My friend posted a link to an article about an easy toy rotation method in our Momâ€™s Group, and since then, several of my friends have tried it out with great success. I decided to also do it after I realized that Henry doesnâ€™t play with 80% of his toys â€“ and he really doesnâ€™t have that many! His toy space was too cluttered OR his toys were hidden in the back of a closet <â€”this worked for a while when he was younger and his toys were bigger, but once things got smaller, toys were easily misplaced.
So â€“ hereâ€™s the new way we do toys:
First, I went through the toys and eliminated all the broken or never-liked ones. I also relocated the too-young baby toys in Claireâ€™s upstairs closet for the future. Eventually, Iâ€™ll add Claireâ€™s toys to the bins, but not for a while. Oh â€“ and I did this part while Henry was sleeping because I knew heâ€™d get upset seeing me toss a broken tractor.
Then, with Henryâ€™s help, I organized his toys into the bins. My plan was to leave one bin empty for later, but I couldnâ€™t get Henry to understand that, so I eventually just consolidated two of the bins when he wasnâ€™t looking. Hah.
I let him separate the toys out how he wanted, but I tried to encourage him to spread out similar toys (like trucks in all the boxes, not just one; wooden blocks in one box and Legos in another). The only toy that weâ€™re permanently keeping out is his soccer ball. I didnâ€™t put his train set into a box, but I am going to rotate that in and out too â€“ while it used to be his favorite toy, itâ€™s losing its luster a bit. I think it needs to â€œdisappearâ€ for a while.
Then â€“ I numbered the bins. As I said, #4 is empty so we have room to grow. The original post suggested labeling the bins with a description of the toys, but I donâ€™t think we have enough to â€˜loseâ€™ favorites in the bins.
Every week, I pull out a new bin and put away the old one. So each week, Henry gets â€œnewâ€ toys â€“ and a more manageable number of toys. Plus, your living room doesnâ€™t look like a toy store exploded, which is always nice.
Thus far, this technique is a HUGE hit. I love how much more organized our space feels, and Henry is playing with toys that heâ€™s ignored for MONTHS and MONTHS! The reduced number of toys out and about make pick-up a LOT easier for me. And I think this technique will be a huge money saver down the road, too.
How do you tame the toys at your house?