Welcome to another week of Clearing the clutter. Now I get that not all of you have kids at home but feel free to consider your own toys this week, like game consoles and games or a collection you own like POP Vinyl Dolls or Star Wars Figurines etc. It may be time to give them a dust and rearrange, or they may have outgrown their current home and need to be moved. If none of this fit’s you then feel free to get cracking on an area that you know is going to take longer than a week, do the second car if you have one, or just enjoy not having to declutter anything this week and spend that time reading through the rest of the blog instead.
So toys can be the bane of most parents existence, it doesn’t seem to matter how often you cull them, they breed in the night and quickly outgrow their storage containers. Like a lot of homes, we had the problem with kids up ending tub after tub of toys and carpeting their floor with them. We tried enforcing the 1 toy at a time rule, but while they were tucked away at the other end of the house, I couldn’t police it.
I decided the toys needed to come out of the bedrooms, to a more centralised area. I ended up putting them in our entry way in the bookshelves that are there. This means I can monitor which toys they are playing with and make sure they pack up 1 set before getting the next.
So here’s how we’re going to tackle the toys:
- If you have the toys separated by type, then you can go through each type individually, otherwise just tip everything out into one big pile. First thing we want to do is remove any toys that are broken. If they are a beloved favourite and can be repaired, then by all means fix them, otherwise toss them.
- Next you want to remove anything that shouldn’t be in there. We’ve had everything from kitchen items to odd socks and even rocks from the yard in amongst ours. Don’t stress too much about these things just yet, you can put them where they belong once you are done. Keep a rubbish bag handy for the broken toys and any bits of rubbish you come across.
- Now is the time to get rid of any toys that the kids have outgrown or no longer play with. For us this tends to include a lot of McDonalds toys. I usually let the kids enjoy them for a few weeks and then sneak them into the bag for the Op Shop (Thrift Store). We do still have a few that are firm favourites like Minions, but I try and limit them. These items can be handed on to friends with younger children, donated or you could sell them on eBay, Facebook Buy, Sell, Swap pages, Craigslist (if you are in America) or at a garage (yard) sale which you could then use to fund some more age appropriate toys, or if you are still overrun by toys, then something else fun for the family.
- So you have them sorted, the rubbish is gone, the broken toys are tossed or mended and now you need to put them away in a manner that suits your home and family. If what you have is working, then don’t mess with it. Just use this as an opportunity to cull. But if it’s not then take this opportunity to come up with something that does. Before you rush out and by storage tubs or cupboards etc., have a look at what you already have. Could you re-purpose some containers from somewhere else? Could you swap some things around to make a new space? Remember to think outside the box to find a solution that works.
- Now that you’re done, get the kids to come and have a look at where their toys live and explain to them that they need to put them away when they are finished playing so that they don’t get broken. This will be harder with little ones but hopefully the changes you’ve made will keep things tidier.
- Lastly grab your pile of items that didn’t belong and deal with them. You may want to question the kids on why some of these things were in the toy box and explain why having the potato peeler in with the Lego is probably not a good idea.
You can see from the before photo that the toys were in the wrong tubs and all mixed up. There were even toys that belong elsewhere mixed in amongst them. With a toddler this is bound to happen and I sort through these every couple of months to keep on top of it. It only takes 5-10 minutes and I can do i while watching TV.
Congratulations on tackling yet another area in your home, hopefully these weekly tasks will help simplify your life and make your home feel more relaxed. Don’t forget to share your progress in the comments below and you can add your link to the linky as well.