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If you judged me by my desk at work or the inside of my car you’d think I may be a good candidate for an episode of hoarders, but my husband can attest when it comes to our home, if it doesn’t serve a purpose or isn’t put away I’ll throw it away. So much so that whenever we can’t find something we both assume I’ve probably thrown it away. I hate clutter.
Before I had children I swore I would never sit at the table and beg my kid to eat, and that I would never let toys take over my house (along with 500 of things I swore I’d never do). Also side note, after having two kids I’m going to definitely say “never say never,” but I do stick to those two goals.
My first attempt at containing the toy chaos was buying two large wicker baskets, similar to these, that fit the decor of our home.
These baskets fit underneath the end tables in our living room nicely, but I noticed they still weren’t solving my problem. Over time they began to overflow with toys, and at the end of each day I was left with a huge pile of toys to put back in them.
Another problem was that toys that had multiple parts were getting more and more mismatched. Pieces were missing and the toys were becoming useless because half the pieces were scattered all around.
One day I made a point to pay attention to exactly what toys my son was playing with, and you know what?! I couldn’t figure it out, he seemed to mostly be pulling all the toys out of the basket and then sporadically picking up and putting things down. He rarely seemed to engage with, and actually play with any of the toys.
I decided that we needed a new system. I’d seen several blog posts about rotating toys, but I wasn’t sure that would work, however the toys were becoming more overwhelming, and I needed to do something. I purchased 12 containers from Amazon to start my process, 6 short and wide and 6 tall and narrow. (This is definitely doable with only 6 containers, instead of 12, but I wanted to make sure I could distribute my son, and (infant) daughter’s toys.)
I made a huge pile of all the toys in our living room and started sorting them into each of the boxes.
I did my best to make sure each box had a ball, toy car, musical toy, electronic toy, book, stuff animal, etc. I was very pleased with how much I could fit into each box, and glad I bought two different sizes because some toys would only fit in one type of box.
There were a few things that were too big for the containers. My plan for these toys is to keep them in the closet and bring them out occasionally, that way they maintain that “newness,” and are actually played with.
I placed all the boxes in a closet and only pulled out one a day. I noticed that my son is excited to see “new” toys each day, and he has started to actually play with them.
I’m now also able to keep toys and their parts together. And best of all is I have a lot less toys to clean up at the end of each day. I emptied 4 boxes to show how many toys I can fit in a box. Keep in mind my son still has access to his large toys, like his play kitchen and fire truck, and these are the only toys I have to clean up at the end of the day (I think I hear angels singing).
Thank you so much for reading my post. How do you handle toys in your house?
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Hi, I'm Dana. I'm a teacher by day, blogger by night, and a mom always. I try not to take myself too seriously, and I'm not in the business of telling people what they want to hear. Join me in balancing a career life, mom life, wife life, and staying true to yourself. Thank you for visiting my blog.
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