Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Culling the Herd

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when all the toys we owned could fit into a breadbasket. When CJ was a baby, we would collect all of his little stuffed animals and rattles at the end of the day, then pat ourselves on the back for keeping the house so tidy when we had a four-month-old.

Don't worry, you don't have to kick me in the shins for being so smug. The universe already took care of that.

Fast-forward two years and I am constantly wading through a toy swampland. I can no longer stomach the nightly chore of tidying up, so we just start the next day with yesterday's activities strewn all about.

And now that Christmas is coming I have a stinking suspicion that our toys are going to have some new buddies, so obviously it was time for a makeover.

I had two goals:

1) Put some toys in storage and establish a schedule to rotate the old boring toys and the "new" toys.

2) Establish a "toy lending library" system. I read about this over at Young House Love a few months ago and I have been wanting to try it ever since. Basically, most toys are kept out of reach and only one activity is allowed out at a time. If you don't pick up, then no new toy.
I was feeling very ambitious on Monday and Noni had actually agreed to take her morning nap, so I got right to it.

First I got all the toys from various locations all over the house and put them in a central location. Then I started weeding out everything in the following categories:

Toys--not technically toys.
Seriously, Eva, you were letting them play with a bicycle pump? There were also some casters of unknown provenance, a shim, and various other tools and DIY supplies that didn't make it into the shot. Also a lot of dirty laundry.

Toys--intended for felines.
This isn't the half of it, but Pippin ran off with most of them.

Goodbye, rattles, teethers, and stuffies! See you again next time we have a wee baby. Noni no longer fits the bill.

Whatever was left (and there was still a lot) got divided up three ways:
  • Sewing room toys I put a lot of boring toys in this box because, let's face it, they would rather be playing with my craft supplies)
  • Living room toys This is where we spend the bulk of the day, so the living room got all the best toys, including the play kitchen, art supplies, and puzzles
  • Toys to put in the basement until the kids forget about them.The toys that annoy me the most  had the privileged of getting thrown in this box. Good riddance. See you in two months.

In case you're wondering, the kids' bedrooms got zero toys each because we SO do not need the drama. Those babies need to be in dark quiet jail, or sleeping just doesn't happen.

I spent all day on this project, and somehow the living room still looked like this:


The good news is, CJ caught on to the "lending library" concept pretty quickly. The bad news is that he is a super-star puzzle-doer, so I have to stop what I am doing every 2.6 seconds to get him a new puzzle.

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Postscript: There's more Humblebee on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Hope to see you there! Especially on Instagram. I love Instagram.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if you could find a way for him to put away his own puzzles and get out a new one? They make those nice puzzle racks, for example...

    Thanks for reminding me that I really need to get on purging some toys before Christmas...ugh!