Way before Konmari, Instagram, and before the current minimalism or streamlining motions. You would rarely hear someone discuss their mess.
Managing your kids toys is something that becomes an ingrained part of your life when you have children. If you’re not nagging the youngsters to clean up, you are on your hands and knees silently in the night picking up an array of plastic and flashing entertainment yourself.
Most parents would be ashamed to admit their children have too many toys but let’s face it. It’s an issue some of us have and although we may not like to talk about it, we love to spoil our children with materialistic gifts if and when we have the means to do so.
As a victim of capitalism the idea of buying children “even more playthings” is something most parents do with the hope that their child will be happier, more entertained and ultimately more content. Of course this sometimes is true but the feeling of excitement for a new toy rarely lasts and it’s not long before it gets added to the pile.
The best way to get control of this non issue, is to get organised. Read on to find out how:
Rather than buying new toys every time your child gets bored, stop and put the toy away for 6 months. Do this with everything they don’t usually play with. You can then come back to this collection in one to six months time and choose to either reintroduce the toy or to get rid of it completely. Another way to lighten the load is to leave some toys in places where your child frequently stays i.e. grandparents, family members or friends homes where they don’t have children of their own.
Quality not quantity
More toys does not necessarily mean better play. Look through what you have and keep things that either have a multiple purpose or encourage creativity. Being surrounded by too many options can be overwhelming. Take out a few groups of toys at a time to help them focus and play with their toys in a more meaningful way whilst also cutting down the mess.
Prep your room for play
When your children play with anything small and easy to spread lay out a bed sheet or blanket first. Explain to them that the pieces must remain on the sheet and when they have finished simply collect all four corners and tip the Lego, arts and crafts, puzzle pieces back into a storage tub. Pro tip – If your children are young enough tell them that past the bedsheet lays a sea of sharks waiting to gobble up any stray pieces.
Get a bookshelf or bookcase
Placing storage on the wall can free up precious floor space and be a game changer. On the other hand a storage box doubled as a bench is also a great place to store books and toys.
Make your storage accessible
Putting your toys in storage boxes with click on lids or on high up shelves is a guaranteed way to ensure that you will be held responsible for the majority of the cleaning up. Make your storage accessible for your children so that they can put toys away as easily as they can take them all out.
Accept the spread
Unless your children are angels it is likely that your toys are not limited to one room of your house. Accept the fact that they will play in more than one space and assign a storage solution that fits your decor in each room that you find yourself picking up after the kids the most. This will also mean you don’t have to collate everything in one room and can keep on top of it bit by bit.
Manage the incoming gifts
Eid, Christmas, birthdays. All prime occasions for the family to buy more toys for your little one. Stem the wave of new plastic by letting family and friends donate to one big item collectively or better still put some cash in their card to go towards their future.
Playing with toys is great but sometimes the most fun can be had just being outside. Whether you let them play in the garden, take them for a walk or to the park there is one thing you can guarantee… Your house will stay clean!
Are you a minimalist mama or is your house a plastic toy wonderland? Let us know in the comments what your top tips are for keeping the toys under control!
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