Toys have ages

Raise your hand if you have a bajillion people who love your kid and want to give them #allthethings? 🙋‍♀️

If we kept everything we have been gifted or bought ourselves, we would have an entire room dedicated to just toys and there would be no room to actually play with them. So what to do? 

Consider yourself a hoarder on one of those tv shows. They force you to take everything that you have and sort it into trash, donate, keep. That’s what we will do.... for starters! Then we will go a step further to plan for the future. 

TRASH : First off, we rid ourselves of all the excess. Some toys have a life span of just a day or week, some last for a few years, and others will last beyond generations. The toys that are from dollar tree, or party favors, or AT ALL broken, get rid of them. As Marie Kondo says in The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, does it give you joy? If not, throw it out! Yes, the plastic straw gives your toddler joy, but that is a perfect example of a temporary toy that gives your child joy for just one day. The life span of that toy is complete!

DONATE  :  Only donate those toys you would keep yourself if you were having another kid. Otherwise, you are just cluttering up the donation bins with broken or damaged/dangerous toys they will end up throwing away themselves. Throw it out!! However, if this is the only way for you to get things out of your house, then do it. It’s not worth the clutter or headache for you to keep until you find a use for it. 

KEEP : For those of you with another kid on the way or a growing sibling like us, here is a special category just for you! Because otherwise, there is NO REASON to keep extra toys or baby clothes. NO REASON. Share the love and pass them on to someone else who will love them as much as you did. The longer your hoard things, the further moths can eat, the more the batteries corrode. Share. The. Love. 

If you are keeping something “just in case a friend with a kiddo comes over” remember that you probably have a pot and a stick that will occupy them just fine during their visit. 

I digress.... what to keep? Well, our two boys will be less than 2 years apart. Even though we will eventually need it, there is no immediate reason for us to keep a baby boppy or nursing pillow hanging around for 12 unnecessary months before baby brother will get to use it. There is also no need for us to keep little tiny legos around that big brother isn’t yet ready for. So what do we do? We have “ages” for our toys. 

We decided a few staple items that stayed available in a rotation and then four 8-month span bins that are brought out or chosen from when kiddos are in that age frame. This is what works best for our family, but can easily be adjusted to fit your own crew. 

Staples - musical toys, books, art supplies, gymnast climber thing, tinker toy on the wall. These things are often hidden for a few days or weeks and brought back out again... just easier to access than the age bins. These are all the things, albeit obnoxious at times, we want them to play with the most due to their innate creativity play. 

  • 0-8 months (infant) - all nursing supplies, plush cuddles, teething toys, etc.
  • 8-16 months (crawling and new walker) - cause and effect toys, toys for them to tinker/fumble with + this is the hardest one because of space consuming walking toys. 😩
  • 16-24 months (tiny toddler) - big legos, 1-2 more complex attention grabbing toys for tantrum help.
  • 2 years+ (bigger toddler) - little legos, puzzles, character play.
I can not stress the importance of CLEAR BINS enough. It is truly the only way to go with all storage let alone kid stuff storage. We like these Hefty Storage Bins because of the extra room provided at the top by the lid and the snap and clip handles. They are incredibly sturdy too! Bonus: They are on sale right now! 

Side note: we live in Oklahoma and have a big garage for storage. If we didn’t, 90% of the baby items would be sold or donated and repurchased for next baby. It’s simply cheaper in the long run to repurchase than the unintentional mindzap of keeping clutter around.

Best part about knowing our family will soon be complete is... next year when baby bro is growing out of these things, we will get to pass them on!!! Bye bye clutter, storage, junk! Yes it’s sweet, but I don’t need the awkward shaped pillow to remind me of the sweet snuggles and loves my newborn and I shared together. The scars from where he bit me on my nipple will remind me plenty. ☺️

FUTURE : To encourage those around us to consider gifting to us in a similar fashion, we try to give toys or experiences that have a short life span.  Basically to set ourselves up for the future, we give as we wish to be given. “Your presence is the best present” type of attitude. i.e. this past holiday season we gave a cooking basket filled with all the ingredients and recipe for our favorite cookies for their family to make together. It’s an experience and it has a short life span!

We also avoid buying things for ourselves just because of a sale, or because of any other reason other than necessity. And sometimes necessity is your sanity.... AKA We just got our 16 month old a used slide for the backyard because this crazy boy has to expel some energy. He didn’t NEED that slide... momma did.

In summary, keep the things you NEED to keep, gift or donate the things you can, trash the rest! In my experience, the best playroom is one that can be cleaned up or destroyed in less than a minute. Exchanging toys out keeps the same room exciting for just a little longer.


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