I hope you all enjoyed the holidays as much as we did here. We’ve already taken down our tree and put away all the decorations. A little bit of a cleaning bug hit me and I decided we needed to declutter our playroom a bit more than we had before Christmas.
My kids, as you can read in Remember The Reason For The Season and So Much More Than A Basketball, were doubly blessed with gifts this year. That doesn’t include the gifts they received from their older siblings and their father. So when they were instructed to ‘put away’ their toys it became apparent that we had not gotten rid of enough things before Christmas. The following are some picks of what we had going on:
The book cases were overflowing, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but we couldn’t fit any more books on the shelves. The toys piling up in front of the chalkboard were a problem though. As well as the other toys and baskets being piled on top of things and hidden inside of cabinets. Then there was there problem of not being able to find their new favorite toys because of all the clutter.
It was stressful for me just to walk in there, not too mention trying to clean around everything. It was such a chore to pick up this to vacuum, then pick up something else and hope you didn’t knock something else down. Trying to dust was almost impossible and there were so many little things getting vacuumed up I was afraid I was going to kill the vacuum.
I grabbed a couple of trash bags, a laundry basket, and a tote. Big sister and I started in one corner of the room and went around it in a full circle. Every area was taken apart, dumped out, and sorted through. If there was an item that didn’t belong in that area it was placed into the laundry basket so it could be put away properly.
Some of the items that were seasonal, like some sensory bins and activities for Fall, were placed into the tote. Broken toys were thrown away and toys that they had outgrown or no longer played with were put into another bag to donate.
When we finished we had several small bags of books to donate and two trash bags of toys to bless others with. There was a bag of broken toys and other items to be thrown away. Then the seasonal items were put away for later in the upcoming year. Some of the toys and books were passed along to their little cousin. The TV that had been in the cabinet was passed along to big brother and the cabinet now holds the laptops and chargers plus a couple of items for younger kids to play with when we have visitors.
Below are some pictures of the results:
The kids are much happier now that they have the toys organized. There are also some empty bins for new things that Momma may pull out of the closets later on. We were able to set up some individual areas for magnet/dry erase play, dinosaurs and legos, and an area for the kitchen and food play. They have their dinosaur skeleton on display and they can easily look at it. There is also a space where they can play with the Spielgaben set and/or the light panel that we have.
The bookshelves are so much better looking now and they actually have an area where they can sit and read. The storage table now holds their dress up and the new race car sets that they got for Christmas. The top of the table turns over and has a flat surface that they can set the race tracks up on so it works out great.
So far the only downside was that I moved the storage bench out and now I can’t reach the calendar to change out the month or days. Sigh, the constant struggles of being short. Luckily I have a kitchen stool that works just fine and I did get the calendar switched out.
My kids were happy to pass along some blessings to other kids that may not have gotten quite as much for Christmas. There were actually a couple of new toys that I passed along as well as I knew the kids would not play with them. This is something that we do every couple of months and sometimes they will actually bring me something that they no longer play with and ask me to pass it along to someone else.
I am slowly trying to pare down our belongings as the more stuff you have, the more clutter you have, and ultimately the more stress you have from keeping up with it and cleaning it. In the end it frees up some of my time also by not having to clean it, move it, or take care of it. Do you have something that you aren’t using? Why don’t you pass it along to someone who can use it. You’ll feel so much better.