A little at a time - part 1

I've been on a bit of a minimalist/decluttering kick lately. It happens from time to time and by now, Craig has learned the signs. The first few years probably scared him a bit but now he's used to it so when he comes home and with no prior warning, finds all the closets emptied or the living room rearranged he knows to not ask questions and just suggests pizza.

This time it was toys that prompted it. We've always done the Montessori (and Waldorf too?) thing with like toys displayed in baskets. And Lucy learned the one toy at a time rule, occasionally two if they were being played with together (blocks to build a fence for her animals, etc). It worked well. But then, you know what happened?

Jonah. Jonah happened. And he is a dumper. Now perhaps if he was a dumper at 2, I'd think he was just being mischievous and needed to be taught the rules (but perhaps not, we'll see how I feel when he is actually two). But he just loves the act of dumping, it brings him such joy. It does not bring me joy though. And it quickly became apparent that we had too much out.

I'm pretty much a toy nazi already so we don't really have that much stuff and 95% of what we are it's good opened ended toys. Mostly wooden although I'll allow plastic if it's good quality like duplo or playmobile (apparently German toy makers can handle plastic responsible). So I didn't think we needed to purge or organize as much as limit. I had tried to rotate in the past but never really got a system and was reluctant to try again. Then Karen linked to this post and it was the kick in the pants I needed.

It's been a little less than a month and I'm loving it. I think her suggestion to rotate every two weeks is a good one but biweekly things are hard habits for me. Weekly is much easier for my mind to trigger so for now we switch on the day daddy goes back to work (which can vary too but is easily remember so I don't have to listen to Lucy ask and ask about it). Each bin has one of our larger sharing toys, a few puzzles/games, an "educational" type activity, and a toy for Jonah.

Bin 1:
Melissa and Doug Barn and all of our animals (my favorites are Schleich but we have some of Craig's from when he was a kid too)
Lauri Alphabet puzzle
Melissa and Doug animal puzzle (this has to go with the barn because both kids love matching the pieces with the toy animals)
Pattern blocks and notebook (free printables in sheet protectors)
Wooden Ring Stacker
Homemade bean bags
Some playdough tools

Bin 2:
a couple Lauri puzzles
Pony beads and pipe cleaners (for use with a colander but I keep the colander in the kitchen because we eat spaghetti even when Bin 2 is not in use :-)
Some toy food (some melissa and doug, some homemade)
Hammering Ball Set
Some playdough tools

Bin 3
Wooden Train from Aldis (really inexpensive around Christmas, hoping they'll have it again this year so we can add a few more pieces to our set)
a couple of misc puzzles
Haba My First Orchard
Lauri pegs and platforms (this is currently a bit old for Jonah and a bit young for Lucy so I might take it out for a while)
Wooden Ramp Racer
Homemade necklace kit (dyed noodles and yarn)
Some toy food
Some playdough tools

 A few toys are left out all the time. These are:
  • Toy kitchen 
  • Playmobile - Lucy keeps this in her room on her high extra bed (and by "extra bed" I mean the one she is supposed to sleep in but only loves until the sun goes down then insists on moving back to the mattress on the floor) so she can play without Jonah interfering. 
  • Playsilks, dress up cape and tutus 
  • 2 dolls and 2 stuffed animals - Jonah had Green baby and Mr. Puppy, Lucy has Fairy Pussy Willow and Horsey. The rest have been bagged up. I haven't gotten up the nerve to actually donate them yet, but it will happen as soon as I can do it without feeling like a big old meanie mom. 
  • Wooden Blocks - These get used with almost all of the big toys in some way so they stay out.
  • Outside toys - sandbox toys, dump truck, porch toys, balls
Goodness, when I write it all down it does seem like we have a ton. But now that  it's divided up, I only have to deal with a part of it at a time. 

It doesn't look very pretty this way compared to all my pretty little baskets lined up around the room but that's okay. They are hidden in the bottom of our armoire in the kitchen.

Now you see 'em,

wol october 093
now you don't.
wol october 092
Notice the rubber band around the bottom knobs? That's there for a reason and that reason rhymes with Bonah. And that paper bag to the left is our paper recycling "bin" that needs to be replaced with something lidded because he can entertain himself for minutes by emptying every piece of paper from there and spreading them all around the house. Why am I even bothering with toys?

 Up next, art supplies and books!

1 comment :

  1. Well done! I can't wait to get moved and start organizing all our things again. It will feel like Christmas. ;)