Kids toys are an inevitable part of the home front clutter, but you can take some steps to wrangle it in! First, make sure the toys have a home. If it’s a chest in the family room, a basket in the den, a shelf in your child’s closet; it can’t be put away if it doesn’t have a home. And perhaps you should consider toy storage in each of these places! So if the toy is in the family room, it can be put away in that storage bin!
Most kids will just dump their toys in a bin and be done with it. But sometimes they want their dolls separated from brother’s army trucks – so ask your kids how they would like to “sort” the toys. Don’t go nuts trying to come up with clever categories – kids just don’t really care – and if the goal is to get the toys put away, maybe you shouldn’t care either!
If a child breaks a toy, or if it’s missing parts, get rid of it! That is if it’s just another toy – if it’s Junior’s favorite GI Joe, reconsider. There is no point in keeping a toy if it won’t be played with or it’s past its usefulness. If your kids have just too many toys, try rotation of toys – just keep out some of the toys and pack away the rest. In a few months when they look like they are getting bored, rotate the toy inventory!
And just because your kids are little doesn’t mean they can’t help with putting toys away! Make it a fun and nightly task. Set a timer and have a race to get the toys put away. The reward can be an extra story at bedtime. The real reward is that your children learn to put things away and help clean up THEIR home. A real break for you!