Lost a Toy? Join the Club.
1. Big, Easy Bins
Instead of storing some toys in one drawer, some toys under the TV, some in a basket, and a couple in wedged behind the car seat- designate some big, easy bins for toy storage. Make it the one and only home for permanent toy residence. This will help your kids learn to help tidy-up, giving them an easy, consistent direction in "clean-up." That way, when something is missing, you don't waste too much time looking in one of fifteen possible places– you've got a centralized spot to start.
2. Tupperware for Travel
In the car, on a plane... really anything on-the-go could use a little troubleshooting in the toy loss department. You and your little ones can fill mid-to-large sized Tupperware with toys on trips and vacations. Of course, larger items won't fit, but this can serve as a method to limit the number of toys you bring along for the ride. It will be easier to see if something is missing sooner if the Tupperware is suddenly half-full.
An oldie but goodie. Finding a way to sharpie on a phone number to stuffed-animal tags and lego boxes can help avoid a total loss when tragedy does strike. How relieved you might be to get that "I found your stuffed Lamby" text before your little one notices and the water works start.
4. Clear Out The Clutter
It is always easier to keep track of items when there are less of them. Just like a healthy closet, a healthy toy bin reflects only those toys that have been used in recent history. Donate old, dusty toys so you and the kids can focus on keeping track of the best & brightest.
5. When in doubt... replace
This may seem obvious, but when favorite toys are lost, especially those part of a kit, it is usually an option to replace old toys. In the internet age, most toys can be found to order or at least quickly find a similar alternative. Some kit-based products even offer replacement or expansion packs, like the ones recently launched by yours truly at My Family Builders!