Friday, February 13, 2015

Mountains of Toys

As our family continues to grow so does the sheer amount of stuff in our house.  Some days it seems like it is swallowing us up.  It's a constant battle to keep things organized, purge things we don't use and store things we will use again.  We spend way way way way way too much on kids clothes, books, toys etc so I always make sure we look after it.  I like to buy good quality stuff that will last and now that we have more kids I think that's even more important.  I don't let the kids misuse their stuff so that means it will last down through the other kids now too.  Ugghh but as we have more kids it becomes a little overwhelming to continually rotate the clothes and toys.  Financially though it's crazy how much you save by doing this.  I can't imagine re-buying all the stuff that we have x5.  At our current house we have been blessed with a huge storage area in the basement so I have been working diligently on making sure all of our stuff is properly stored/labeled and easily accessible for rotation.  We have been working on having so many toys out per child and the rest stored in the bedrooms, toy room or put away if it is not age appropriate for any of the kids.  We have started working on more "lessons" with Joshua and I find having things organized like this makes it so much easier to quickly rotate and come up with a new activity.  For the older kids I have used a labeler to label the bins but for Josh I find that having the picture on the outside of the container makes it easier for him to ask for it.

When we read our nightly books together we tend to keep them on the bookshelf in the family room upstairs.  I tend to put the books that are brand new there for us to read a few times (until the kids get tired of them) before they enter the regular book rotation.  I have been trying to make sure that the season/occasion appropriate books come out at the right time ie. valentines books are out now.  The boys are in charge of their bookshelves in their bedrooms.  The novels are kept between their two shelves and any books they want to look at during quiet reading time.  Once they have too many books on their shelves we rotate them down to the toy room bookshelves and bring some more up.  Joshua has a little book shelf in his room but we tend to keep his board books in baskets throughout the house that are easily accessible and quick clean up.

As we start pulling out more and more stuff for the girls you realize just how much money you can actually save by storing the items from the older children.  I recently opened a Rubbermaid container of baby toys for the girls to play with and it's crazy to think about paying 20ish dollars again for all those toys.  It's like Christmas when I open up a new container of clothes for Joshua that the twins wore.  It's also nostalgic to see the younger children wear the clothes the oldest wore.

Mathew and Zachary in the bouncy chairs
Below is Joshua in the same bouncy chair

I would love to hear how other people keep the kids clothes/toys organized and would love any helpful hints :)

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