I actually started this before Christmas, with a big teddy bear relocation – they now all live in the girls’ room, under their bed or in their beds (though they do tend to have an occasional wander around the house, and need to be persuaded to go back to their homes).
After Christmas, I continued by spending an evening going through the toy corner in the living room. I ended up with a binbag full of broken or unusable toys and little bits from toys that could not be reunited with their owners. I also have two large boxes of toys for the charity shop, though, since they’re still sitting in the basement, I shall take them to playgroup’s jumble sale next month to help with the fundraising efforts (we need to raise around £30,000 to update the building which is almost at the end of its life!). I took out baby/toddler toys like shape sorters and pop up toys and a few other things that the girls don’t tend to play with.
Then I used some small colourful baskets I picked up in Homebase and sorting some of the bigger baskets into smaller categories, so that they could be more easily played with. There are now small baskets for:
- toy food
- cooking utensils and crockery
- other role play toys (e.g. medical equipment and tools), though I would have liked to split that down some more, but run out of baskets
- wild animals
- domestic and farm animals
- Happyland people and animals.
The bigger baskets in the unit contain transport, toy computers and there is a “miscellaneous” basket, which is where children and Chris are supposed to put anything they’re not sure where it goes. The green stool contains barbies and barbie accessories and the orange one contains bags. The bucket has wooden blocks in it, as they do still enjoy building towers and walls out of blocks.
And there’s also the big box of Lego Duplo (we need a small box for normal Lego now, though, as we have various small kits dotted around the house and I’m now frequently finding little bits of Lego under foot!
And I moved all the board games (and card games and puzzles) into the cupboard. And we no longer have big, overflowing baskets on top of the cupboard and blocking the daylight.
This is one of those tasks I’ve been meaning to do for ages and it only took one evening (well, plus the cuddly toy relocation).
One of the best things about doing a toy declutter and sort out is that the girls rediscover toys they’d forgotten about or can more easily play in new ways.
Here, the girls have made a cafe, using two of the boxes (and the various stools).
And LaLa was particularly pleased to have the HappyLand bits and pieces more accessible and easy to find. (Previously, all the HappyLand people and animals were in a big “animals and people” basket, and it took a lot of scrabbling to find them.)
I do, of course, have a bunch of other similar decluttering and sorting projects I’d like to do and it would be nice to try to do at least one a month, if not two a month, if possible, but I’m not going to make any promises. Work is getting busier again now, to the point where I’ve had to work a good few evenings recently, so there might not always be an evening to set aside. I am finding my mental health suffers if I don’t get some drawing and painting done regularly – ideally every day – so I don’t want to devote too many evenings to decluttering and sorting.
At the top of my current list are:
- LaLa’s clothes – box up all the clothes that are genuinely too small for her (she’s still squeezing into leggings and tops that say 18 months!), get down the next box of RoRo’s old clothes for her, build one of the cubey units to go in her room and keep trousers, tops and jumpers in there instead (in the boxes that used to be on top of the cupboard in the living room) and use the small drawers in her wardrobe for underwear and pyjamas
- children’s books – give little tiny books and most board books to charity, highlight some of the great picture books in the The reorganised book corner, um, two years ago! bookcase, sort chapter books and story collections out so that RoRo can find them easily, set aside all the learning to read books for LaLa who is really on the verge of digging in properly to them
- filing – get a filing cabinet and get back on top of business and household filing – and throw out the old stuff that we’re not obliged to keep.
None of these are huge projects and each should be doable in an evening, with a bit of time during the day to put things back in their room. I’m not going to set a deadline for these, though, because that doesn’t seem to work. I’ll just keep them on my radar and try to them soon.
Have you been doing any sorting and decluttering this month? Do you find the urge to do this kind of thing in January?