When we first moved into our house back in 2004 with 2 year old twins, we had an extra room and decided to turn it into a Toy Room. The room was off the living room, had sunlight during the afternoon and was sizable enough to fit all the toys we had against the walls with plenty of room to play in the middle. Suddenly our living room wasn’t littered with toys underfoot. When friends came over the children would all go play in the toy room and could be watched from afar while we could have conversations with other adults!
Back then, the boys had two year old toys and the room was fairly easy to tidy up. Of course, it’s nigh impossible to get two year olds to pick up after themselves, so after they went to bed, Mommy or Daddy would spend 15 minutes tidying up the room for the next days play. The toys were of the large variety, things that weren’t choking hazards and whatnot. There was a noticeable difference in the kids play habits if the room was clean to start the day, and it was much easier to enforce picking up rules if there already wasn’t a mess in the room. We didn’t have the Art Table at the time either, and there was a serious lack of surfaces, but it worked.
Well, flash forward 4 years. The large easy to pick up toys of yesterday have been overshadowed by toy sets with thousands of tiny pieces. The boys love the Playmobil sets and Lego sets, but they contain hundreds of little pieces that get spread around the room.
We now have a one and a half year old, who naps twice a day and stays up late, which cuts into the evening cleaning time, and the toy room clutter has reached epic proportions. The baby also likes playing in the toy room, and it’s just a choking hazard bonanza in there. It’s so filled to the brim with junk that it’s hard to effectively play and almost impossible to keep clean.
Speedy, one of the twins, said the other day that it was Mommy and Daddy’s fault that the toy room was so messy because “You’re always telling us to go play in the Toy Room!”
Mommy decided that enough was enough. The Toy Room was no longer fulfilling it’s purpose, and has actually been working against us. It has become a blight upon our house and must be purged.
The plan? So the kids don’t miss or complain about any one toy being put away, we’ll be taking EVERYTHING in the room, packing it into boxes, taking down the terrible wallpaper, painting, and returning select toys to the room in a toddler friendly yet six year old entertaining configuration.
The great Toy Room refurb has begun, so stay tuned…
This series continues in Toy Room Purge – Stage 1 – Denial