We recently had a big spring clean and donated a heap of things to our local St Vinnies. This was just before Miss N’s birthday and I thought the perfect time since I knew she would be getting a whole load of new things. We have also had a few issues recently with her wanting to play with all of Miss Z’s new toys she’s been given. So I created a few new ground rules and took stock of what was left so we could get it all spick and span again and everything would have a place of its own.
Rule 1: All your most precious things (Jewellery boxes, special books and dolls etc) remain in your bedroom. If you don’t want them to get broken or people to play with them, you don’t bring them out.
Rule 2: If it’s not yours, don’t touch (God, I sound like my mother!!). Miss N can NOT help herself to Miss Z’s special things without asking permission first and Vise Versa.
I think it’s really important to involve your children when organising their own things. They will feel needed and important and they will also have more of a chance of remembering where everything goes if they have helped set it up.
So. This is the general mess that is our toy department:
During a fun day’s play it normally takes over the whole back room like this:
The last toy storage clean out we did was a while ago so its well due!
After taking stock of what we had, we pulled out all our storage containers and sorted out what fitted where. Once that was done we filled all the containers and took photos of the contents. Thankfully we had enough storage so no new boxes were needed (Dammit. No need for that Ikea trip then??).
On our next free day it will be off to out local Kmart to print all the pics and attach to the storage containers. Some boxes already have pictures on the sides (like Barbie) which is an obvious choice and thankfully just the right size for all the little blonde lady’s stuff:).
I did take away a small selection of things that had not yet been opened (a craft project or two, some new paints and sponge shapes etc) and have put them away out of sight in the cupboard. I have found this works really well for holiday time and those weeks when boredom overcomes the child and they just need you to say “well, check out what I’ve got!!” to pep them up a bit.
As a general rule I put things like drawing and colouring supplies out of reach so no unfortunate accidents can occur. The same goes for the play-dough, paint and craft. Things like board games and toys that the girls need help with (activity books, beading, un-opened crafty projects) get put on the higher shelves and things they use on a day-to-day basis (Barbie’s, Lego and blocks, soft toys, sports gear etc) get put on the lower shelves so they are easily accessible.
I do really need to think of somewhere to put all the dress up’s. We have a load of these and they presently live in a large Ikea bag, hang on the wardrobe door and get shoved into cardboard containers. Lots of things get damaged this way and so I really want a single dress up storage solution…..I’m currently still looking. If you have any ideas or tips I would be most happy to hear them!
In a future post I will show you what the space looks like once its all finalised and done. Until then, I urge you to go and check out your own mess of toys….remember nothing can make you feel so good as a good purge! I’m sure your kids will thank you for it (well you never know, pigs might fly!!!).