Wrapping paper is overflowing your garbage can. Family has come and gone. You’ve burned through 5 packs of batteries and still need more. You have cut your fingers on plastic and cardboard boxes that have Barbies and action figures tethered to them.
The holiday is over, but now your children have doubled their toy arsenal and you don’t have the space for it.
Keeping a child’s bedroom or a dedicated toy room clean can feel like an impossible task to begin with. The second you clean up, the kids find a way to undo your hard work. And during the holidays a new onslaught of toys comes piling in making any existing order vanish within a day.
Don’t let this year’s monstrous pile of gifts turn your toy room into a war zone. Use these tips to maintain order.
5 Ways to Clear Space for New Toys
- Donate old toys.
“Donate all toys that haven’t been played with in the past year. Make the child, if old enough, part of the process. Explain where the toys are going and how other children who are not as fortunate will now be able to play with toys that are new to them,” says Leslie Jacobs of LesMess.com.
It may sound like an obvious solution, but there’s no better time than after new toys come in to convince your kids that it’s the right thing to do to let go of the unused items.
- Elevate your storage.
Is the toy chest overflowing? Do you have cubbies ready to burst? Give yourself more space by getting the clutter off the floor and onto shelves or in cabinets.
“Furniture takes up floor space in a room so, one of the best ways to have organized space is to integrally build into the furniture. Not only is it functional but, it is also an attractive way to display your favorite toys or artwork,” says Patricia Davis Brown of Professional Kitchen and Bath Plans.
- Temporarily store toys.
If you have a storage unit or attic space to spare, there may be an alternative to your toy troubles says Jessica Decker of BecomeOrganized.net.
“Place some toys in storage. In a few months, replace the new toys toys with the ones in storage to create a rotation to keep toys interesting,” says Decker.
- Keep it contained.
One of the easiest pitfalls in a toy room is to stack toys on top of toys. Before you know it the room you once called a den is a toy free-for-all. Make sure you have the ability to store and contain all of your kids’ playthings.
“Designate a container or basket for each category of toy and only keep what fits. For example, if you have one basket filled with dolls, that means that you can only keep as many dolls as can fit in the baskets – any extras are donated,” says Jordan Bloom of Rachel and Company.
- Involve the kids.
Keeping a playroom clean doesn’t have to be the sole responsibility of the parents. Make the kids responsible for helping keep the room neat and create a space that allows them to help.
“Kids as young as 2 and 3 can organize their own space with very little parent help (but still lots of verbal direction) if the space is set up well. Labels for the smallest children who are not yet reading can be pictures of toys that belong in each container. Use a picture from the product box or clip art from the computer, and use clear packing tape to affix it to the bins,” says Darla DeMorrow of HeartWork Organization.
Instead of letting new toys from the holidays take over another space in your home, get organized and strategic about what happens to toys new and old.