I grew up in a family of 3 children, and we never had much money for toys. My siblings and I used to play with paper dolls, marbles, stones, bottle caps and whatever unused items at home that we turned them into toys.
Time has changed. Little Edison is my only son and he has toys enough for 10 children! It is crazy, I tell you.
Kids generally play with toys and leave them here and there. The same goes to Little Edison, except for a few toy cars that he cherishes and he will arrange them nicely before he goes to sleep. We’re lucky to have a helper to do the clean-up every night; otherwise it will be a real nightmare to me.
Nonetheless, I realized that it’s time to get them organized. I want to discard some of the worn-out toys, keep away toys that he has outgrown, figure out a place to store them, buy some proper storage boxes and start sorting out all his toys.
I went to Ikea to look for toy storage boxes and I found this – Kusiner mesh basket with lid. It’s great because we can see what’s inside the basket through the net. So, I bought them to store our toys. I organize his toys into three main groups – outdoor & water play, action figures & cars and soft toys & all others. That will be one basket for each group.
Next, I worked on the bigger toys. I always have this habit of keeping the boxes of big toys in my store after opening them. Now, I will dismantle the big toys and keep them in their own boxes. The biggest challenge was to dismantle the giant Fisher Price Rainforest Jumperoo. Apparently, the instruction manual only teaches us how to assemble the Jumperoo.
With lots of patience, I started to dismantle it part by part. I cleaned them, packed them into separate bags and finally, put them all into the big box. Sealed and kept in the store. I bought this Jumperoo in Dec 2007 and it served us well for the past two years. I can still remember vividly the excitement in Little Edison when he was jumping in it. But now, he doesn’t want play with it anymore.
After all the hard works, I realized that I need to follow-up periodically, go through his toys and maintain some amount of order to prevent build-up of toys again. Daddy V commented that the BEST way to prevent it is to STOP buying toys. He may be right, but when the shopaholic in me strikes again, I tend to forget and shop again.
Mommies, how do you manage your children’s outgrown toys? Any tips to share?