Today was prep the toy room day. Actually, we had to start yesterday by actually putting away all the toys. Today, I started going through toy bins one by one and actually sorting stuff. I threw out about one trash bag full today, but I am not finished. Each of my bins is supposedly sorted by category and after today that is finally true again. It’s been a while. I had to go through each bin and remove trash, remove stuff we never use (to give away) and remove stuff that goes in a different bin or somewhere else entirely.
Deciding what to keep is always the hardest part! Surprisingly, this process only took me about 3 hours. I will repeating the process described in this post in every room of my home to some extent. The toy room always takes the longest though!
Label All Toy and Storage Bins
I still have to do the bins up on the top of my shelves where I can’t reach but those aren’t touched often and can wait. Since we are also prepping our house for the market, I will be sending most of this stuff to storage this weekend. That way we can paint and keep clutter to a minimum while the house is being shown. So, I took the time to label each and every bin with a post-it so that we can see at a glance what is in them and make decisions.
Organize Toys and Supplies by Type
Toys are everywhere in this house! We have bins for lego, playmobil, and puzzles, as well as bins for craft supplies, stickers, and science supplies. Since we homeschool I also have bins for things like alphabet learning aids and math aids and specialty paper. My daughter has a bin for beads. Altogether we have about 40 of these clear plastic bins from The Container Store, plus five larger bins for things like Thomas the Train stuff, Bionicles, and Duplo Legos, Stuffed Animals, and Wooden Blocks. I still have to go through and eliminate a bunch more stuffed animals as I didn’t get to that today.
Sort and Eliminate all the Junk in the Toy Room
So why I am doing this? Well, it is incredibly annoying to start unpacking boxes that movers have packed and discover stacks and stacks of empty sticker sheets that they threw indiscriminately in the boxes with everything else. This way, I can eliminate all the junk (think McDonalds toys), the trash, and the unused before we get to our new and possibly smaller house in California. Everything will be freshly sorted and ready to go.
A further benefit is that every time we move and I go through this process, I am reminded of what we have and what we might need to purchase after we arrive at our new destination. Plus it just feels great to be re-organized.
Reduce, Re-use, Recycle – Get rid of all the stuff you don’t use!
I plan to post pictures of my bins so you can understand what I mean, but even if you don’t have categorized bins you can sort out your toys before you move. Just remember the three categories: trash, give-away worthy toys, and keepers. Do everyone a favor and don’t keep anything broken or junky to giveaway. No one else wants the junky stuff! But, don’t be like one of my neighbors and put working flat screen televisions and bags of perfectly good clothing in your trashcan either. That is simply irresponsible when you consider the number of people doing without in this country and the space needed in our landfills for actual trash!
Keep at it! You can do this!