Who here likes a cleaner, less cluttered home? Who here likes to save money? Who here likes a Christmas in July?
I do! And I have the perfect solution for all these. Do a Toy Rotation. Seriously, a game-changer.
I have been hearing about a toy rotation for a really long time. And we all know how the whole minimalistic ideology has swept our nation. I even read the book by Marie Kondo. I watch "Tiny House, Big Living". I know a lot about this ideology and its benefits, but at my heart, I am SO not one. Clutter just seems to accumulate around me. It’s a real problem. (And FYI, my daughter has totally inherited this trait…) I know of people who buy their kids hardly any toys and request no toys for gifts. I just can’t go that far. And my husband totally thwarts any of my plans to weed out the kids’s toys. He super loved his toys growing up. He still has them and has given them to our kids. Seriously, its a sweet gesture, but we have so many toys. My husband is like the grown up version of Andy on Toy Story, except he made sure his beloved lot of toys got into the attic. I wouldn’t be surprised if those toys even talked at this point. But back to the toy rotation.
Our family has a lot of toys. We have not put a limit on the amount of toys our kids get, either from us or others. Also, the kids have a lot of their father in them, they are pretty attached to toys. After 7 years of childhood with 3 kids, the toy situation was getting a little bit out of hand. I couldn’t keep up the cleaning. I sold a bunch of them too, unbeknownst to my husband and children. It was still bad. One day I decided to give this whole toy rotation a try. I had a few empty tubs sitting in my garage, and I figured I could fill those up with toys and just keep them in the garage so it would be easy transfer. Another benefit for me was that we have a big front room that should be something like a dining room and office, but it is mostly bare for us (another problem for another day).
So here is my attack plan. How it all began. I brought every single toy out of every single room in the house and put it in the front room. I should add that this was when the kids were at school so they weren’t interfering. I went thru the toys and got rid of anything paper or broken. Then I just started with one child’s toys and separating them by category. All the Disney princesses here. All the dress up toys here. All the GI Joes over here. You get it. Their favorite toys or toys I knew that they played with with Daddy stayed out (i.e. superheroes). I just packed up half in Ziploc baggies or whatever. All the Disney toys, out. All the baby dolls clothes, out. Kept out the ponies. Now, people do this differently. Some will just pack up half of the Disney toys and half of the blocks. Too much work for me. How long did this take me? 1-2 days, but in spurts when I didn’t have to cook or take care of the kids. For most people, I would imagine this would go much faster. I had a lot to weed through.
Immediate difference? Yes. The kids started playing with toys they wouldn’t previously have. Obviously clutter was way down. And clean up from here on out was much simpler in their rooms.
Four to five months later came the big swap. I had initially planned on doing it earlier, maybe around 3 months, but, you know, life. And, to be honest, I was kinda dreading the amount of work that would be required. So I finally convinced myself to do it. Same thing again. Took all the toys to the front room, weeded them out, and separated them. Then took the bins of toys from the garage inside and took those out. For the most part, it was a pretty even swap. Took about half a day, much shorter. And the kids were home and interfering.
This is where the real benefits were seen. Seriously, best day ever. It was raining the day I did the swap, and like I said, the kids were interfering. They kept trying to grab the toys. My daughter said, "Oh, I forgot about my princesses. I love them so much." And she happily played with them all day. Literally, ALL DAY. When I took the Star Wars toys out, another huge hit. They played with those forever too. It really reminded me of Christmas day, when kids get new toys and they just play with them all day. Except these were old toys. And toys I already owned. So a free Christmas in July. Pretty awesome. It really is the best. So now you go and do it too (unless you are a true minimalist, then you have no need).
Any other ideas to decrease the toy clutter? Trust me, I can use all the help I can get.
Til Next Time,