If you do not have a dedicated play room, keep your children’s toys in one central location that’s intended for play time. Don’t spread them out throughout your home. This keeps everything together in the child’s mind and will help you not to lose yours. When it comes time for clean up it wont seem so overwhelming. Think about it - would you keep some of your kitchen utensils in the bathroom and your mixing bowls in the living room? That would make cooking really overwhelming and the same goes for play time and clean up.
Limiting your children’s toys and games is not depriving them. It will actually help them to see what they have and play with intention. Having fewer physical things to play with helps spark my 3 year old daughter’s imagination. When we play Dentist she thinks back to recent office visits and explains to me that “eating sugar will give me cavities so no lollipops.” Giving children too many toys to play with, or toys with too many bells and whistles, limits their imagination and their attention span.
3) Ask Yourself Why
Coming up with a short list of “why” you’re purging is helpful. Here are some examples of why I chose to purge our families play room.
- I want my children to be able to clearly see what they have and make it easily accessible to their tiny hands
- I want my children to be more creative and only keep items that spark their imagination
- I want to create a happy home with less conflict about cleaning up large messes
4) Give Happily
The recent buzz over “sparking joy” is spreading rapidly for a reason. When we are grateful for the things we have, our happiness grows. When we surround ourselves with the few things we truly love and that “spark joy” we lead happier lives with less overwhelm. Include your children when purging your play room. Decide which toys truly enhance play time and which you happily give away to someone else who will use them more often.
5) Use Baskets
I’ve noticed that if I hand my daughter a basket and ask her to place the toys on floor inside, she sees it as a game. Cleaning up can be made easier and more fun when you have various baskets to tuck all of the little items into at the end of the day. Plus it’s nice to not have to look at the toys when I’m enjoying my evening glass of wine with the kids are tucked in bed.