The tree is hauled to the curb or stuffed back in it's box. The decorations squirrelled away for another year. The belt loosened a notch out and our gym pass moved a notch up. The toys...well...the toys. They have devoured the house like bubbles in a bathtub. They are stacked here and there and over yonder and spilling down the hallway. What's a family to do to tame the toy monster in their house? My Toy Garden to the rescue once again! Below are my top 3 tips for restoring order to your house.
#1- Only put out as many toys as you want to teach your child to pick up
This is key. If you offer your child a few items to pick and choose from, there's plenty of choices to entertain yet a small enough amount to maintain. If you put out all of their toys, they...nor you..can possibly keep them picked up. Get a small bookcase and put out 10-12 items. Put the rest away out of sight. Put them in a closet, under a bed, in the basement...but out of sight. If you have a big playroom, put curtains or doors over most of the shelves.
#2 - Use the Garage Sale Theory and Rotate Things
You know that picture that's hung on your wall for 4 years or that dress that's been in your closet for longer? It's time for them to go, right? You decide to have a garage sale so you move them to the garage and what happens? Oh, I kinda like it. Hmm...maybe I shouldn't get rid of it... You see it in a new light. Same goes with toys. Leave out all their toys all the time and they become invisible and you have a bored child on your hands. Put out 10-12 like I mention above and rotate a few of them out every week or two and you can have a small collection of toys that lasts for years. Of course, you'll want to have the imagination powered, versatile toys like we carry at My Toy Garden!
#3 - Avoid toy boxes and large totes or bins.
These are where toys go to die. What lives at the bottom of a toy box? A sea of lost parts only useful for fun collages. What size purse do you carry? Is it organized? To keep toys organized use individual containers. Clear ones ideally. Facebook Fan Stephanie says they use large ice cream tubs for their toys. Great idea! What ever you use, it should hold one toy and all it's pieces. Clearly label the outside with words and, if your child is a nonreader, a picture. Clip a picture from the box and tape in on or a photograph of the toy in it's happy new stage works great. Even a stick person drawing will help keep toys organized. Another great idea is to use drawstring bags with labels. Hang up coat hooks on one wall and poof! Tidy toys! So what do you use that toy box from grandma for? Pile it the stuffed animals or stuff it with dress up clothes for hours of fun!
More tips to come in future newsletters! Got more ideas? Join the conversation on our Facebook page!
Toy Lady Janet