These days our kids’ playroom has started to resemble a F.A.O. Schwartz warehouse. Sound exciting??? Well… not so much. After a particularly long and exhausting day of cleaning/straightening their room, I sometimes feel like locking the door and giving the playroom a temporary “time-out” (maybe a few days or so), but my husband always convinces me not to do that.
The reason they have so many things is because we have a habit of continually adding new toys and games to their collection in hopes of keeping them stimulated. The new toys entertain them for a while… then they’re over it and those toys are discarded and ignored. This all lends to our apartment looking perpetually cluttered and busy. And, if you live in NYC like I do, you know there really isn’t room to hold on to extra items that your child has outgrown or simply lost interest in.
With National Spring Cleaning Week around the corner (March 21 – March 27), now seemed the perfect time for my husband and I to put our heads together in hopes of resolving this dilemma. This weekend we sat down and discussed a few ways to makeover their playroom and keep toys around that are age appropriate, fun and, best of all, clutter-free. To start with, we decided to minimize clutter by using plastic shoebox containers for their smaller toys, and larger lidded bins for the bigger toys. We got everything we needed from a quick trip to the container store, and this simple task was done within an hour during the boys nap. Later that afternoon we took a walk through the play room with our boys and had them point out some of their favorite toys. Through this inventory process, along with our own observations, we were able to discover together what they played with the most and what they rarely pull from the toy chest.
Next, we decided to invite our pre-schooler’s “best friend” over next weekend for a playdate and lunch. The kids are almost the same age, born just a week and a half apart. While the boys are busy having fun my husband and I, along with the other couple, have pulled together some of our kids’ “gently used” toys and we will be swapping toys with one another. We also thought it’d be nice to get our pre-schooler in on the fun of the playroom makeover by encouraging him to bag up a few toys he does not play with to donate to other kids in need. At his daycare the director has a box in the lobby for toy donations. We told our son that for every bag of toys we donate, he can pick out a new item at Toys “R” Us this weekend. So far we’ve gathered together two bags of things. We are so proud of him!
My husband and I are so excited to have these new ideas and plan to implement them as we take on our Spring Cleaning project! What ideas do you have to eliminate clutter this season?