And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

10 Tips to Declutter Toys #WallTracks

Let's face it kids have toys and toys easily become clutter. We've tried several different plans of attack against the clutter. I mean no one wants to see us on a special edition of Hoarders: Covered in Toys, right? As Christmas approaches and new toys will be arriving, here are some tips to keep the toys in line:

* Frequently weed through them. We try to go through our kids toys at least 4 times a year: before the big consignment sale in the fall & spring and before Christmas and before birthdays. That way they are gone through to sell and they are gone through before new toys arrive.

* We have toy free zones. Granted we have to constantly remind the kids but generally they are only allowed toys in their rooms not in the schoolroom, kitchen, living room, etc.

* We give them plenty of places to put their toys. Speedy has more toys than Apple so he has severl storage bins. She has one large toy box and a shelf with drawers.

* Especially for younger children, open bins work really well. Speedy has one of the shelves with 9 open boxes on it. He can easily put smaller toys in those as he cleans.

* If your child has a specialty collection, give them a special storage area. Apple has many Polly Pockets, so she has a special carrying bag for them. Speedy has tons of Hot Wheels so he has one of these nifty organizers.

* Limit the number of toys your children own. It is easy for kids to become overwhelmed with their toys. Apple was the first grandchild on both sides so she was constantly receiving toys all through out the year. We were able to talk with family and get those gifts lowered to holidays or special occasions. We even ask for reasonableness during Christmas. We have 2 kids and they each don't need 15 gifts from each family gathering.

* Ask your children to donate some of their toys. They can give them to local shelters, Goodwill, or toy drives. My children are often excited to share a few toys with children that may not have any.

* Books are not toys but they can become clutter too. Each of our children has their own bookshelf in their room. They know that is where their books should be.

* Get your children involved in cleaning their rooms. No matter how young they are, they can help pick up toys. If your child is participating in cleaning their room, they are less likely to make a disaster zone.

* About once a month, I take time to clean their rooms. The rest of the month they clean it themselves, but it's good for me to go through once a month and make sure things are in place, trash isn't lurking around, and nothing is there that shouldn't be.

Our house isn't always perfect. Since we homeschool, we are home majority of the time and we use every inch of our house. These tips keep Apple and Speedy's rooms from becoming overwhelming though. They don't enjoy dirty rooms with toys everywhere anymore than I do!

“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.”

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