MMDH: Design Tips for Reclaiming Your Home
I have met a lot of parents lately who have put their home updates on hold until they get out of the "kids toys have taken over" phase of their lives. To date, I have paused when I hear this, and just smiled and nodded...not totally understanding where they are coming from, but also not wanting to completely disagree. Some people are game for keeping extensive toys out and about in their everyday living spaces, but I feel like I need to say that I don't believe that is a requirement when you have young kids running around.
I'm a big proponent of keeping toys and excess clutter hidden...even if you don't have a separate toy room or basement. I am a hoarder by nature, so this is not the easiest thing for me to do. It took years of practice to get everything paired down and assigned a place in our home. Whether it is a closet that I have nearly fully dedicated to recycled wrapping supplies, or a basement shelving unit that we have assigned to small toys; once these areas of the house are approaching the overloaded status (realized over the weekend that they currently are), we have a clean out session (we are overdue).
To me, it is so important that our house does not get consumed by any one specific thing, especially toys that the kids don't have enough time in the day to play with. We regularly go through toys with our two and five year old to figure out what they are okay with passing along to kids who don't have an excess number of toys. We have done this enough times with our five year old that he is game for getting rid of some toys that I actually want him to keep (my hoarder tendencies coming through strong in these instances)...and our two year old has started to randomly suggest she should get rid of even her favorite dollies to someone who doesn't have dollies. Life lessons from the get go over here!!
Typically the toys that I want to keep have some sort of sentimental value, and can become a decorative accessory somewhere in the house... a wooden pull toy that is too good to give up, a colorful block set that has become less interesting than Legos for the moment, etc. We still keep one bin of baby toys around for friends and family who come and visit, but for the most part, anything our kids have outgrown or lost interest in completely is out the door within six months of its last use.
So, if you haven't had a clean out session with your kids in a while, now is as good of a time as ever to make it happen!