Having 4 kids means we have lots and lots of toys. Between 4 birthdays a year plus Christmas plus happy meals and other randoms, the piles of toys just keeps growing and growing and growing. To start with, most of the child specific toys (ie the child that the toy was initially given to) stay in their bedrooms. Slowly, ever so slowly, as the year moves on those toys find themselves being dumped into the lounge pile and the nice tidy boxes in the lounge becomes a toy dumping ground with much loved toys being long forgotten.
Last year, just before Christmas, the never ending piles just got too much for me. So I started a new tradition. I dumped all the toy boxes on the floor of my lounge, set up the empty boxes for sorting into and grabbed a couple of rubbish bags for the broken toys that I was chucking away. My lounge floor was absolutely covered. Several hours, lots of arguments with my children and many rubbish bags later, I finally had the toys sorted into boxes designated for the kids bedrooms and lounge. I had also found about 10 of my pens, 6 of my teaspoons and several hair ties.
This year I decided that I was going to start the toy sorting much earlier in the year so I could work out what toys we had, what needed replacing and what new toys were needed. It would also give me a chance to move toys around from the kids that had outgrown them to the kids that would be more interested in playing with them. So I did it yesterday while Celine was at school and Blake and Dani were at kindy. The only child home was the baby who was happy enough to play near me as long as I stayed in her sight.
I learnt my lesson last year though. Do the big clean up on a day when none of the kids are around to argue with me. It made things much faster and it was a heck of a lot more quiet. I didn’t need anywhere as much rubbish bags as last year although I still needed a few.
So now I can do my birthday and christmas present shop at the end of the week with a clear mind.