Sunday, August 18, 2013

How to Start Rotating Toys

Recently a few things have happened that have had me interested in having a system where we rotate toys that are out and able to be played with.

1. Inara's stuff is EVERYWHERE. I find little rings on the carpet, pretend food in the kitchen, princess magazines all over the place.  I instituted a new rule: "If I step on a toy, it's mine".  I really don't mind toys being out, but it was driving me really crazy to step on stuff all day long because it was in the middle of the floor.  She has so many toys, she really didn't even miss the ones I took away.

2. We don't have a lot of space.  Since we don't have closets or a basement, everything just has to be out.  This mean when the all toys are "out" they just end up all over the house because there isn't a place to keep them.

4.  I've been so convicted lately about how much "stuff" we all have in the house.  I find my self thinking "it would be nice to have a toy room if we ever move".  Then I think about what a first world problem that is...not having enough room for toys

3. Did I mention her stuff is everywhere :)

I've been really interested in it for a while but haven't had the time to do it, or money to buy container.  Well this last weekend God was such a good Dad and provided both!  Inara stayed at my parents Saturday night, so I was able to organize the toys while Shepherd was sleeping and Inara wasn't home.  We recently had some stuff given to us for Inara. They gave them to us in old diaper boxes, which just happen to be my favorite kind of box! (For real, I love buying diapers because it means I get a new big box to store stuff in. I'm cool).  We also ordered something from Amazon and got a box from that too.

So I hoped on Pinterest to find some toy rotating tips.  I found this link pinned and it seemed the best to me.   The first thing I did was bring all the toys into the living room. This really just made me sad.  We had so many toys (and really just stuff in our house), are rich by many worldly standards, yet I find myself still wanting more at times.

This also doesn't picture 3 boxes on the floor behind me

So anyway, once I had all the toys out, I organized them into piles.  The Intelligent Nest, suggests piling like items together (all pretend items together, all movement items together, etc). I knew this wouldn't really work for us because most of Inara's toys are pretend toys.  So this is how I organized them (for those of you who really even care): games, stuffed animals, clip princesses, big princesses, Starwars toys, Toy Story toys, musical toys, Squinkies, cars/trucks, Play-doh/creative toys, puzzles, and a random toys pile.  In doing so, I found lots of toys to throw away and even more toys/books to donate. I had 2 boxes to donate or sell because does Inara REALLY need 3 doctor kits? :)

I just chucked toys over the couch into a pile

Most people suggested sorting into 4 piles (one for each week in the month), but I knew the boxes God provided were small, so I opted for 6 piles (so essentially a new box every week for 6 weeks). This what was in my boxes:

Box 1
2 Puzzles
Build-A-Bear doll with accessories
Cookie Monster Play-doh set
Magnetic Princess Book
Big Baby doll

Box 2
2 puzzles
Small soccer ball
Ariel Play-Doh
Princess Cake Squinkies
Dora truck with family
2 puzzles 

Box 3
2 puzzles
Small magnadoodle
Starwars Toys 
(including this awesome Leia toy that she LOVES)
Mega Blocks car
Princess Cupcake game
(She really loves this game)
4 giraffe stuffed animals

Box 4
3 small puzzles
Toy Story toys
Ariel and chariot
Play-Doh Shake Shop
Small dinosaurs
Stuffed animal dog and accessories
Lego Read and Build

Box 5
1 large puzzles
Large Magnadoodle
Doctor kit
Bowling game
Pink truck
small baby doll
Princess dolls and accessories

Box 6
2 puzzles
Pink convertible car
Candy Jar Play-Doh
Clip Princesses and Aurora's Castle
Sesame Street Memory Game

5 of the 6 piles
I also have some toys that are out all the time and do not get put away.  Her dollhouse and dollhouse family, kitchen and food, small box of random toys, and Squinkie Mansion with some of the squinkies.

I had planned to just keep all the books out, but once I saw all the books we had I decided to separate them into 6 piles too.  Each pile has a couple princess books, a few Sesame Street books, a Thomas the Train book, and then about 4 other books.  I put the books in separate boxes and plan to rotate the boxes every Sunday too.  Right now I have the books in separate boxes as the toys because my toy boxes aren't big enough for both.  But it would be nice to eventually only have 1 box per week with both toys/books.

It's only been a week and I think everything has been going pretty good. Our house and Inara's room are noticeably cleaner and she seems to have enough toys out to play with.  Also, I feel less stressed because even if all her toys for the week are out, our house doesn't look like a total disaster...just a small disaster. :) Justin did have some suggestions so we did change just a few toys that are to be left out the whole time.  I'm hoping this will also show us what toys she actually plays with. That way we can get rid of the toys she outgrown.

Have you guys ever done a toy rotation? Any tips?

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