There are no more toys in our kids’ bedrooms. There are no more toys in the kitchen. There are no more toys in the living room. They have migrated on the winds of the Northern Wind called Mommy.
Our toys have been relocated to one central location – the new “play room” in our basement/den area. One spot – not spread all over the house. It’s amazing, I’ll tell you.
I was inspired by Large Family Logistics and Large Families on Purpose that bedrooms should be for sleeping and privacy. When I started thinking on that, it made sense to me. I don’t go to my bedroom to play. I go there to sleep or because I’m about to have a break down and need a minute.
When my kids had toys in their room, it was easier for them to disobey…because at a young age, they think if you can’t see them, it’s totally okay for them to disregard what you said. But when their toys are located in a communal area where everyone is, it keeps them accountable (which is also why our computer is in the living room on full display.)
Honestly, I felt like I needed to have toys anywhere the kids might want to play – so it was making this house a little disheveled. But I don’t keep books anywhere I might want to read – I keep them in one spot and tote them as needed. If I want to paint my toenails in the kitchen sometimes and sometimes in the bedroom, I don’t need polish in both spots. I do however, need toilet paper at both toilets.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up says not to “separate storage.” Things one of type should be stored together. Unless you or I live in a colossally huge house, going to get something that we might need can’t take us a huge amount of time. And it might even take us LESS when we actually know where everything is stored. Can I get a witness?!
So, I decluttered the toys and now we are keeping toys in one spot. I know I got rid of at least half of what we had…maybe even more because I’m still discarding stuff as needed.
I’ve noticed that my children LOVE this change. They seem to play better together and enjoy what they have more. They know where their toys are – because everything is there.
This has made is SO much easier for us to clean up after play time is over. We have one room to conquer – not every room in the house. Everything has a place and we know where it goes when we’re done.
If they want to play with a toy in the kitchen, they go get it and bring it with them. And take it back when they are done. I’ve had NO complaints about this…but honestly, if I did I would probably just laugh – get your exercise on, kiddos! 🙂 I’m kinda sarcastic when the whine breaks out here.
I know you might not have the space to dedicate one room to a play area – we are very blessed to have this basement room to use as needed. But you DO have the ability to make ONE area for play instead of having stuff stored all over the place. It should make it easier for you to clean up, easier to keep things contained, and easier for you to keep stuff under control. You can’t know what you have when things are stored in every room.
As we finish up decluttering our home, we’ve decided to make this house into a home so I’m actually decorating our house like I’ve always wanted to. So, our basement is a work in progress and already looks nothing like what is pictured here. We’ve gotten new flooring and I’m starting to arrange things how they look best – I want our toy area to be place of respite and fun for my kids. And a place where they can play while I make dinner. 😉
**You can follow me on Instagram to see our house progress.**
Now, I’ve been told this doesn’t work if you have teenagers – but I’m not at that point in our life. I only have small children (6, almost 3, and 10 months) so I’ll tackle that when I get there. I still think toys in one area is a good idea, no matter the age. But I do know that later on, they will want their “own” storage areas.