First the pretty – our summer weather has been nothing short of glorious. A few days of rain, which is perfect for the gardens, and many days of abundant sun. I haven’t been gathering flowers every day to enjoy on every surface, but I have been gathering. The peonies are almost done blooming, but there are still a few left to bring in and pair with my David Austen roses.
And now on to the business of this post. We live in a very modest home. It was built by a couple who were, or almost were, empty nesters. It is simple and perfect and we love it. We do run into a few problems here and there as we try to fit seven people and their things into a space that was perfect for two (or three).
One of those problems was the abundance of toys that our Littles had accumulated. Now, don’t forget that we have been parenting for nearly 26 years, and we’re parents to seven (though two of those seven are adults who live far from our home these days). But really, those toys. They seemed to be seeping into every room and onto every surface. So my husband and I decided to take control again.
We moved every toy from every room to our side yard. Every. Single. Toy. The only exceptions were the things that live in the bedrooms of the Middles (because I’m not crazy enough to move and sort through all those Legos).
This is what we started with.
Yes. It is a huge pile. Huge. And jumbled up in there are 5 or so boxes and bins of things that didn’t have a home so they just got put into a box for “later”. Later had arrived. There will be no more miscellaneous boxes.
We spent the better part of a day sorting and pulling and dividing each item into proper piles – baby dolls in one place, blocks in another, doll house and furniture in a third, etc. And then we let the Littles decide what they wanted to get rid of. We didn’t want to cause break downs, so we were pretty easy on them, allowing them to keep more than we originally wanted, but not so much that we’d be overrun again. And then we started to bring back into the house only what would fit on the shelves we allotted for toys.
This is what we ended with.
So very much better! (And those tins on top of the shelf in the last picture are empty. I need to move them off the toy shelves, but I only just now realized they’re there.) There were a couple of things that we kept that don’t fit in the pictures, like the train table and the lego table. Can I hear three cheers for organization? And as a bonus, the living room and the Littles’ bedroom are completely toy free. Having a place for everything makes it so much easier for them to find what they’re looking for, and to clean it up when they’re done.