Day 7: Toys
Anyone who has read my now-infamous post about why I took my kids’ toys away (and why they won’t get them back) probably already knows that I am not a big fan of toys, especially not in excessive quantities.
The truth is that no child needs a whole room full of toys, regardless of whether those toys happen to be expensive name-brand items or fantastic hand-me-down bargains snagged at a neighbor’s yard sale.
Regardless of how much was spent, the result is the same. Kids are overwhelmed by their choices so they take everything out and play with nothing. Do yourself and your family a favor by drastically limiting the number of toys your children own, as well as the number of toys they have access to at any given time, and I promise your life will suddenly become a whole lot easier.
Objective: A small but purposeful collection of toys and games that your children actually play with, stored in a functional and organized space.
Assess the current situation: What is the current state of your children’s toys? Do they have too many? Are there some toys they never play with? How are they currently stored and organized? What are your biggest clutter struggles when it comes to your kids’ toys? What would you like to change?
1. Bring all toys to one central location to sort. Depending on your kids’ ages and personalities, you may want to involve them in this process.
Keep only toys or games that:
- Your children play with regularly
- Are in good condition
- Are “special” in some way
- Encourage imaginative and creative play
Do not keep toys or games that:
- Your children don’t play with
- Are broken, damaged, or missing key pieces
- You feel obligated to keep because they were expensive
- You feel obligated to keep because they were a gift
- Drive you crazy
- Cause fights among your children
- Have a million tiny pieces that constantly end up on the floor
2. Donate unwanted toys and games. Consider giving them to a local thrift shop, church nursery, or daycare facility, or try selling any larger items that may be valuable on Craigslist or Facebook.
3. Create a functional storage area for your remaining toys and games. Be sure to sort them in a way that makes sense and makes them easy to access, and LABEL EVERYTHING! Consider separating the toys into 2-4 different bundles, and then rotate your kids’ access to the different bundles on a weekly or monthly basis. This keeps the quantity of toys out at one time to a minimum and makes all the toys more interesting and exciting for your kids.
1. Princess Perfection Playroom (PotteryBarnKids.com) 2. Tackle The Toy Mess (ContainerStore.com) 3. Tuck Away Table (PotteryBarnKids.com) 4. Shade of Grey Storage (PotteryBarnKids.com) 5. Plenty Of Room For Play (Ikea.com)