Tip of the Day

Organizing your children’s toys

Child playing with toys

Oh My! How many TOYS do you have now that the holidays are over?

The truth is that no child needs a whole room full of toys, regardless of whether those toys happen to be expensive, name-brand items or fantastic hand-me-down bargains snagged at a neighbor’s yard sale.

Today’s goal is to cultivate a small(er) purposeful collection of toys and games that your children actually play with, stored in a functional and organized space. (Depending on your kids’ ages and personalities, you may want to involve them in this process).

  1. As always, take a “Before” photo.
  2. Bring ALL toys to one central location to sort them into KEEP-TOSS-DONATE-MAYBE piles or containers. Sort and organize the toys you are keeping by type, and keep them together. (Legos, dolls, cars/trucks, balls…)
    • KEEP only the toys that your children play with regularly and are still in good condition. Keep imaginative and creative play toys and anything genuinely “special” in some way.
    • Do NOT feel obligated to keep toys that your children don’t really like, or play with, or that were expensive, or because they are gifts from someone. Discard toys that are broken, or are missing pieces. Do not keep toys that drive YOU crazy, or cause fights among your children.
  3. Dust, sweep or vacuum all the surfaces in the toy play, or storage area.
  4. If you are blessed to have TONS of toys – consider separating toys into 2-4 different bundles that can be “rotated” on a weekly or monthly basis. During the rotation time, it is time to sanitize the toys as well.
  5. Create or buy functional storage area(s) or containers for remaining toys and games.
  6. LABEL the shelves and containers either with words or photos, depending on your kid’s reading ability – so THEY can put their toys away at the end of each day.
  7. Immediately donate unwanted toys to a local daycare, church nursery, or thrift shop, or consider selling them online.
  8. For those “Maybe” toys – put them into a rotation, and see if they get played with between now and summertime. In a few months, you’ll know what has been played with, and what can then be donated.
  9. Take (and save) your “After” photo to display for your kids, and if you are proud of your results – please share your photos here or on FB or Instagram.

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