Friday, January 22, 2010

Too Many Toys = Chaos

I don't know about you, but sometimes I just really have the feeling that my kids have too many toys. It probably crosses my mind the most when I'm struggling to get the boys down for their nap and it finally happens (Thank God!) then as I'm tip toeing down the hall trying to be stealthy as to not wake up my precious, although extremely cranky, 1 .5 yr old and 2.5 yr old toddlers when "SPEED? I AM SPEED? VROOOOOOOOOMMMMM!"
...That would be the sound of the Lighting MacQueen Shake 'n' Go speedracer car as I trip over it and send it racing down the hall.

"Mommy?! MacQueen?? I LOVE MACQUEEN!"

Yep. I just woke them up with my unfailing gracefulness. However I often can't help but to wonder if the "less is more" concept could very well be applied to our toy dilema. I've tried just about every toy organization unit on the market, we have 2 overflowing toy boxes and many skillfully stacked piles of toys throughout our 1,100 sq ft home. At any given time, the boy's bedroom floor may or may not be visible under a few dozen matchbox cars that "Not Me" dumped out, various stuffed animals and "toys" with so many bells & whistles that I'm convinced that the Toy Companies teamed up with Pharmaceutical Companies to drive moms crazy. You see, if they sell enough toys with enough noisemakers, Moms accross the world will have no choice but to buy some sort of medication to keep their sanity. I swear I can hear Elmo singing the alphabet in my sleep.

So we're trying something new. I went out and bought 4- 25 gallon plastic totaes. We left 1 toy box with some favorite toys in their bedroom and we're using the other toy box to store extra blankets and linen (this is also tackling our overcrowded linen closet- woohoo!). All the rest of toys go in these totes. I use a 3X5 card to label what's inside each tote and then we stack them up in the closet. If the boys get bored with what's in the toy box they can pull out ONE tote. However, before than can pull out another tote, the first one needs to be cleaned up and put away.
Today is our first day using this system. Surprisingly they haven't even noticed that 80% of their toys are no longer scattered all over. They're playing more quietly with the few favorites in the toy box, they're playing less destructively (no throwing, smashing etc.) and most impressively they're playing TOGETHER more. It's been a pretty quiet morning and as I look around my living room I am no longer struck with the yucky feeling that a toy store may have barfed all over my home.

I can see my floor...and I like it.

Humble Homemaking Words to Live By:

"To keep one's voice sweet, one's face bright, one's will steady, one's patience unperturbed, in the arena of the home, in the light of one's own family, is no light task" ~Margaret Sangster

No comments:

Post a Comment