30 Ways to Tame the Toys
From piles of dusty stuffed animals to building blocks that can double as land mines in the dark, getting the gear rounded up and organized takes some definite strategy. Here are 30 different ways to tame the toys and reclaim your home.
If you have kids then you have clutter. It is amazing how these little people can require so much stuff. Toys quickly get out of hand.
- Plastic shelving units can slide into drawers, giving you and the kids an easy way to separate and organize small pieces, such as Legos and action figures.
- Fabric bins with handles placed on shelves are lightweight, making them easy enough for small children to handle.
- Sturdy storage cubbies set low under bench seating offer eye-level organization for youngsters, while keeping toys and treasures out of the way.
- Durable containers are important for taming toys. Buckets and bins with handles are idea for craft supplies which might be carried to a table or workspace.
- Get kids involved with downsizing their possessions. Choose a family or charity who could appreciate the overflow.
- Keep some toys stored away, Rotate toys in and out. This will not only keep the clutter down, but it will also delight your kids, renewing their interest in older toys.
- Discard flimsy toys and keep only those that will stand the test of time. Say no to kids meals toys and those small, cheap goodie bag toys that go everywhere.
- Practice the one in and one out rule. For every toy that enters the home, let an old one go.
- Ask for experience gifts from friends and relatives for upcoming birthdays and holidays. Your kids will a lot of milage from a membership to the zoo or a kids art class, and there will be fewer toy clutter.
- Create a welcoming outdoor environment. A swing set, sandbox, or regular trips to the park or pool will get kids enjoying the outdoors; there will be less need for more toys.
- It is okay for a parent to make decisions about which toys stay or go. You can always remove your selections and box them away out of site. If a “missing” toy is not asked for after a couple of weeks or months, you can feel confident that it can go without heartbreak.
- To determine which of the many children’s books are actually being read and enjoyed, try this method. Place them all in boxes. After a book is chosen and read, place it back on the shelf. Chances are that whichever books are left in the box (or boxes) can be donated without a fuss.
- Make toys easier to put away than to take out. Look at the systems in place. A toy box with a lid allows kids to dump the toys back in quickly.
- Before giving in to buying that new toy a child is begging for, take a few minutes to figure out how it will add to your child’s life. If it isn’t significant, pass it by.
- Have a yard sale and allow your kids to keep the money they earn from old toys as savings toward something they really want.
- Turn regular items into toys to reduce the clutter. Pots and spoons are fun to bang, plastic cups to stack, stones to lay out in patterns, etc. So many common thing have entertainment value when you add in a little creativity. Cardboard boxes can provide endless entertainment value.
- Create a toy exchange with other families. Agree to trade toys, books and DVDs for a week at a time. Kids have new things to play with while getting more use out of the old. Plus, both families will save money.
- Examine the research that supports the view that fewer toys is better for kids, and get everyone on board.
- Set a confined space for toys, such as a playroom. When toys have one physical space to be, they won’t overrun the home.
- Find a local toy library, where toys, books and games can be borrowed.
- Designate a place for each toy. Not only will this keep things organized, but it will be easy to identify extra toys that don’t fit the space.
- Put labels or pictures on bins to make it easy for kid to identify where each toys goes during clean up. “Helping the toys get home,” can be fun for kids to do.
- Motivate clean up time with tangible rewards, such as by reading an extra book, time to walk to the park, etc.
- Providing creative, open-ended toys will cut down on the toy need, since they can be played with in different ways.
- Infants are often gifted with more toys than they will ever use before they outgrow them. Don’t feel obligated to hold on to every one. Pick some favorites and donate the rest to babies in need.
- Remove the lid of the toy box to make it easier for young children to help with putting toys away.
- Older children who are into electronics should be provided with padded boxes or bins on shelves to protect these devices and keep them separated from traditional toy clutter.
- Use cylindrical pop up laundry hampers to store balls and small sports equipment.
- Schedule time once a month to go through toys, fixing or discarding broken ones, and replacing dead batteries. Toys that can’t be used are just clutter.
- Are you having a hard time getting started? Take photos of all rooms with toys, count the number of toys or invite a friend over to give an honest opinion. Sometimes looking at the amount of toys with new eyes is enough to motivate you to eliminate and organize.
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playroom, toys, clutter, kids