Help! We have too many toys…
Have you gone all Marie Kondo on your wardrobe maybe even the kitchen cupboards? Now how about the beast that is the kids’ room or the dreaded play room? I decided our toy area was over-run and well overdue for a cleanup.
Now, I’m not going to even try to give the best tips as Marie Kondo’s certainly has this tidied up in a neat little box. I simply wanted to share an easy and quick way that I found helped our household move into a time when; “ahh someone is unexpectedly at the door..quick tidy up the toys” situation doesn’t cause a panic, that I am sure we have all had!
My first step was to buy a different type of storage unit. I hear you thinking; ‘how is buying something else going to solve your too much stuff problem!’ I normally do not enjoy buying new things but our current broken toy box and hand-me down baskets where no longer fitting the bill. I am a true believe in choosing wisely the first time you buy so it lasts, and you do not have to replace it.
To be honest my idea and the real reason behind buying a new shelf was; it needed to be smaller than our current ones! TaaDaaa! yes I thought I was a genius.. new, clean, organised storage and less stuff can actually fit into it, so we just had to get rid of more!
Our Son was with us during this first step. Please learn from our mindless method and don’t do this in the store! Our Lounge room storage resembles an licorice all-sorts range of colours..Yum! I would recommend you choose your top 2 or 3 then let the children decide. Involving them now, with the choice will help with the later steps and for future pack away.
Then was time to pour out all the toys onto the floor and ask if the child still wants to play with it? This will also depend on your children’s ages. Gone are the days where I used to donate toys without too much notice.
This step is also important for children to learn, as giving to others is not just vital to our community but also that kids can happily play with a lot less. There have been studies to prove that less toys are more advantageous to our children’s development, that they will often play longer and have a more meaningful experience.
Here is the published results of ‘Infant Behavior and development’ if you would like to read more; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0163638317301613?via%3Dihub
Our son was keen to start, this faded quickly which meant I was able to add a few toys into the donation box quicker and without having to check each toy individually. You will probably find things forgotten about, broken or not played with for ages, or simply have been out-grown, these should be added to the donation, hand-me-down or rubbish box fast.
This wasn’t just about cleaning up and donating toys this was also a good time to consider and discuss how we ended up with so many toys? How can we aim to only have what fits into our shelf and most importantly how can we try to buy less to begin with?
We were really happy with our end result, our son even said, “I really like these new boxes”! He was eager to pack away at the end of the day but the big plus that hadn’t crossed my mind was; he didn’t have to tip out the entire toy box to find the toy he wanted to play with. He now plays with one box at a time which also really helped us not have toys everywhere and provides us with a very fast tidy up when the doorbell rings!