This week's Project Simplify Hot Spot is kids' clothes and/or toys. Yikes! While I've already done some basic seasonal clothes-swapping (and some associated low-intensity purging) for my girls and plan to start on Jacob next,sorting through the kids' toys has really been on my to-do list for at least a year now. So I decided to focus my energy on toys.
I've tried to keep the main living area of our house from looking like romper room, but still, toys are everywhere in this house. The full list of rooms that contain toys:
(1) Upstairs playroom
(3) Jacob's room
(4) Elizabeth's room
(5) Caroline's room
(6) Family room
(8) Master bathroom
(9) Girls' bathroom
And, depending on the day, the master bedroom and the laundry room. The only rooms that are generally safe from toys are the dining room and the living room. While I made significant progress in many of these rooms, in the interest of keeping this post from becoming unruly I'm going to focus on the work I did in the playroom.
I really didn't think I'd get to the finish line until an unexpected bout of insomnia hit me on Wednesday night. I had fallen asleep putting Caroline to bed, woke up at 1 a.m., and then could not go back to sleep. I gave up at 3 a.m. and decide to declutter instead! I think the fact that I was tired really helped with the process, as I was too foggy to get all sentimental about things. Now don't get me wrong -- I still kept bins full of toys and books(to be stored in the attic), but I also managed to box up quite a bit for charity. When I was struggling with letting go of, say, certain board books that I remember reading to my kids, I'd think of other children getting to enjoy them and it made it much easier to add them to the donate box.
Books & stuffed animals:
Close-up of the Doll Central -- Barbies and little dolls in the toy chest, American Girl doll clothes in the armoire, and then assorted clothes/bottles/accessories in the doll care center. (Jacob is slowly moving out of the prime "toy" years (sniff!) so the playroom has kind of been taken over by the girls' toys. Don't worry though - he manages to have his things spread throughout most of the rest of the house!)
Other side of playroom:
Play food all goes in the bins and shelves of the play market. Play cookware, bakeware, etc goes in the kitchen. Puzzles are to the right of the kitchen.
The playroom is really a small unused bedroom, and there is a decent-sized closet in it. One side of closet:
Much as I love Sterilite bins (and have used them in some capacity for toy storage for a while) I'm not sure they are the best choice for toys. We have more open toy storage in the basement, and the kids can get at the toys themselves more easily. Still, this system works okay for keeping toys under control in the closet, even though I need to be involved with getting down and putting up these toys.
I obviously still have a long way to go on the road to real decluttering, as evidenced by the fact that I have a bin with this label:
Board game side of closet:
It feels good to have this toy area a little more under control!