Christmas is over. All the gifts have been opened, and after grandparents, aunts and uncles and Santa have visited your kids, you have toy clutter in every room of the house.
If you’re like me, all that clutter, not to mention extra things to step on, will drive you crazy.
But what is a mom to do? Just accept that your house is a Toys R Us store? No way.
Here are five ideas for ways you can restore order to the toy chaos.
- Rotate toys.
Everyone from the Velveteen Rabbit to the characters in Toy Story know that old toys often get forgotten when new toys arrive at Christmas and other holidays. That’s what makes the holidays a perfect time to put toys on a rotating schedule. When new toys arrive, put older toys in a box in the closet. In a month, pull out the old toys and store the new ones. This gives your kids something “new” to play with each month and helps them to really enjoy one group of toys at a time.
- Donate some toys.
Donating toys is a great alternative to throwing them away. Less fortunate children would love to play with your kid’s gently used toys, and it is easier to give something away when you know you are helping another family. Erin Spain shared an interesting post about how her family decluttered their toys by limiting their collection to 20 toys.
- Retire toys to storage.
If you plan on having more kids or have kids of varying ages, you may not want to completely get rid of toys. If a toy is almost guaranteed to be a favorite of another child, box it up and put it into storage. However, be careful that this doesn’t include every toy you own. Not every toy will be a kid favorite or is even something you want your family to own. For example, if you have 10 stuffed animals, don’t save them all. Just save the ones that are popular characters that any child would like.
- Get organized.
No matter how many toys your child has, organizing them will keep you from losing your mind. Look at the toys you have and the different categories represented– legos, play food, dress up clothes, etc. Buy bins or plastic totes to store like items together. That will make locating a certain toy and clean up much easier.
- Teach kids to clean up their own toys.
Admittedly, this is still a work in progress at my house, mainly because I like things to be put back a certain way, and at 3, my daughter isn’t as particular as I am. (Ha.) However, plastic shoeboxes have been a huge success for us. We have different types of toys in different shoeboxes, and she has to put away one shoebox of toys before we open another.
Join me for some post-Christmas toy organizing this week and post some pictures of your toy area on the Defeating Busy Facebook page. That is a great way for us to hold each other accountable to tackle this much-needed project.