Save your sanity.
Dedicate a day or two…or in my case a week & do the BIG toy clean out before Christmas gets here! You’ll be so glad you did.
First, let me be real clear with you, this is a constant battle for me. In fact I still have to do my daughter’s room, but I think I have finally learned a few things after I finished doing my boys’ shared room about a week ago. They had so.many.toys. Seriously! Below is a picture I took & posted on Instagram. Every single corner had a toy or a dust bunny. We had broken toys, outgrown toys, things I didn’t even know where they came from toys…it was nuts.
I think the most important thing I’ve realized is that kids don’t need so many toys. We had 2 of those big blue buckets overflowing with toys, we couldn’t even close the wicker chest that’s shown in the top photo, and we had 2 Ikea expedit cubbies FULL of action figures. It was all too much. Now keep in mind this is a room that is shared by 2 boys. A 7 year old & a 5 year old, both of which have different interests and favorites. So you do have to allow for different likes in a room when it’s shared, but still it was way too much.
But after a pot of coffee I was able to divide & conquer in 4 easy ways.
A bin for recycling
A bin for donating
A bin for throwing away
A bin to keep items that may be used again for younger brother
What we couldn’t donate I made sure to at least recycle in our weekly recycle pick up, all the other stuff that was broken or run down I threw away. And boy, did it feel good. I mean, really good.
But it’s important to note, I REALLY went through the toys. Things I knew the younger boy would eventually play with went down to our basement in a covered plastic bin, collections were put together or put on display. Things I knew my oldest would like because he’s at the age of starting to like a true “collection” or groups of toys. Plus I know he’ll take care of them more when he sees they’re grouped together. I also was glad, especially this time of year to donate toys where they are so needed. Here’s a list below of some places you can donate toys. When I first posted on IG that I was cleaning out toys, some of you asked for suggestions..
It’s amazing what will happen if you clean/organize or decorate based on their personalities. By that I mean, my oldest loves more organization than the younger son. So displaying action figures has really worked for him & he places them back in their proper spot. My younger son loves costumes and dressing up. So I decided to make the costumes, hats & masks easily accessible for him so he doesn’t have to dig & find them, and make a mess. The cleanup will be easy because they know exactly where everything goes.
I absolutely love the Ikea Expedit units. This one below serves so many purposes. The green deep cubbies hold all the small action figures and animals that they play with. It’s all an easy clean up, that looks perfect in a matter of minutes. It also holds books, and serves as the boys shared night stand. It’s a little taller than the typical nightstand, but it totally works with the bunk beds right next to it. I have never regretted purchasing these units. They are super. You can read a little bit more about their wall art in this post.
For me, anything that will help get all of us as a family more organized is always a win-win! Even if we have to spend a little extra money on it, I will always take more storage! We live in a small older home (almost 100 years!) so closet space is so minimal. Anything I can do to help us stay organized is always worth it.
The result after the BIG Toy Cleanout??? We only have the large wicker basket in the top photo 3/4 full & the two green cubbies of action figures & animals. That is it!
GOOD LUCK to organizing & clearing out the toys before it gets crazy!!!
P.S. I get asked all the time about the boys’ rug. It was purchased from here and we have truly loved it. It is such a beautiful rug. It will shed quite a bit when you first unroll it, but will eventually stop after a while.