I have been feeling overwhelmed by stuff lately. Too many toys, too many clothes, in general, TOO MUCH STUFF! While browsing pinterest the other night, desperately searching for ideas of what to do with the clutter in our house, I found this fantastic blog called Little Stories: Early Speech & Language Development. There were three posts that I read that totally inspired our toy transformation and clean out.
Here are the links to the posts if you want to read them.
Boy, did we clean out!
It is amazing how quickly things accumulate without you realizing it.
What I was most concerned about, was that SJ seemed to not want to play with her toys. I thought I had already greatly limited things, but in fact there were still too many things out for her to pick from.
I was also growing tired of the clean-up process at the end of the day. We encourage SJ to clean up her own things and we are working hard to implement the same concept that she uses in the classroom (you can't get something new out until you put what you were working with away first), but not every day is perfect. There are days when everything is out and I end up putting it all away at the end of the day. After reading the Little Stories blog, I saw where I was going wrong. Even though I felt there wasn't a lot out for SJ to play with, in fact there were still too many things. 10 is the magic number given on Little Stories. So we got to work yesterday!
Here is the before & the clean out process.
(Please ignore the short length of the curtains. Land of Nod was having a fantastic sale a few weeks ago and I purchased them at a great discount. Of course they were too short and by the time I received them, the longer ones were sold out. Luckily we can lower the curtain rod! I have plans to paint SJ's room this spring, so we are holding off on moving the rod until then).
Toys that we were keeping, but putting away for later rotation went into a large plastic tub.
It was like Christmas during the clean out, because SJ discovered toys she hadn't played with in some time.
We got rid of anything that was broken, not age appropriate, duplicates, or things that had just lost their allure.
Having everything out was a real eye opener to how many things were really contained in her space.
Her closet is the next thing I am going to tackle.
I had organized it a while back (you can see that here)
It is overflowing once again, even after the clean out.
The closet is definitely on my to do list!
After the clean out. It was amazing how calm and open the room felt after we had gotten rid of a lot of things and removing a great deal of the toys. Even SJ noticed. She got right to playing!
Each basket only has a few items, with the exception of the stuffed animal basket. SJ doesn't really play with stuffed animals, but wasn't up for parting with them yesterday. Another day.
The dress-up area was OVERFLOWING with jewelry, gloves, shoes, crowns, etc. So we put only a few of each in the baskets, leaving plenty for later rotation.
See how jam packed the closet is! Yikes!
I had to put the tub in there for now, but hopefully once I work on the closet, it will feel less overcrowded and more funcational to SJ's needs.
Stuff to sell, donate, throw-away, and take to grandparent's houses!
It feels so good to clean out.
These bins use to be overflowing with toys.
The little sets and objects that she loves to play with are now seperated into containers for easy play and clean-up.
The next step is to put pictures on top so she know what is inside and what goes where.
Playmobil stuff was greatly limited, as each set comes with tons of pieces. We decided to keep out the house and the barn for now. The house pieces were put in one container and the barn pieces in a basket.
Peppa Pig set that can also be used for playing in the Playmobil house.
We left out two babies and only a few accessories. Before the clean out we had all of her babies and baby accessories in one bin. She never played with any of it and I can't say I blamed her. She couldn't see what she had unless she dumped it all out.
Playmobil barn pieces.
SJ got right to playing when the clean out was complete.
All in all I feel like it was a pretty successful venture and I really look forward to seeing how this changes the way that she plays.