Toys, toys, toys... our homes are filled with so many but why? and how do you organise them in a way which will encourage play, learning & also to not take over your home?
First up, ask yourself these questions.....
Where are the toys coming from are they from you (parents) or are they from others?
How can I reduce the amount of toys that come into the house?
Why do I buy so many toys?
Do I need to explicitly ask people what to buy and what not to buy?
Remember you are in control of what comes into your home.
If you are the culprit and the one buying the toys all the time, a little treat for the kids here and there then you need to slow down & look at your spending around toys.
When children have too many toys, and too much choice they will be overwhelmed, overstimulated and will not learn and enjoy play as well as if they had fewer toys. Fewer toys encourages creativity & improves focus.
Believe it or not children like to be organised, they like a structure and they don't like many options.
Ask yourself can you replace toys for an experience for your children?
Creating an organised system for the toys, a place for everything to go with labels (we all love a label) will also help children learn how to put the toys away and the art of organising... which will teach them life skills far beyond the Playroom.
OK, now lets get into how to organise them...
First up, as always is a declutter. Go through each item and decide if it is staying or going.
Check which toys are broke, which ones aren't played with etc.
If the item is being decluttered have an exit plan. Is it going to the charity shop, a friends child etc. Put it into a clear bag and label it so you don't forget.
With the items that are staying categorise them into their category as much as you can. For example cars, tractors, bricks, LOL dolls, LOL accessories etc.
Now the toys are in their category contain them. This means place them into a box, a section, whatever it may be, give them a 'home'. Ensure there is enough space and the toys can be easily stored away by your child.
Label everything. This will help to put the toys away when they are done playing.
When putting the items away (contained, categorised & labelled) put them away with like items. Create zones in the room. For example, an art section, a dress up section, a reading/relaxing corner. This will help to make sense of the room and use it to its full potential.
Once you have the items contained, IF you still have loads but some are new and you know they will be played with in time you can introduce toy rotation. Pick a category or some bigger items to be stored away (attic space or shed) for a few months. Then in 3/6 months take the box out and put another one in.
Your kids will feel like they are getting new toys, and you wont have as many in your home space.
Storage can be thought about at the start of the process, however, do not rush out and buy loads of storage before the declutter. After the decluttering is done you will be able to see what is left and what you need.
Turntables/ lazy susan's are great for stationary and art supplies.
Small plastic boxes are good to contain the smaller items.
Trofast from IKEA are great to store smaller & medium size toys.
Mesh zip lock bags are great for board games & puzzles
When is best to declutter toys?
In my opinion around these months April/May is a good time to know what toys are not being played with especially after Christmas. It is coming up to the summer holidays so a good time to get sorted before the madness begins!
October time is also a must. This is the pre-Christmas declutter to get ready for the incoming toys in December.
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If this sounds too much for you to tackle, don't worry you are not alone. I offer a Playroom/toys service where I can do all of this for you!
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