Friday, August 7, 2009

Organize Your Toy Room

If you have kids, then you have toys. If you are anything like us, you have more toys than your kids could possibly play with in a day.  When we moved here 2ish years ago, we were one of the younger families at church.  We moved from a town home into a single family home and all of our stuff could fill about 1/3 of our house.  Several of the families at church took pity on us :) and gave us tons of clothes, toys, furniture, dishes, etc.  Before long our house actually had stuff in each of the rooms.  We also had more toys than we knew what to do with!

My husband and I both grew up in large families...8 children in his and 7 children in mine.  Both families were middle class, but fell closer to "lower income" than "upper income".  We were given hand-me-downs all the time.  I remember it being like Christmas whenever someone gave us something they didn't need anymore.  I also remember hating to throw perfectly good stuff away.

It has taken a good bit of effort to be okay with getting rid of things we don't need or use.  I know that sounds silly, but I'm sure some of you out there know what I mean.  So, what does this have to do with organizing your toy room?  Well, I had to sit down and go through everything.  I had several tubs and some bins to sort things into as well as some trash bags and boxes.  First I pulled out everything that was ratty and/or broken and put it in the trash.  Then I went through and pulled out all of the toys that I didn't really think we needed and they either went in the trash or in a box for Goodwill.  At this point there were still a LOT of toys left so I went through all of them again and only pulled out the things that my kids have played with more than once in the last month.  Everything else, no matter what it was went into a box for Goodwill.

As I went through them the final time, I sorted them into tubs and bins and labeled them all.  I think I cut our toys in half, but I know that everything in there are things that are in good shape and that my kids like to play with.  Now it will be much easier to clean up each time because the containers are labeled and because there aren't as many toys to clean up.  It was a lot of work, but it was worth it.

**One word of caution:  This job is much easier to do when your kids are not home or are in bed.  If they are around, they will want to "help" you by pulling out toys and moving them into different containers.  Also, don't load up what is going to the garbage or Goodwill with them right there.  It will most likely cause crying and temper tantrums.**

By the way, this picture is just to show you how many toys there are left and how they are organized into tubs.  We don't keep them stacked up like this in the play room.

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