Select-an-Effort: Toys

Select-an-Effort: Toys. Seana and a choo choo train.

Today is for the parents and grandparents out there. The holidays have just taken place, and odds are a new toy (or two, or three, or…) have come into your space. This is a great time to reassess your toy collection.

Let’s consider some options before you today.

Low Effort

Throw away a game or two that has broken pieces, missing parts, or is never played with.

Medium Effort

Take a look at your collection of craft kits or science experiments. These tend to be very popular when first opened, but less so once they’ve been partially used.

If the toy is no longer attracting attention, open it up and remove any pieces that could be used apart from the kit. Move these loose pieces to “category storage,” and then throw the rest away. Here are a few examples:

  • An artist box that has paint, markers, crayons, etc. all lined up in specific locations in a box. Remove the items that are still in good shape and dump them into bins of markers, crayons, paint, etc. The paints that are empty or hopelessly comingled on a palette, the dried-out markers, and the tiny broken crayons, along with the carrying tray can go.
  • A science kit that was used for an experiment or two may have pieces leftover that you hate to throw away. See if you can relocate them to storage containers for another purpose. Don’t feel you need to keep the box as the fun has been had.
  • When it comes to Lego kits, you know your child! If you have a child who will enjoy putting them together over and over, then by all means keep the instructions and pieces together in zip-top bags or lockable plastic containers. However, if your child is unlikely to come back to any given kit once it has been completed, display the completed project for a reasonable amount of time and then take the structure apart, dumping the pieces into a general container for loose Legos™. (For more information on organizing Legos™ click here.) If you are drowning in Legos™, they can be donated or even sent to be washed and reused.
  • Large/challenging puzzles are seldom attractive more than once. If you family has completed a puzzle, and if you know you have all the pieces, they can be gathered and donated (or passed onto a friend). If you have doubts about the puzzle being complete, then just pitch it.
High Effort

Choose a complete category of toys to sort through. Some choices are:

  • Board games
  • Stuffed animals
  • Balls
  • Trucks
  • Dress up clothing & accessories
  • Building toys (Magnatiles™, blocks, etc.)
  • Play food and kitchen items
  • Video games
  • Children’s Books
  • Dolls and their supplies
  • Barbies
  • Figurines
  • Trading cards
  • Smalls (the term I use for various small toys that have no clear theme other than size)

Alternatively, if your toys are all mixed together, you can choose to tackle a specific area of toy storage in your home. For instance:

  • Child’s bedroom shelves
  • Toy shelf in a child’s closet
  • Toys on the floor
  • Playroom cabinet/cubbies
  • Bookshelf
  • Toy box
  • On a child’s bed

Pick whatever you feel like. Assess the entire category or location, remove what is no longer being enjoyed, donate what is in good shape, and pitch the rest.

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What are you feeling like today?

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Select-an-Effort: Organizing Tasks for 2023

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