As if our kids didn’t have enough toys already, here comes Santa. Showering them with little gifts that end up under my feet no matter where I decide to walk. Do you know what happens when you stomp a toy? It breaks into smaller, sharper pieces that hurt even more. Our place after Christmas looks like a tornado hit Pee Wee’s playhouse, and today’s secret word kids is…disaster! But all joking aside, here are 5 tips for handling the toy mess after Christmas is over.
To store all the little pieces that come with each toy without losing them, consider buying ornament storage bags. I use a 48 ornament bag (from Lowes) to store matchbox cars, farm animals, trains, toy tools, so that my son doesn’t lose each piece and can easily access them when he wants to play. You can also use larger bins but its hard to keep track of the little stuff when they’re so full.
Teach them to clean up
My wife and I taught our toddler to put away his toy before he gets another one out, so that he doesn’t have too many toys out. Now he doesn’t do it every time, but it’s good to teach them to clean up after themselves. It also helps to sing the clean up song while we do it.
Clean up Clean up everybody everywhere
Clean up Clean up everybody do their share (BTW I hate this song)
Rotate toys every week
I have 3 toy bins which I rotate so that I only have 1 bin out each week. It only allows for a third of the total toys to be out at any one time so that the house doesn’t get over run with stuff everywhere. It also helps to prevent my son from getting burned out on the same toys.
Spread the gifts out
My sister gets a ton of gifts for her little angels from family and friends. Instead of opening them all on Christmas, they open some and then save others to open in the following weeks. This works especially well for babies and toddlers as sometimes too many gifts can be overwhelming and clutter the living space.
Christmas is a time for giving
Kill 2 birds with 1 stone by teaching your little ones to give and help others, while also getting rid of the older, not used toys that clutter up your home. Donating toys to charity and giving toys to friends with younger children will help teach your kids balance between giving and taking. It will also teach them to organize and get rid of older things they’ve outgrown, which is a great skill I’m still trying to master.
Just keep in mind, the toy mess never ends. All you can do is make it better. Don’t get stressed out about cleaning all the time, or being super organized. You have kids and kids are by definition messy little monsters. Thanks for reading!