First up, the traditional "Giant Toy Box" Method of toy control-- this was a dismal failure from the start. It never failed that, by the end of the day, the box was empty, and dumped out all over the floor, because the toy of interest was ALWAYS at the bottom!
|The Bookshelf Method-- in one of it's "more organized" moments... :/|
So on to Toy Management Method #2: the "toys lined up on a bookshelf/everything in sight" method. This time, not only did the toys still all end up on the floor, but they NEVER looked neat, no matter how many cute labels I put on the shelves! (Seriously, have you ever met 2- and 3- year-olds that like to line toys up neatly??? Definitely not mine...) So Method #2 bit the dust...
Then I found this at my local Goodwill:
|Method #4: Divide and Conquer|
I finally (reluctantly) decided that the only way to reduce the number of toys that ended up on the floor every night (and give my kids enough space to actually enjoy their playthings), was to reduce the number of toys they had access to! No, I didn't take all of their toys away (though I may have been tempted once or twice). :) I did, however, go through the toys (with my children's help-- they were actually more willing than I was to say "goodbye" to some of what I thought were their "favorite" toys!), and culled them down to about half of what there were before.
Then I broke down and purchased white plastic stacking bins from Walmart (they were $2.50- $4 apiece), and two packs of Martha Stewart adhesive chalkboard labels (from Staples). I sorted the remaining toys into "sets"-- building blocks, Lincoln logs, army men, train set, Potato Heads, Duplos, and Matchbox cars. One basket was also allotted to generic toys (toys that don't belong with a "set," like squirt guns, plastic horses, or balls)-- since we still ended up with a giant Tupperware tote full of generic toys, the plan is to restock the small "toy" basket with new, different toys every month or so (the rest stay in the storage room). Each "set" has its own labeled box, and since they are stored on the top shelf of the closet, only one set can be played with at a time! VICTORY!
The few large toys that we kept-- a couple Tonka trucks and a dollhouse-- were now able to be lined up neatly in the bottom of the closet. Now not only can you see the floor in their bedroom (most of the time!), but they can actually enjoy their room now-- one box at a time!
|Sorry for the blurry cell phone pic-- these were taken before I got my new camera :/|
I've since made the next step in the Adventure Kids' Room plan--
a navy striped curtain for the closet that I hope to show you soon!
Yes, it is still a constant fight to keep the toys from multiplying and taking over the world! But the Divide and Conquer method-- having them pared down, sorted, and, most importantly, having access limited-- seems to be, by far, the most effective way of winning the Battle of the Toys! (at least for my kiddos!)
What is your solution for fighting the Battle of the Toys? Do you struggle to teach your kids orderliness... or do your kids automatically pick up after themselves (and if so, what did you feed them to make them do that?)? How do you balance the desire to give your kids everything, without smothering them in it?
Parties I link to:Sunday:
- Nifty Thrifty Things: Nifty Thrifty Sunday
- Southern Hospitality Blog: Thrifty Treasures
- Under the Table and Dreaming: Sunday Showcase Party
- Craft-O-Maniac: Craft-O-Maniac Mondays
- DebbieDoos: Newbie Party
- Flour Me With Love: Mix-It-Up Monday
- This Gal Cooks (formerly Jam's Corner): Marvelous Mondays Link Party
- Adventures Of a DIY Mom: Terrific Tuesdays
- Coastal Charm: Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
- Elizabeth & Co.: Be Inspired Link Party
- Kathe With An E: You're Gonna Love It Tuesday
- Mercy Ink Blog: All Things Heart & Home Link-up
- My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia: Tuesday's Treasures
- The Winthrop Chronicles: Share It Link Party
- Embracing Change: Creative Inspirations Link Party
- Hooking Up w/ House of Hepworths
- The 36th Avenue: Party Time!
- Uncommon: Uncommonly Yours Link Party
- Vintage Gwen: Show & Share
- Live, Laugh, Rowe: Live Laugh Linky Thursday
- My Repurposed Life: Catch As Catch Can
- The Shabby Creek Cottage: Transformation Thursday
- Two Yellow Birds Decor: Thursday's Temptation
- A Heart 4 Home: Finished Friday
- Chic on a Shoestring Decorating: Flaunt It Friday
- Decorating Insanity: Furniture Friday
- Five Days, Five Ways: Feature Friday Free-for-All
- Here Comes the Sun: Fabulous Friday
- Jennifer Rizzo: Fabulously Creative Friday
- Miss Mustard Seed: Furniture Feature Friday
- The Cottage Market: Junkin' Joe Party
- Two Sasters: TGIF Party