Too Much Stuff!

The holidays are over, and as you scan your home, you might see STUFF. I know I do.

The decorations are down, but not yet put away (they are living in the basement scattered in piles). And upstairs, I see Christmas cards and letters I have scanned, but have yet to read, and toys in an organized pile in the living room.

Toys can take over your home. You’ve got the baby toys, the toddler toys, the kid dolls and the gadgets… all from stages in your child’s life, and all stages that can be hard to part with.

And just because you buy gifts for your kids, that doesn’t mean they will play with them. We’ve had Christmases where many toys and Santa’s socking stuffers end up like the toys from “Toy Story.” They’re thrown in a box and forgotten.

Luckily, Christmas this year was a bit different. The kids have actually been playing with most if not all of their toys. It helped that my 10-year-old son only had a few things on his list. Although, my 7-year-old daughter had trouble editing…which is expected at her age. Her "American Girl" “wants” and that elusive trampoline were written on both sides of her wrinkled notebook paper.

Olivia loves bouncing with her moon shoes (thanks Santa for these fun shoes instead of that huge trampoline), Jacob is challenged by the pocked-sized “Simon” (a smaller version of the toy I grew up with in the 70s and 80s), and the kids had a ball trying on those mustaches from Jacob’s stocking.

Sometimes, as parents, we need to spend more time playing with our kids and using the toys together. Maybe this will help avoid an early toy death.

And to help you get organized for the New Year, check out these ideas:

  1. Give Away Some Toys: It may be a struggle, but find toys that can be given to charity. And maybe a little cousin would like to take some toys home, too. This will make room for those new toys.

  2. Organize a Play Area: Don’t let those toys take over your home! Find a special place for your kids to store their toys that they can easily get to. You may need to invest in shelves or containers to keep all pieces of toys and games together.

  3. Turn off the TV: Without a TV, you know what? The kids will turn to those toys and creative play.

  4. Have a Family Game Night: I loved playing board games with my brother and parents. Make time to do this with your family. Let each kid pick a game. This is a great way to make sure those new games get used.

  5. Hide the Toys for Awhile: If your kids aren’t playing with some toys, put them away and bring them out in a week or more. This works really well with young children.

With a little New Year know how, you'll be able to have an organized home and happy kids.

Happy Parenting!


About the Author...
Taryn Vanderford
Taryn Vanderford is an Emmy-winning journalist who currently works on "First at Four", "Pure Nebraska" and "Moms Everyday" for 10/11 and Gray Television.
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