Sunday, September 4, 2011

And What With All the Toys?

Toys, toys and more toys?  They accumulate.  Birthdays, Christmas, small surprises given here and there.
Where do you keep them all?  How do you keep order?

Our solution is simple.  We have two areas designated for toy storage.  If the toys don't fit in those areas, something needs to go.  Twice a year, usually in early December and early summer we sort through.  We weed out.  Four piles are made - to keep, to toss, to donate, and to store.

The most loved stay.  The broken or the ones missing parts get tossed.  The toys no one ever plays with, the ones they don't love, are donated so they may be used by someone who does.  The fourth is for those toys that were once loved, that are still in good condition that the older boys have outgrown.  This pile gets boxed up and put in the attic and these toys are gifted to the youngest brother for Christmas or birthdays when he grows into them.

There is a cedar closet in the hallway of our split level home.  It would be great to use it for it's intended purpose, but it's not necessary as the bedroom closet is sufficient for Dan and I to share.  The rule is that bedrooms are for clothing, for books and for sleeping.

Toys go in the hallway closet and in a corner of the garage that has been designated for toys.  By using this method, the kids bedrooms are always tidy as they are manageable for them each morning.  Our house is not strewn with toys to be tripped over and each of the older boys is assigned one of the toy areas to manage daily.

Three tall storage bins in the closet- the smaller two on wheels.  The one in front slides out easily for the kids to reach the larger bins in back.  We rotate toys too from time to time- switching them from the garage to the closet and the closet to the garage.

Of course it gets out of hand now and then and they need a bit of help to put it back together.  Usually in the fall and in the spring I help them reorganize, doing more training each time.  How to take everything out, and put it all back where it belongs.  W

e talk a lot on these days about stewardship.  About taking care of what they have.  About being thankful for these items that are fun and enjoyable, but are not a need or a right that they have them.  We talk about what is really necessary.  It serves as a reminder to me as well... though we strive to care well for the material blessings, very few are really necessary.  Elijah answered well this week, "Jesus is all we need".

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