Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Spring Cleaning: Tackling the Toy Room!

I’ve really been on a spring cleaning kick lately. Especially on those rainy days when it’s too wet to go outside. For my most recent project, I’ve been working on cleaning and organizing my girls’ rooms and the play room. Both of my daughters’ birthdays are in the spring too, which means they receive toys and clothes and trinkets in the spring time. As I’m sure with most of you, I like to keep an organized house, but I don’t always have gobs of time. However, when the toy baskets are over flowing and the closets are too full, I know it’s definitely time to clean out and donate those things that the kids don’t play with anymore and don’t wear. The trickiest part I think is knowing what to keep and what to get rid of.  But, I find that once I actually get started sorting, it’s easier to decipher what my kids really play with and what gets left on the shelf every play time.

Here are some tips I’ve found that have really helped me get started sorting!

1. Spend 15 minutes per day 
          I find that if I set a timer for 15 minutes, I can get a lot of sorting done and make pretty good headway. Knowing I have an end time for sorting often helps me get started without dreading it so much. Sometimes if I’m on a roll, I’ll continue working after the timer goes off. But knowing that I have set out to work just 15 minutes on one area then can move on to whatever is next in my day really helps!

2. What to keep, what to donate?
            I’ve learned over the past few years that finding the right balance for how many toys to keep in the bedroom can be tricky. When in doubt, I move the majority of the toys to the play room and keep just a few toys in their room. When sorting toys, I try to get my kids involved. While my youngest isn’t quite ready to be a part of this, my almost-4-year-old definitely is. When we’re working together to clean and de-clutter, we play the “Stop Clutter Game.” (I know, it’s a super creative name for the game, but it works!) I pick up a toy and ask her if it’s something we want to keep, put away, give away or throw away. I like to use boxes that are labeled “keep”, “trash”, and “donate”. She’s pretty good about playing the game and helping me sort. We only play in 15 minute increments and then at the end of the 15 minutes, we work together to put the toys back in their home and find new homes for the toys that didn’t have a home before. Some toys that my oldest has chosen to donate I’ll tuck away in those convenient plastic tubs until my youngest will be ready to play with them.
3. Find the right organization:
            Finding the right organization for things is as important as removing clutter. I’ve turned to Pinterest many times for help finding the right organization for toys, art supplies, clothing, etc for our play room and the kids’ rooms. Check out our Pinterest board “Let’s Get Organized" for some other ideas too.  Even though it can be time consuming, labeling each bin is the best thing I have done. When it’s time to clean up you will never hear, “I don’t know where it goes…” brilliant!  You can keep the labels pretty basic, such as: Baby Doll Items, Games, Building, Animals, etc.

I’d love to hear about your tips for getting organized too! Happy spring cleaning!