luxury townhouse, but I’ve been wondering if there are (more fun) dollhouses that could double as Calico homes. The rooms inside the Calico homes are so small and many of the furniture sets don’t fit inside very well. Thank you!
Katie, you know what? My mom made that dollhouse! She’s a very talented woman, but if you wanted to tackle it, I can send you better pictures of it.
The large mansion (I forget the name) is one that the girls have played with at my mom’s house, and it’s the perfect size for the furniture sets. It’s pricey, but you could possibly find it used at a consignment store or on Craigslist.
Or, I might consider the PLAN toys house. I remember it being fairly spacious. There is also a dollhouse at Chapters (Are you in Canada?) that seemed to be fairly generous in room sizes. I hope that helps! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to learn more about the girls’ dollhouse.
I know this post is a couple years old but I would love more pics info on that homemade house. It has flippin crown molding on the first floor!
I see this was a while back when you posted this but I guess I am feeling your pain, so to speak now! Lol! My daughter is so in love with the Calico Critter and also the Lil Woodzeez play sets! I’m glad to see that someone else has felt the same way about walking into a room and seeing all of the sets all dumped out on a pile in the floor, after I, the day before, spent a few hours at least organizing each play set and putting the tiny pieces of each play set in their own organizing bins! So when I saw it I was wanting to scream lol and then I thought this is a waste I will just put them all into one big basket! Well that wasn’t a good idea at all lol I felt like I was going backwards with organizing! So then I decided to go out and get some of the organizing bins with slots like what you have shown above and I organized the little pieces that way! The only thing I wish I could figure out is what to do with the stores and houses. Because the organizing bins can be put on a shelf and then I have all these stores and houses sitting out and I don’t know how to store them without it just looking like a big mess! I dunno! My daughter is 9 years old and she has been collecting these sets and stuff for a few years now so she has at least 6 or 7 calico critter sets and 4 or 5 of the Woodzeez sets! If you have any ideas of how you would store the sets let me know! I would love any advice I can get!!!