Remember the days when you could look at your living room without crying? If the holiday gift-buying spree has made a mess out of your home, get your sanity back with these simple tips. It doesn’t matter how organized you are — a surplus of toys will always ensure your house is a stressor.
Choose Toys Wisely
Since you’ll probably be stuck with them for a while, it pays to be picky when it comes to buying toys. Avoid toys that are poorly made (cheap), not age-appropriate, unnecessarily large, or anything tied to a movie they will outgrow or lose interest in quickly. The best toys are versatile, encourage creativity and can easily be expanded upon, such as Legos or Lincoln Logs, board games, and Barbie or G.I. Joe sets.
Set Clear Boundaries
You can quickly reclaim order in your household by setting a few ground rules, such as ”no toys in the kitchen” or setting limits on the number of toys allowed out overnight, or setting a time the toys have to be put away by. Children are generally happier when they’re given clear expectations and fewer surprises.
Leave Some Toys Out-of-Reach
If you’re constantly finding paint stains on the carpet and puzzle pieces in the sofa cushions, it’s time to put them out of reach. Designating these messy toys as ”family toys” will give you more quality time with your child instead of scrubbing pen marks off the curtains.
Get the Kids to Buy In
Getting kids on board with the idea of ditching their stuff is a lot easier than it sounds. The trick is to make it an opportunity for them to define themselves and their interests. Encourage kids to make a pile of ”baby toys” to give away, and have them set aside any toys that no longer interest them. Separating these toys will help them appreciate how much they’ve grown and reconnect with toys they love but forgot about.