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Helpful Organizing Tips - Cleaning Out the Toy Room

With summer in gear, what better spot to begin to clear the clutter than your children’s toy room! Our children are blessed with abundance and this can be overwhelming to them. Many times toys are ignored because the pieces are missing or combined with other games, there are too many toys out or there is total chaos in the toy room.

 

As in all organizing, the first step is letting go and sharing our blessings. With your children, decide what to keep and what not to keep. Broken toys should be thrown away.  Toys in good condition can be donated to a thrift shop, sold at a garage sale or sold at a consignment shop.  Especially important is to pare down the stuffed animal population.  If your children are reluctant, ask them to share 3 of their toys with those in need.   You are creating a powerful reason to eliminate items and most children respond well and share even more! 

Create “work zones” for your children’s toys. Think of how a kindergarten class is set up, with shelving and areas for different uses in the room.  If there are Barbies, have a nearby drawer system that subdivides her clothes, her accessories and other pieces. For Legos or Bionicals, have a container and space near a table to build.  Use a well secured bookshelf for vertical space for storage, with separate labeled bins or baskets within easy reach for your children. Labeling can be done with a digital camera and Avery labels or just a label maker with printed words. Not only will your children know where toys belong, so will the adults!   

As with all new routines, consistency is very important.  Different children tolerate clutter in different ways. However, having a daily routine of picking up toys is the same experience children are having in school. You are reinforcing and modeling the behavior at home.  Make it fun by having a “beat the clock” race or a completion chart with rewards. Remember to pick up with your children, not for them.  Facilitate the success of your toy room organization with consistent rules and expectations. 

Most importantly, here are some ways to stop the clutter before it comes home and becomes a menace.

  • Regularly eliminate fast food toys.  Many organizations collect these for donations to children’s hospitals.
  • Ask for a non-material gift for birthdays and holidays.  These include a zoo membership, art lessons, or special time with a family member.
  • Invest in your children, not in more belongings. Instead of more toys, encourage others to establish a college account.
  • Set boundaries and encourage organizing. Keep only what fits comfortably in a designated area for a designated item. Declutter before something new is added. 

Organizing the toy room makes the time spent at a home a joy.   Help your children understand decision making early on with limiting toys as well as choosing to share our blessings.  A space designated for family fun encourages family time together!

 

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