Since we moved here last September, I have done toy rotation. We have so many toys, it is insane! I had a dozen mesh boxes that I had all the toys divided up into, and every Sunday night I pulled four new ones out, along with some new stuffed animals, books and puzzles. The remaining stuff, I stored in the nursery. Of course, with Salean's birthday right on the heels of Christmas, we got another influx of toys. Every night, the house was a mess and even though the toys were divided, Salean was still overwhelmed and had to much to play with. So, the day before her birthday, I decided I had to do something about it. I started by dumping everything in a pile in center of the floor.
When I had the toys divided in the bins, I tried to have them evenly distributed. Each one had an equal amount of cars, animals, balls etc. into each bin. This time, instead of dividing equally, I divided toys by type. I have a bin of balls, one of cars, bath toys, Little People, toy food & dishes, building toys, toys from meals out, and a diaper box overflowing with stuffed animals. There are a few other ones not pictured here, and I also put all the random toys that didn't seem to go with anything else into one bin.
I got these small baskets at the dollar store, and I put out 12 at a time. I meant to switch them every Monday-Wednesday-Friday, but it has turned into about once a week. She has a basket of food & dishes and one of instruments that stay out all the time. Rotating, I have one for puzzles (2 at a time), Little People (or Weebles), 2 play sets (in this case her purse and the Fridge Phonics set), cars, meal toys, random toys, a building set (legos etc, not pictured) and balls. I also have out a basket of stuffed animals and a stacker toy along with about a dozen books, plus up to 3 library books, on her shelf.
And here is my work, with her birthday gifts from us. The microwave is where it is sitting and the three smaller appliances are on the shelves of her kitchen. The food and dishes are stored in the oven of the kitchen, all the others on the shelf. The boots are an old pair of Daddy's that she loves to play with. Of course, it has not looked this neat and tidy since about 10 minutes after she got up the next morning.
So for now I have tamed the toy masses. With the smaller baskets, she is getting really good at putting one away before taking another out, so it isn't as chaotic as it once was. Since they are still in the nursery, I have been swapping toys in the morning and Salean loves to help. She brings the baskets down the hall to me to empty and fill with new toys before taking them back to their spot on the shelf.
This formula works for now, and come November before both girl's birthday and Christmas, I will be able to go start going through them all and getting rid of stuff they have outgrown or no longer play with. I haven't done this yet because the Newbie can still grow into Little Miss's toys.
Have a good week, everyone!