We choose to live simply and keep our possessions pared down.
We would choose to live minimally regardless of where we live but the reality is we have 2 young children and live in a 1,300 square foot home. Children are magnets for stuff — especially toys. Without intentionally keeping our toy ‘collection’ pared down, the toys would quickly overtake our small home!
Our boys don’t have an abundance of toys. While we have a smaller than average amount of toys for 2 children, if they were all out at the same time, our entire home would be covered in toys!
The solution to keeping our toys manageable is a toy rotation.
Our ‘excess’ toys are stored in the closet in our 2-year-old’s room. The top shelves store all the extras – blocks, play sets, vehicles and puzzles. (As well as a few blankets and nighttime diapers!)
When Paxton wants a ‘new’ toy, he will trade one of the ones he has already out, keeping the amount of toys out under control.
Besides not having toys everywhere, the toy rotation is fun — when we trade toys, it’s like getting a new toy again. We’ll get a ‘new’ toy down and it will hold their attention for awhile.
The preschool toys that are out are stored in Paxton’s closet on the bottom shelves. The shelves are natural limiters for the amount of toys that are out — if the shelves are too full, something else needs to be put up.
This week we have out dress up clothes, trains, foam building blocks (the other half were all over the floor when this picture was taken), wooden blocks, instruments, trucks/tractors and the walker wagon which serves as storage for their balls!
We also have a small bookshelf in Weston’s room with baby/toddler toys. He prefers playing alongside his older brother but we have some more ‘age appropriate’ toys available for his independent/one-on-one with mama/daddy play including board books, chunky puzzles, soft books, a few teethers and soft blocks.
We also do a similar thing for our books. The bulk of our children’s books are stored on the bookshelf in our room. While the boys have access to this bookshelf all of the time, we keep the books in their rooms rotated since they seem to spend more time independently ‘reading’ in their rooms.
We keep Paxton’s rotation of books on his dresser (so little brother won’t tear them up). During rest time or bed time, we’ll grab a stack of books from here to read to him or let him ‘read’ to himself.
Implementing a toy rotation really has helped keep our home from becoming overtaken by toys, keeps the toys we have exciting and keeps mama sane since everything is organized!
Do you have a toy rotation in place?
And, I think it should be noted that the rooms are only this clean early in the morning and before bed. I tidied up a bit to snap these pictures. Remember, this blog is only a glimpse into my life and not the full picture — the reality is, I’m really a mess!