ASSIGNMENT #4: PLAYROOM (kids’ toys area)
Yeah, you guys were hoping I’d leave this to the very last, weren’t you?
I thought about it. Really did. But sadly, I need that space down there to be one of my “stations.” And, since Christmas just happened, they are starting to take over the house.
So yes, today’s assignment is the playroom. Or whatever space that is designated for toys. If it’s in the living room, their bedrooms, whatever. The best time to do this is usually when the kids are not around; either after bedtime or when they are in school!
My girls have gotten used to regular purgings of their toys. I have made it a big deal to get rid of “baby toys” since we no longer have any babies in our house. We always talk about finding other babies to give them to. And since mine are at an age where it’s still really important to not be a baby but a big girl, I’ve been able to slide with this most of the time.
But this time I will have to organize toys into what is going into various shipments. We generally put as many toys as possible into our “quick” shipment (don’t worry, it takes too long to explain) more for our own sanity than anything else. I also try to weed out all those junky fast food toys, or the ones that have just started driving me insane. In fact, back in December, the girls rode on a Christmas float and I was able to “pass along” many of those little goodies to some other children, and all in the name of Christmas cheer!
Steps to getting the playroom ready for our “big move:”
- Purge the broken, missing too many pieces to be worth keeping, junk, and garbage.
- Pull out any toys still in good working order, but “too young” in development level. Be careful in assigning too much emotional attachment to things, but also don’t toss out the beloved stuffed animal that your child need therapy when she’s 20 over losing. Decide if these items go to the “consignment sale” pile or the “give away” pile. (Upcoming post about the give away pile, I promise!)
- Reorganize the remaining toys. How can you set them up that will make it easier for your children to clean it up and stay organized themselves? Is it a disaster because your organizational system is too complicated for them or “takes too long”? I personally happen to a big fan of those storage cubes, or smaller baskets for smaller items. I also have come to really love Ziploc bags. I use them for just about everything – and especially like to use them in game boxes to keep all the pieces in! FYI, the ones with the zipper closures are easier for little hands to do on their own, which means they will actually get used more.
- While doing this project, take a mental inventory. Last year I realized my kids had about 40 coloring books. Apparently I had a “buying coloring book” fetish I didn’t even know about! So I gave myself a ban on buying any more coloring books or crayons for quite a while. Thankfully we are back down to a manageable amount. But you might want to take a look around and see if there are certain items that really would benefit from focusing on using up this year. Or perhaps begging Nana and Papa to refrain from gifting Junior with any more of for a while.
- Take one more look around. Are there any toys that might benefit from being put away for a while? Maybe a Christmas gift that they are just not quite ready for? Or they have too many of, and saving some until the first set are complete worn out, might spread out the fun? (I’m thinking the five million sets of Legos, the mountain of craft supplies, or dress-up clothes that have gotten out of hand)
- Or do you just have way too many items for your space? One idea is to organize the toys in large plastic bins and rotate them every few months. You can organize toys by season as well, which will help keep them new and interesting, and might also create an unintended family tradition! I know I always loved when it was warm enough to pull out the summer water toys as a kid. Why not extend this concept and have a winter/fall/spring box – both for indoor and outdoor toys?
Finally, before you put any toys in the donate or give away pile, or store them away for the season, grab your container of disinfectant wipes and give everything a good scrubbing. No reason to pass along cooties as well as toys, right?
To link to today’s Assignment #4, Please click the link below!