Saturday, May 28, 2011

The great toy trade

I am just like so many of my friends who has a house that has exploded with toys.  When I was pregnant with my first child I was living in a 700 sq ft apartment in San Francisco and swore the baby's things would NOT take over my house.  Now, 3 1/2 years later I am in a much larger house and my kids toys HAVE taken over most of it.  The thing is, they only play with very little of them.  Most of the toys have been put in bins.  Once in a while, the girls with dig through the bins to find a long forgotten toy and then play with it for hours.  Otherwise, many of the toys sit, thrown in the bin ... waiting.  

I found a tip in a book, The Household Manager Takes Charge that I love.  Well, the whole book is full of tips that I love.   One of them is to rotate toys.  Take half of the kids toys, put them in a box and then in storage.  About a week, month or whenever later, swap those toys with the toys you had out.  Now, when I did this I didn't do HALF, but about one diaper box full of toys.  Last night I did the swap.  Even I had forgotten about a few of the toys I put up.  I set a few things out on the coffee table and went to bed.

The girls have been up for over two hours.  When they came downstairs you would have thought it was Christmas!!  They ran to the toys and the oldest was shouting I forgot about this toy!  Mommy you found my toy!  They didn't notice anything was missing either.  They are still playing with (and fighting over) their new found toys.  

I have heard that when kids see too many things the toys are just "lost".  Think of looking at a ice cream menu of 30+ flavors ... it is overwhelming!  How do you choose?  Same with kids and toys.  Just too many choices.  

This was also a great opportunity for me to purge.  I spent about an hour and a half going through the toys in our "family / play room" I threw out the doll that was a broken hand-me-down that had these freakish eyes that creeped me out, coloring books that had been colored on every page,  and 
random "junk".  

So many things accomplished during this 90 minutes after the kids went to bed.  Room cleaned, toys purged, organized and stashed.  I even made my kids' day by giving them "new" toys.  Give it a try.  I would love to hear how it works for your family!


  1. Great idea!! I'm feeling a spring cleaning bug coming on.... :)

  2. I, too, have a household that has been taken over by little people, some my own, some not. Our living room is my daycare space and has been renamed the "playroom". It has the most toys and I also discovered this little trick and have been a huge fan for years! I sort of theme out and rotate toys according to what we are learning or focusing on. I also have learned to not horde and hold onto random things because of some weird attachment or guilt (Yes, I hate this doll BUT gaga bought this for her....)Now we have toys that all of us feel good about. It is a lot but the "crap" has been minimized.
    Michelle Dibb
    PS I do the same thing with outside toys. And we have a lot out there too!