I was searching the web and found this video talking about stuff taking over your house. They show a play room full of toys all over the place! This reminded me us when we moved here to Ft. Collins, CO.
We moved here in August 2005. Robert Enrique was 1.5yr back then! We live in a small apartment of two bedrooms, one bathroom (all upstairs) and of course, kitchen, dinning and living rooms (downstairs). We have limited space but this was not kind of understood by Robert’s grandparents (Robert is the first grandson in both parts, you get the idea!). When we went to PR for Christmas, we came back with 2 suitcases of toys! Can you imagine this? Were could we put all this? He seemed not to care about them all! They were so many! We had two baskets downstairs and the rest in his room. But when he was getting older and we were using his room for time outs, instead he was playing! Definitely we were feeling overwhelmed!
Then I watched an episode of Super Nanny about toys! And voila! She has this method of just picking certain amount of toys, say 10 in our case. Your kids get to choose them. Leave them in their toy chest or baskets and the rest you put away in boxes. After a week, a month or whatever you decide, you rotate them. You take down the boxes, let your child choose again and put the old ones back in the boxes. It worked like a charm! and these are the things we observed while doing this:
- We didn’t had the mess we had before! :) More clean spaces!
- We had the toys organized!
- Robert Enrique was proud to choose the toys he wanted.
- He learned to respect that the other toys were not allowed.
- He learned to put his toys away every night before going to sleep (it was easy, not overwhelming to him because they were not as many as before).
- He got to appreciate every single toy he have. He plays with them as if they are new! Every time we rotate his toys he gets exited; is like going to Toys R Us!
Definitely this technique has helped us a LOT!
Another thing we have adopted (because of our limited space) is to re-evaluate his toys once a year to see if they are or are not age appropriate. This is a great way to keep up with the toys. The ones that are not, we send back to PR for a future baby, but if we were not to use them anymore is a great way to donate, sell, give away what you are not using and not allowing toys take over your house!
I really recommend these techniques, specially if you don’t want your whole house become a nursery or a huge play room! :)