Are toys ruling your house?  Do they “outnumber” you?  I am constantly and endlessly battling toy clutter.  Well, this month we are taking back control.  November’s Home Organization Goal is to tackle the toys, especially before you get another flux of new toys coming into the house.

Here is the plan:

* You will need four boxes.  Mark them:  give away, sell, pack up and trash.

* Get a babysitter.  Have you tried to sort through toys when your young children are around?  It simply doesn’t work.  If you have young kids, ask a friend or relative to take them for a few hours so you can gain control of the toys.

* If your children are older, involve them in the decision process.  Have them help decide what to do with the toys they no longer play with.  Can they earn money from a garage sale?  Is there someone they could bless by giving it away?

* Take it room by room.  Tackle one space at a time.  But I do suggest finding a time where all or most of your house can be done at once.  When I have done only half of the house, I have found toys migrate from floor to floor destroying my perfect purging plan.

* Start with a quick sort of what the kids are no longer interested in.  Choose a number of these kinds of toys and set a goal to eliminate them from the room.

* If your kids simply have too many toys, look for what has good play value, is educational or good for various developmental skills or are your children’s favorites.  Focus on keeping those and removing others.

* Move fast.  Don’t spend too much time debating.

* Do you need to create a “junk jar?”  We have lots of little junky toys . . . prizes, rewards, freebies and more.  Put them all in one box or jar.  When it is full, get rid of the rest.

* Organize.  Use containers, baskets or fun boxes to help organize the toys.  We just spent over an hour cleaning out my son’s puzzle drawer of over 400 loose puzzle pieces to various puzzles.  We put the puzzles together and then each one went in a ziploc bag for neat storage.

In the kids’ closets, I use a Sterilite (See Through) 3-Drawer Cart.  This helps greatly with the organization of the toys in their bedrooms.

Questions to Ask During a Toy Purge:
Do my kids use this regularly?
Does it help with their development?
What is the play value?
Is it a toy I should rotate in and out of play?
If I am only going to have “x” number of toys in this room, would this toy be one of them?
Is having too many toys worth the peace I am trading in for the clutter?

How do you keep the toy clutter to a minimum?

Check out the rest of our month by month plan here.  Happy & Peaceful Purging!

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