There's a quote by Phyllis Diller that I absolutely love: "Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the sidewalk before it stops snowing.”
Seriously. Isn't that so true? Playing with toys, making a mess and having fun is what my kids love the most. But, there comes point when you've tripped on too many legos and your living room resembles an obstacle course on the t.v. show Survivor. Enough is enough. It's time to get organized.
I'm not an organizing expert, but this is something that I'm constantly working on. Here are 10 strategies for de-cluttering and organizing toys in your child’s playroom that I'd like to share with you:
1) Sometimes it may seem easier just to clean up yourself. But, the kids need to help. I am guilty of cleaning up after my kids and I'm working on breaking this habit. The sooner they learn that cleaning up THEIR toys in THEIR responsibility, the better.
2) Prioritize. Families are usually on-the-go and there never seems to be enough time to get things done. Choose your battles. If a clean play room means that everything is pushed to the walls making a clear path to walk, just accept it.
3) Find a local charity and donate the toys that your kids are done playing with. It's a green way to do something good for the community. It teaches children from an early age that it's good to give. Plus, no one wants to end up on Hoarders anyway, right?
4) Try to recycle what you can. Whenever I am sorting through my kids' playroom, I always find little cardboard, paper or plastic peices and they always go into the recycle bin.
5) It's okay to throw things in the trash. As parents, we know how much things costs and sometimes, it's hard to throw things out. But, if things aren't in good enough shape to donate or recycle, we have to remember, it's okay to throw away!
6) Consignment shops, Ebay and Craigslist are also a good way to de-clutter and make a little extra cash. My mom actually bought an outdoor ride on at a yardsale for $7 and two years later, I sold it on Craigslist for $20. Cha-ching!
7) Everything needs a home. If children are aware of where things need to go, it makes it much easier for them to clean up.
8) Upcycle your toys into a new craft. One easy way to reuse little toys is to make a sensory box with some of those little toys you find around the house.
9) Get creative with storage solutions. I recently turned a shoe rack and some storage boxes into a new unit to house little toys and it worked great!
10) Don't be afraid to call in help! Ask your friends for ideas and don't be afraid to admit that you need help organizing. Sometimes, my friends have the best, yet most simple ideas, that really help!
I definitely don't have the magic solution to keeping a tidy house, and I think this is a constant battle that most moms deal with. If you have a great idea for de-cluttering and organizing, I'd love to hear about it!