A Simpler Life: Taking Care of Toy Clutter

So it’s September… nuff said.

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE it when my kids get new toys. It’s like they have a babysitter for whole week! Obviously I don’t leave them all alone for a week but seriously, my 3-year-old will play with a new transformer toy for probably 5 days without even thinking about what I’m doing or asking for TV.

The problem is, every time we get a new toy, then we have a new toy. A new plastic thing floating around the house, getting under my feet, taking up all of my precious space and driving me crazy!!!!

 

Toy Clutter

I was listening to a podcast the other day, New Moms New Babies, and they were having a great discussion on toys. How many do you have? Wood v. Plastic, organizing, batteries or not, toy swapping parties, homemade toys, and the list goes on.

One interesting part was when one mom said she keeps a little toy box in every room. You must know that this mom only had an 8-month-old. So I understand why she would want something in every room, because 8-month-olds usually have to be with you all the time, and it can get crazy trying to always keep the toys in one room.

But just the other day I learned that a friend of mine has a rule that all the toys have to stay in the toy room. No toys in bedrooms and no toys in other rooms. This mom has three kids, the youngest being four. At first I thought that was crazy, but then it seemed like a really cool idea! No toys wandering into the kitchen or into my bed. And the kids wouldn’t have any distractions at bed time. Might be nice.

However not all of us can afford a whole extra room just for toys and playing! Someday… But it’s just interesting to know that there are so so so many different ways to run your household.

As for me, I have found one thing that makes my relationship with toys a lot better!

About a year ago I decided to start┬árotating my toys. So I will store away about a third or a half of all the kids toys in a bin in my daughter’s closet and then I’ll switch them out a couple months later.

My original plan was to switch them out every six months right around the LDS Genereal Conference weekend. This would be pretty brilliant because the kids would then have all their old toys back and be occupied so that I could enjoy listening. But this time around I just took them out one Saturday when I was doing some major mid-summer organizing. The kids loved seeing their old toys and it was awesome. The same day, I went through the toy box, throwing away weird trash that somehow got thrown in, and deciding which toys to put away.

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It’s kind of hard deciding which toys to put away because my kids play with a lot of their toys. They don’t really favor any too much. But once I decide and a day goes by without them asking for the “put away” toys I figure that it’ll be ok.

Not only  is this a fun way to keep your kids interested in their own toys, but it also makes them get creative with the toys they have, instead of having any number of toys at their fingertips.

And of course the main thing about this toy approach is to help our homes be less cluttered and therefore more HAPPY!

Anyway, that’s what I do. I would definitely recommend it!

Let me know what you do to manage toys. I’m sure I’ll have more conversations about this in later posts.

Happy Wednesday!

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