The holidays have come and gone. The decorations are all taken down. The Christmas tree has been recycled or put back in the box until next year. Everything’s in its proper place once again. Well, almost everything. Are you wondering why toys are strewn all over your house?! They seem to multiply exponentially around the holidays and birthdays, right?
Here are four easy steps to declutter and organize the toy monster(eeeeekkk!)
Purge the Toys
The simplest approach is to pitch any toys that are broken, missing key pieces or otherwise too damaged to donate, or your child has outgrown. Depending on the age of your child, you may wish to have them assist in the process. Sometimes having a say in which toys are thrown away helps your little one give up the toys, books and games more easily than if you just pitched them yourself. Plus, when my kids help with sorting through their toys they inevitably want to get rid of a toy that I would have thought they wouldn’t be able to live without. Before Christmas and birthdays is the best time to do this as your kids might be getting a bunch of toys as presents and there will be no where left to put them. *Makes me imagine the overpacked closet that explodes with stuff when someone makes the mistake of opening the door!*
Donate Toys to Needy or Sick Children
There are numerous social service agencies or shelters that will gladly take gently used toys, books and games throughout the year. Check with each service to find out their policies for accepting used items. Different towns and cities have location specific agencies that would accept these donations. Below is a short list to get you started on finding the right home for your gently used toys.
Local children’s hospitals
Local pre-school, daycare or Kindergarten programs
Your church or place of worship
Share Your Gently Used Toys With Friends and Family
Having a baby is an expensive endeavor. Not only do you have to buy furniture, clothes, diapers and wipes, but having a few special toys, stuffed animals and books is also essential to occupying and soothing baby. Why not share your gently used toys and books with your friends or family members who are new or expecting parents? They’ll be thrilled to receive these items for their little bundle of joy – and save some money in the process. You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing your once-cherished items are being used and loved once again. Plus, you’re one step closer to taming the toy monster.
Rotate the Toys
If you’d rather not donate or purge all of the toys, rotating them is a great way to stay organized, reduce the toy clutter and keep your child playing with his toys. Simply take some of the toys to the basement, attic or storage room, and then pull them out the next month, replacing the ones in storage with other toys. This keeps all the toys fresh. You’ll be surprised at how your little ones will think they have new toys each month. For my kids, this also helps them to focus on certain toys at a time and not subconsciously feel overwhelmed and not able to enjoy all that they are blessed with.
These are just a couple pointers to help you on your way to taming the toy monster. What other great decluttering or organizing ideas have worked for you? Please for the love of us momma’s out here looking for answers, please let a comment about your tips and ideas below.