Stepping on toys?
How to tackle toy organization once and for all
In ordinary times, our homes may feel like comfortable retreats from the outside world. But with outside entertainment and event options currently limited, “home” is now where we play, too. Combined with school closures, that can mean a lot of family time at home.
If that makes you feel like everyone in the family is constantly bumping into each other or tripping over toys, this could be the sign you need to declutter and organize your children’s seemingly multiplying number of toys.
Make decluttering a family event:
For the most part, children’s toys and clothes have short lifespans. You might be surprised to realize how much you are holding onto that is past its “expiration date” for working for your kids. Enlist everyone in the family to go through their closets to see what doesn’t fit and challenge your kids to collect toys they would be willing to donate. This is a perfect teachable moment! (Check with your preferred donation center to see how they are handling contributions right now.)
Make new purchases with longevity in mind:
You can instantly eliminate the tendency to impulse purchase toys when you ask yourself “how much space will this take up?” and “how much use will it actually get?” If you feel the object is still worthy of purchasing, also aim to buy something durable.
Rotate toys available for play:
Decluttering doesn’t have to mean getting rid of everything not in constant use. Instead, you can store away some toys that have lost your kids’ interest and then create a cycle where you swap them out so that what’s available for playing with always feels fresh, exciting and (best of all) holds your children’s focus.
Establish ground rules:
By getting clear about boundaries for where toys are and are not permitted — and then consistently enforcing those rules — your kids will quickly adapt. (Hey, it’s worth a shot!) A good place to start is by making it clear that all toys need to be put away at the end of the day. Then, turn on a song and encourage everyone to pitch in!
Make organization accessible to all:
To give your kids their best chance at putting toys away, you need to make sure they know where everything belongs and can actually access the storage. This will vary based on your kids’ ages — for example, little ones can probably get the hang of a catch-all storage bin while bigger kids can put items into more organized, dedicated containers.