Recently I was a guest blogger for a local Family Readiness Group. They are a awesome group that gives support for the family and friends of a local military unit. They provide so much information and support for them, from emotional support to home organization. Yes.. even organization 101. So I provided a post for them, and it’s something I’m sure my readers can benefit from too!
I run a pretty tight ship when it comes to organization and schedules here at home. I have had the same cleaning and kid’s schedules hanging on my fridge for years, and I pretty much stick to them. It is what makes our little house stay afloat! Between my husband working his tail off, and me running after the offspring… It doesn’t leave much wiggle for unorganized lives. I’m sure some, if not most of you can relate.
Both my kiddos are winter babies. So between the holiday and birthdays… usually around this time of year our house is overflowing with “STUFF”. We don’t even do gifts for birthdays, we do charity fundraisers instead, but yet… here we are, up to our necks in new goodies!
So how can we stay organized like that? Here is the golden secret… are you ready?
Toy Swap Out! That’s it! This is what stops our rooms from overflowing and looking like a hot mess. How? Easy.
I wait until after the birthdays/ holidays are over. (If your “new toy spurts” are scattered, you can still do this after each gift receiving) As soon as I start to feel claustrophobic, I get to business and start my process.
First I gather every toy. EVERY SINGLE TOY from all over the house, and place them in the center of one room. (Usually the kids room since we don’t have a playroom) I then create four piles.
- Keeping out- this is the pile that has the newest items and favorites
- Putting away- this is the pile that I pack away and put in the attic
- Donate/Sell- this is the pile that items that we don’t play with often enough to bother with, especially when someone else can appreciate it more.
- Trash- this is where most fast food toys and broken items etc, end up.
My kids help in the process of sorting because then I don’t have to listen to the, “But Mommy, I REEEEAAALLLYYY wanted that toy!!!” This part can be hard to keep their attention, but keep reminding them that they will still get to see the stuff again another time, and once you have that “Attic” stash then there is the excitement of getting an old toy back. “Woooow, it’s like a new toy all over again!”
Once everything is separated, I take the trash out.
Next, I take out the “attic” stash from the previous Swap Out. This is the fun part for the kids, as I said before, it’s like they are new toys all over again! Again, I let them make the choices, of what they want back out of the attic.
The items that don’t make it out of the attic within 2 Swap Outs get donated.
Once I have all the items for donation together, I box that up and take it to the car. This stops little snoopers from going through and insisting that they have to keep it. And it also stops us from forgetting to donate it as it sits in a corner somewhere. I may be talking from experience, so trust me.
Place the “Putting Away” box back in the attic and TA DA! You have a much less cramped toy selection!
I hope that this simple DIY is helpful to you and your little ones! I know it’s been a lifesaver to us. Until next time!
Are you a member of, or do you have family in, the Army, Army Reserves, or National Guard? Do you have the support you need to endure the different lifestyles that a “military family” endure? If you don’t have a local FRG, or are looking to start one, there is a great National website with tons of information. You can find it here... because you deserve it.