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Tuesday, January 19th by Junkluggers
With young children in the house, sometimes it feels like toys are everywhere at once – even if you just cleaned up. Whether it’s the middle of the night and you wake up to get a glass of water only to step on painfully misplaced lego or in the morning when your living room looks like the nearest Toys R Us was ransacked, toys can feel like a never-ending war against de-cluttering. But toy clutter doesn’t have to be a constant challenge – with a little bit of sorting and smart storage, tidying up after play time is about to become a lot easier!
It may seem like children get new toys every week, but more often than not they will just go back to playing with their few favorites. The first step in de-cluttering is to identify which toys and other possessions are most important to them – then separate what they don’t play with or what they have outgrown. Some kids will have an easier time than other giving up their toys but others may have a hard time letting go of the toys they aren’t even interested in anymore because they still feel a strong sense of ownership. Encourage your children to go through the process themselves and have them sort through whatever they want to keep rather than doing it yourself. If they’re still having a hard time making choices, provide a box for them and tell them that anything that can fit will be kept – everything else will go to a child their age without toys of their own.
Bring your children with you to the donation centers and charities to let them say goodbye to their old toys (and show them that you’re not an awful parent despite what they might have said earlier!) before they get a second chance at life bringing another child happiness. It may be hard for them to part with their toys, but you are teaching them a valuable life lesson early on.
Once you and your children are ready to put back their toys, leave some space in each drawer, shelf or closet area. This will create room for extra items later if necessary. Teach them to keep their stuff in their room and have a designated play area in the living room so that if the toys do migrate from one part of the house to another, at least they’ll always (hopefully) be contained in a specific area. Try to keep similar items organized together – buy bins and label them. One can be for stuffed animals, another one can be for action figures. This will make it easier for your children to remember where everything will go and makes cleaning up like a game.
It’s important to clean as you go (when your children forget to) or have everyone do a quick clean-up before bed time. Schedule a 30 minute clean up on the weekends before breakfast where the whole family pitches in to clean up the house. Everyone will be responsible for doing their part in making the house clean and then you have the rest of the day to enjoy!
Kids will make the same mistakes every now and again and will inevitably make a mess. – just like the rest of us. Once they’re done, ask them to clean it up and teach them that less is more. They can’t possibly play with everything!
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