Friday, September 2, 2011

Simplifying the toy stash

A project I had on my mental to-do list for quite some time (at least 6 months!) was to de-junk our toys and books and pare down to only the ones the children really enjoy. Thanks to my sister-in-law, Hannah, who helped me with this project for several hours yesterday, it's done! And I am so relieved.

We have toys in two cabinets in the living area--toys and books in one, and puzzles in the other, as well as toys in Katie and Benjamin's room. Before de-junking, Katie's room was always a total wreck because the toys were everywhere and the task of picking toys and books up off the living room floor was literally never ending.

In the end, we got rid of a big garbage bag full of toys plus a few books (I didn't get rid of many books--just ones that we have been given that didn't mesh well with the worldview we want to teach our children), and we threw a handful of items away--ones that were no longer really fit for use, but for some reason had been sticking around for who knows how long.

The bulk of the toys we got rid of were stuffed animals. We started off with a "keep because they're sentimental" pile, a "maybe" pile, and a "no" pile. The sentimental pile was so big (all the "friends" you'll see next to Katie's bed below) that I just got rid of everything else. I think she has plenty!

I am so pleased with how things worked out. There are definitely still an abundance of toys, but I am happy knowing the toys there are ones the children use and love and there aren't excess toys adding unnecessary work to my day!

Here are the toys, books, and puzzles we have in the living room:

And, here are the toys in Katie and Benjamin's room:

I also have a two baskets of smaller toys on top of their dresser--one for Benjamin that has rattles, teethers, etc. and one for Katie that has her threading shapes/ropes, a set of paper dolls, among other things. Katie is so happy to have her room all organized, and she's been great at putting the toys back where they belong when they're finished with them, with very little prompting from me!

This was our first time clearing out the toys since Katie was born. What are your methods for staying on top of the influx of toys that come in your homes throughout the year? Please share in the comments!


  1. I think it's great you did this and I hope you stay on top of it. In recent months I've been trying to clean out my childhood room and it's so difficult because there is so much stuff (and sadly, I try to classify most of it as "sentimental"). If I had purged and simplified frequently growing up, or at least in recent years, I wouldn't be in this mess today.

  2. It looks great MJ. I should send you a photo of you when you were about Katie's age; a day you decided to take everything out of your dresser, including toys and clothes, and pile them on the floor around you. You looked so pleased with yourself. LOL