26 March 2012

HEADLINE: Culling saves Sanity

We had a BIG toy and book cull on the weekend. The kids find it hard to let go, so I helped (forced) them along. The amount of toys, both working and broken has been driving me crazy.

We got rid of a tonne toddler aged books – you know, ones with hard cardboard pages.

Plus heaps of toys which they no longer play with. Sam says that he plays with all of the toys, but sometimes I’m not looking and don’t see him playing with them… hmmmmm…

I think he’s just working on his hoarding skills and doesn’t want to throw anything out.

Mr Man is dropping off the old books and toys to the local pre-school. Hopefully they get recycled and used by some younger children… I’m having visions of Toy Story 3.

The play room looks tidy. The book shelf is neatly stacked. And the drawers actually close – which they haven’t done for a looooooong time.

To keep the room tidy when playing with Lego, we use this fantastic little tip which my mother in law gave me a while back.

Get an old sheet and lay it down on the floor. Spread out the Lego on top of it.

Lego Sheet 2

The kids play on the sheet and when they’re done, it’s just a matter of picking up the corners and returning it to the Lego tub… or in some of your cases, tubs.

Lego Sheet 1

This way pieces shouldn’t be left behind then disappear under the couch, coffee table or sucked up into the vacuum. Shouldn’t being the operative word.

I thought it was a fantastic tip and have used it since.

Do you have any simple tips to keep the kids play areas tidy and under control?


  1. LOVE the sheet Idea! now that Pip is for sure our last baby we get to start getting rid of things too! I can't even start to tell you how much girls clothing we have (after 3 of them...) It's pretty ridiculous...

    1. I'm lucky that my nephew is only 11 months younger than my son. As soon as it doesn't fit my Sam, we put it in the Hugo bag to hand over to my sister.

      I can imagine after 3 girls though. We tend to buy more pretty clothes for girls :-)

  2. I used to keep an extra plastic tub (one you can't see through) with a lid and then while no one was looking I would ferret away some of my boys toys and put them into the box. Guaranteed they wouldn't miss them as long as you don't pick their favourite or bed time toys. Just after a birthday or Christmas is a good time as they have just got a bunch of new things. Then when you're having a bad day, its raining and they're stuck inside or one of them is ill, whatever. You bring down the box and lo and behold, just like new toys! Then while they're busy with them, you fill up the box with other toys and put it away again. It does tend to work better with younger children!

    1. Fantastic idea!! Rediscovering old toys is just about as good as a new toy.

  3. Oh gosh we need to do a toy cull badly. My son has the same excuses as yours! Apparently it's just too hard to bear the idea of getting rid of toys.

    We always did the lego/sheet trick as kids - it's fantastic. Makes the packing up process a lot less overwhelming.

    1. It is too hard to think about or contemplate. Unfortunately, I threaten to throw them when he's naughty, but it doesn't work (probably because he knows I won't follow through).

  4. My grandsons (aged two and ten months) visit weekly. We expect their parents to pack up the toys or to encourage their sons to do so. After they go home, we sort all the toys to make sure everything has been returned to the correct place and nothing is missing. If it is, we do the hunting!


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