Tip Tuesday — Toy Story 3: The Mama’s Revenge

Today’s topic is brought to you by Jessica of Sweet Mama Entropy, who gave some great tips on how to organize and store toys back in March.  The toys truly do seem to multiply but I don’t see them doing much to replenish my home. 

My number one favorite tip is to get rid of stuff.  Consider happy meal toys and party favor novelties disposable.  Once their charm has worn off, send them packing.  If the charm has worn off for you but not your child if it’s within her field of vision, send it packing in the dead of night. 

My mom used to go through our toys with us every few months and let us keep a certain number of stuffed animals.  The rest had to be donated to Goodwill.  We had a really great Christmas one year where we were heavily involved in a used teddy bear donation program.  We gathered the bears and helped wash and brush them to be given to other children.  It really helped us feel better about giving up our toys.

Integrate some toys into the décor of your home, rather than letting them become the décor of your home.  Buy nice baskets or storage ottomans or even cover cardboard boxes with pretty fabric.  If you can keep your entire house from looking like the Romper Room while still allowing your kids to feel like they can play somewhere besides their bedroom, I think you’re on the right track.

Then a tip for another day is getting your kids to clean up their toys.  At this point, I am using the old “you clean it up or I’ll clean it up into a trash bag in the garage” shtick.  I guess it works for lots of people.  One 3-year-old in Laylee’s ballet class picked up a toy in the waiting room today and said, “We have this!  Well…  It’s in the trash.  Well… Actually it’s out in the garage because we were in trouble of it.”

Hmmm…. So I’m not the only one to use this tactic?  I once used it on a college roommate.  No joke.  We would put all of her stuff in a garbage bag in the laundry room.  I don’t remember what we exactly thought gave us the right to do this or how she accepted it but I do remember that rather than clean up the stuff out of the laundry room, she would go in there and retrieve one item at a time as needed.  Then she’d leave it on the floor, the kitchen counter, my bed, and I’d put it back in the garbage bag.  Very strange.

Please share your tips for controlling toys, forcing your children to clean like slaves, or tormenting your college roommates.

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