I don’t know how many times I have accidentally stood on toys over the past 5 years of motherhood. I always laugh at how many random ones I find lying around the place.
I often think of the good old days where toys were not so prevalent. I feel we have been bombarded with materialism in our society and I am not so sure I like it. The constant catalogues in the mail with our kids wanting more, more and more. I am really trying to find a balance in this area. I do want my kids to enjoy life but to be honest, I am really trying to bring a little more simplicity to their world!!
I have read many studies that show small children engage in an activity for a longer period of time if they have less distracting them. So I asked myself, ‘what if I take most of the toys away – will they get bored’? I was eager to give it a try.
I sent my amazing husband to Bunnings and he came back with multiple storage containers. I began to raid the house and filled bags of toys for charity, put a few things up for sale on gumtree and then selected the toys that I felt would benefit my kids or that they would enjoy from time to time. I put them into categories and placed them into our hallway cupboard. Instead of having a whole toy box full of heaps of random toys that they hardly played with, I left a few dress ups, music toys, soft toys & a couple of educational toys in the play room along with a bookshelf full of books. We also have a play kitchen in the living area that they love to play at.
Already my life felt lighter and I was happy with the progress even if it was just for my sanity!! 🙂
The next morning I found our boys being more imaginative in their play. I don’t even recall them asking where some of their old toys were. Tidying up at the end of the day seemed easier, with less to pick up (or trip on)! The kids seemed happier and I found my days easier to cope with. I have always loved order but this has truly helped me in the day to day and I am able to spend more time with the kids playing, then on cleaning up!!
I now generally only bring one box out at a time (eg: the puzzles or lego) or set up an interest based station for each child that I know they enjoy. My eldest son loves lego and will sit for hours at the table. I find that rotating the toys is more efficient as the kids get excited about them after not seeing them for a while.
My house still does get messy from time to time. I still find random things around the place and our backyard and shed are still a working progress. 🙂 I think it is going to be an ongoing thing but I am happy we are aiming towards a more simple home life for our kids. I am really enjoying the extra time building precious moments with the kids instead of getting annoyed at all the toys everywhere!!!
I found that this simple approach works for us as a family & that less toys = happier kids + a happier me.
Encouragement of the week:
If you’re sick of all the toys and mess – ask your husband or a friend to watch the kids for half a day so you can have a clear out and get organised!!
Just after doing this over the Christmas break – I stumbled across another great article – http://www.mother.ly/life/how-getting-rid-of-stuff-saved-my-motherhood
Hope you have the best weekend!! Love Melly x