Since we don't have a playroom, our living room, dining room and kitchen all get used for play. They are also our high traffic areas, so many a time I have stepped (ouch) on a small car or figurine with my bare feet! Yikes! And constant clean up is such a hassle.
We are working towards de-cluttering our "play area" - here are some of my tips that I'm using, and maybe they'd be useful to you too!
- Simplify the toys. Instead of a dozen cars, leave out about 3-4 from different categories (farm, construction, race car, emergency vehicle). You child will get the same amount of play from those as from a dozen.
- Quickly stash toys your child has outgrown. When we looked at cleaning up our area, we realized that many of the toys he was carelessly flinging about were simply too young for him. So he'd take them out and then get bored quickly, and leave them around. We put those away in the closet for the next little one.
- Create a 'Toy Library' - put most of the toys in a box or high shelf. Have kids "check out" the toys they want to play with for the day, and then they can make a new selection the next day.
- Use bins. Small bins or boxes allow you to move toys easily from one room to the next as you do your work.
- Color-code. The blue is for cars, the red is for stuffed animals, etc.
- Name-Tag. Instead of color-coding, we sometimes hang name tags off different bins. This works especially well for book bins. Seasonal books, animal books, etc.
- Create specific toy collections - we have a bin for "upstairs toys," "outdoor toys," "car/travel toys," and "basement toys" - this means we don't have to keep bringing toys up and down stairs and in and out of the car. And my son has a variety of fresh toys to play with in each location.
- Donate - we've been able to give some of those toys that never got used, or used one time to our church nursery, or to charity.
- Re-sell - consignment shops are great places to get your money back on gently used toys. (try not to spend your cash on yet more toys! LOL).
- Make clean-up fun! We work to incentivize clean up by offering something fun afterwards. "Let's clean up the toys so we can go for a walk!" or "Once the toys are all put away, you can have a fun bubble bath!"
Hot Wheels® has introduced the all-new Wall Tracks™ sets to help moms everywhere clean up toy clutter! Kids can now take their Hot Wheels® races where they've never gone before - off the floor and onto the walls! Now they can perform stunts, speed, turns, and tricks, powered by gravity and set up any way you can imagine it - and it’s off the floor! Kids can mix, match, and combine with other Wall Tracks™ sets to create all-new Hot Wheels® track layouts. And the best part? No more clutter for moms!
Sounds like SUCH a cool product right? Definitely one I will be adding to the Christmas list!
How do you de-clutter the toy situation in your home?
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hot Wheels® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.