With the threat of impending snow weeks away, every year I go into a flurry of activity trying to finish a load of house projects before the weather turns.
Let’s be honest, I also start a few, like when I ripped out carpet from my entire main floor and had to scrape all the glued rubber backing off. Within my balancing act of pre-snow projects, I also go into major declutter mode. The thought of many more hours indoors leaves me yearning for space to breathe and to have altogether less “stuff.”
Looking back, I’d say I didn’t know the true definition of clutter until I had toddlers. Cute toddlers, whose smiles conjure up gift upon gift from their adoring grandparents. Of their toys I’d say that at any given time they only play with 20 to 30 per cent of the ones that are out.
Cue toy rotation.
First step: Cull the toys that are no longer age-appropriate or liked and can be given away. Also remove all broken toys and trash them.
Second step: Weed out any seasonal toys that are not in season. Water guns can go away. Golf clubs be gone! Store and label them with the correct season.
Third step: Divide toys into three categories: thinking toys, moving toys (such as cars and balls), and pretending toys.
Fourth step: Create a selection of each category of toys to be kept out, and organize those in the play space. Create bins for groupings of toys, and label and store them so that you can bring them out in the future.
In our home, our kids have favourites that stay out pretty much year round. Lego Star Wars gets played with daily and so they get to stay out. We’ve also moved them to a place that is much more convenient for daily play.
I love how much more use the kids get out of their toys when they’re rotated and the excitement they have when a new batch that they had forgotten about comes out. I also love how much less cluttered our living spaces are.