In my second week of post-holiday organizing, I tackled our over flowing toy box!
I actually have 4 bins of toys in total. Each bin is specific, but only one is out at a time. I used to rotate every 2 months or so, but now I rotate as the interests of my kids change. Either way, after getting back from the holidays, I knew we needed to do some re-organizing and eliminating!
Can I also say this really is a job for when the kids are in bed. It's good to teach kids about donating, and how to eliminate useless things from their lives, but not all age groups find this liberating-some just have meltdowns, and make this job impossible! I do warn my kids that stuff will be disappearing. So I ask them, "if you had a choice, what would you like to keep?"
The toy box (the steamer trunk) literally looked like you see it here! A disaster! Not pictured is the couch that had 2 laundry baskets with all their new toys from Christmas, and others from around the house.
The best way (in my opinion) to start a toy clean/organize is to grab a laundry basket (or a few!), and collect toys from every room in your house, and bring them all into one room. I tend to do this in my living room because then I can watch some t.v. (sort of) while working on it. Don't forget to look under beds, and under/behind the couch before you start!
Next, you will want to have laundry baskets (or just designated spots in the room) for different "categories". Cars & trucks, softies, characters (from movies & t.v. shows), music, blocks, books, etc. Once you've got all your toys into their different baskets, you can see how much crap you have!!! Haha....no, but seriously....that's a lot of stuff!
It's easier to look at eliminating something if you see it in a basket with 10 of the same thing! For instance, I have 2 little girls, does that mean we need to own 9 little baby dolls? Um...nope! But, that's how many we had a one point! Now, we have 2. They each have a baby, and they are good with that.
Try your best to separate the emotion from the job. I realize it can be really difficult, but it's important. Look at what you have, and think about A: What's educational (usually worth keeping, but not always), B: What is broken or not (just get rid of broken things, you can do it!), C: What is age appropriate. Put aside or give away things that are too old or to young for your kids. They don't need to be out all the time making more clutter!
And don't fogey to have a box or bag of the things you are giving to a second hand store. Please don't just throw stuff in the garbage! If it is still good (not broken, etc) another child may enjoy having it.
So, I would recommend using a few different bins for toys and rotating them. Kids generally have waaaaaaay more toys than they can possibly play with at one time, and so they just take every toy out, and leave them everywhere, and drive you bonkers! I had a friend who had four bins that were all in the living/play room, and she would do one bin each day. I keep my extra bins in my basement....out of sight! Do what works for you and your space, but trust me, you will not regret dividing up your toys! When I do a toy clean, it includes bringing out all the bins from the basement to evaluate what we still have, what the kids have outgrown (in age & maturity), and to re-stock!
Once you've separated, & eliminated, you can either put the toys back where they belong (in different children's rooms, a play room, whatever, or in bins if you are doing bins).
To do my bins, I just have one type of toy (or toys) that my son will like, and a type of toys the girls will like. They often play with each others things, and that's o.k. too.
This time around, I did change things a little because the kids are getting older. So my son has his train track and trains in his room, and my girls get to keep (much to their absolute delight, and slightly to my horror...I must have been having a soft moment!) their My Little Ponies and Littlest Pet Shop animals in bins under their beds. They also have their dolls house things in a drawer in their room (for the doll house that stays in there all the time).
So, in total, it took about 2 hours to do! Gosh, that does sound like a lot of time, but man, it's so worth it!
I know some people are strange (like me) and find relief in tidiness, and others don't. That's o.k! My brain, my emotions and feelings, all feel a little less cluttered when my house is, so that's why I keep organizing.
The End. :)
1/13/2014 11:25:07 pm
Great Job! I did that last week after the holidays, Andrew let me pack a box of stuff that "I" wasn't ready to part with and when we move if "I" am still attached to it then we will put it back out! We got rid of a lot though, I had to put all the cars together (I mean did we really need 40 dinky cars??)
1/14/2014 05:12:27 am
Wow, 40 dinky cars is quite a collection! Good for you for getting into the toys and eliminating/organizing, etc.! :)
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Hi, I'm Amy-Lyn!
I am the lady behind this here blog! I live in the sticks with my animals, my super handsome husband, and my
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