The other day one of my Instagram peeps asked me about our toy collection, and I thought it was the perfect time to discuss it and our children’s book collection.
First, I must admit that my boys aren’t really “toy kids.” They’d much rather be in front of a screen or outside, in that order. SMH. But, sometimes they are in the mood to play with toys, and therefore I’ve had to create space and rules for them.
I have two main rules for anything in our home, toys and books included: 1) it must be something that we either love or need and 2) it must have a home. Anything outside of these two rules simply isn’t here. At the stage of motherhood I’m in, the management of the toys and books mostly falls on me, so why would I make things harder than they have to be? I have enough going on! Can I get a witness? Oh, and I also try to limit the toys that come in via birthdays and Christmas, too. Here’s how I handled it last Christmas.
Again, the two aforementioned rules apply. If the toys are neither used nor have a home, they’re sold or donated. The only unused toys we keep are for our baby girl to eventually play with.
Toys in the playroom
Yep, those are all of the toys they have. As you can see, I’ve limited my children’s toys to the playroom, so we don’t have toys all over the house. I’m not the mama who has tons of random containers holding a gazillion random toys. I see some of y’all. *squints eyes* I purchased the shelving units at Ikea, and will be going back for a third to hold my daughter’s toys. The bins in the units we have aren’t full, which leaves space for more. Also, the larger toys are few and also limited to the the playroom. I’m not finished with our playroom, but it works for now.
The toys we have in the bins are: K’nex, train set accessories, blocks, Magna-tiles, Little People figures and accessories, action figures, cars, and animal/dinosaur figures. I try to make sure the toys we have can be used by multiple ages, if possible.
The only other toys we have in the house are currently in our dining room and homeschool room. I’m still debating whether or not to sell the train/Lego table that’s in the homeschool room. The boys don’t really play with it, but something is telling me to hold on to it for a little while longer. The mini-kitchen in the dining room is played with frequently, and I’m sure my daughter will enjoy it once she’s older.
I love tons o’ books and I cannot lie. Books can be found all over our house, and I love that. I want my children to see books all of the time. However, again, the books we have are loved or needed, and have homes. The children’s books live in the homeschool room, playroom, and the boy’s bedroom. I review their books annually and donate what we don’t need. As a homeschooler, books can get out of hand if I let them, so I make sure to go through what we have an annual basis, and get rid of ones that we don’t need. It’s super refreshing.
Books in the boy’s bedroom. The books stacked on the top are library books.
Following this method of toy and book management has not only helped us on our minimalist journey, but has allowed my children to actually play with all of their toys. It has also provided immediate access to the books they like to read and makes them want to read more than before! All part of my plan. 😉
Cleaning up (Yes, I know you want to know.)
As for cleaning up, I try to have the children put things away immediately after they’re done with them, but if you’re a mom, you know how that goes. If not put away during the day, they will put them away before bed. I’d say that happens 99% of the time. All in all, they ride with me on this crazy way of life I’m moving us toward. It keeps things simple for them, and that makes way for more play time. Kids are always down for that.