Pre-Christmas toy purge

Every year as Christmas approaches, knowing the deluge to come, I get the urge to sort through the kids’ toys. We have sorted through toys several times already this year, and as the kids get older (and their toys get smaller), they slowly occupy less space in the house. Now that they all can play independently in their rooms or in the basement, we are gradually reclaiming the family room as a space for ALL of us, not just toy storage. Little Four (who will turn five next week) is the only one who clocks a lot of time playing there, and these days it’s mostly building with Legos or writing cryptic messages in his assortment of notebooks.

Still, we had baskets of toys shoved in every corner, and they were all mixed up–dominoes in the Legos, barrettes in the marble run, Nerf darts everywhere. Stir in some broken crayons, candy wrappers, broken junk from Chuck E. Cheese/birthday party goodie bags/Happy Meals, and a handful of stray puzzle pieces, and you get the kind of stew that festered in each basket.

While the kids were at school yesterday, I dumped every basket out on the floor, vacuumed out the baskets, and sorted all the stuff. I boxed up a few things to donate, hauled lots to the basement play area, and reorganized toys into more appropriately sized containers. A few things went straight to the trash.

It was cathartic. Little Four came home from school, played nicely with several different toys, and put them all away when asked. The Hub and I were able to stretch out in front of the tv after the kids were in bed without first having to clear a space among the wreckage and fish for the remotes under the cushions.

I know it will devolve into chaos again. And again. But I hold out hope, especially since I only found a single item belonging to Mr. Nine in all the mess, and aside from a large handful of hair accessories, only a small bag full of things belonging to Miss Seven. I know, pretty soon they will all hunker down in their bedrooms and never come out. I should enjoy this time when they still want to play nearby. I do. I just enjoy it more when it’s tidy.

So that was Step One in the family room. Step Two is the game and puzzle cupboard. Maybe today? Step Three involves decor decisions that I don’t want to think about, and probably won’t until after Christmas. At least now there is room for a Christmas tree.

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3 responses

  1. Hi! I’m just stopping by after looking at Pancakes and French Fries. Nice job on the toys! It’s a constant battle over here (I have a three year old and one year old) because my girls share a room….and all their toys are in there too. I love going through and putting everything back in the right spot…making sure we have all (or most) of the pieces and organizing. I think we are going to do a mass clean out again soon…and now that my oldest is three, we will talk about donating toys to kids who would love to play with them but might not have the ability to buy them. Even though we’re going “minimal” at Christmas with our gifts, they’re bound to get lots of stuff from friends and family.

  2. When you were describing the collection of random stuff in your baskets, I was just nodding my head…that is exactly what is going on in our house!! When we moved, I went through all the toys and tried to organize things into little tupperwares, but of course now the tupperwares have a random mish-mash of things in there! It does feel good to have bins to put everything in, though 🙂 We are still in the weeds with an almost 3 year old and a 3 month old, and hopefully one or two more kids to come…someday we won’t have two toy rooms…but then I will probably be feeling nostalgic for these days, haha!

  3. Ladies, I am a mom of 4 and have invented a toy storage product called Toy Tamers. They’re great at fully containing the toys and are easy for the kids to use. I prototyped them several years ago and I’m just now bringing them to market (didn’t have the spare time I needed 🙂 I’m in the process of building a website, but right now you can go to Ebay and find them under Toy Tamers. Let me know what you think! Kristi

    Developed by a mom of four….Toy Tamers are the ultimate in toy storage and toy organization!
    •Easy for kids to use and easy to transport

    •Fully contains toys plus keep parts and pieces together, easily zipped so toys don’t fall out
    •Thick vinyl and vinyl mesh construction allows it to maintain its shape even without toys inside
    •Nylon carrying handle can be unbuttoned and refastened to attach the Tamer to strollers, larger toys, etc..
    •Toy i.d. holder makes it easy for kids to know which toys to repack into which Toy Tamers
    •Extremely durable and is easily cleaned with soap and water
    •Vinyl mesh allows for breathability and safety
    •Three Different Sizes – Small= 5 1/2w 10h 3d (in) Medium= 8w 10h 4d (in) Large= 10w 12h 6d (in)
    •Available in Red, Green, Blue or Yellow

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