Time for the Great Toy Clean Out!

 Summer is a great time to help your kids do a Great Toy Clean Out! You have to call it that so it seems fun. And it really can be. Motivate your kids by finding a second hand kids store that will buy toys in good condition. Then let the kids keep the money. Or you can just make their toy room more colorful and fun after you’ve de-cluttered with a fresh coat of paint, new curtains or hang their artwork! My kids often find toys they forgot they had and just enjoy discovering old favorites.  In any case, once you have them motivated you have to keep them focused and moving fast so it doesn’t take all day! Here are my simple steps to cleaning out the toy room:

1. Gather all the toys in one room. If they are scattered throughout the house, have the kids collect them. Set a timer to make it fun.

2. Once all the toys are in one room, categorize. You can separate by child or by type of toy. Some categories are: arts & crafts, balls, games & puzzles, little toys, building toys (Legos & Lincoln Logs, K’Nex), outside toys. Just make piles on the floor to start.

3. As you are categorizing, you can purge – trash any broken toys and box up any toys that do not get played with. These can be donated or sold.

4. Decide if any categories should be kept in another room, for instance, outside toys may be kept in the garage or shed.

5. Find appropriate storage bins for each category. Nicer toys can be kept on a shelf, balls and soft toys in a big plastic tub or bin, small toys in a basket or little bin. If you’ve outgrown your storage bins, these may be sold or donated as well.

6. If you don’t have the appropriate sized bins, use cardboard boxes for temporary storage and then make a shopping list of what you need.

7. Decide where the bins will be kept and have the kids help you put things back. Now they will know how to straighten up on a daily basis if that’s one of your kids’ chores.

8. Take a look around the room and consider anything else that may need to be done like painting, cleaning or adding something new. I recommend the toy clean out once a year, maybe in the summer or before the holidays as a seasonal clean out.

9. Move the trash & donations out of the room and into your car so you are reminded to drop them off somewhere.

10. Let the kids enjoy their new found toys in a nice neat playroom!

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