I have decided that Eliana has TOO MANY toys in her room. It is always a mess in there and there are just so many little pieces that get scattered around! In addition to the toys she has in her room she has toys in the family room downstairs and when both are messy it just feels like my whole house is in chaos! Some of the toys we really don't need and I'm going to freecycle them so that someone who might not have as much as we do can benefit from them. A lot of the toys really are good for her to play with developmentally, it's just that she doesn't need to play with them all at once. So.... I think I'm going to divvy up her toys into three sets and only have one set in her room at a time. Then when she gets tired of playing with those toys or it's just time for a change I can pull out a new set of toys and put the first set away. By divvying things into thirds it will give me three sets of toys to rotate between. I might do something similar with the toys in the basement, too. I think I probably ought to put a little more thought into which toys go in the basement (more group imaginative play) and what goes in her room (more of the individual developmental play) so there's actually a distinction. Some of the toys right now are just too young for her, too, and I need to put them with the other baby stuff so they are not cluttering things up.
I have tried a couple times to sort things out, but I am a piler. Then thinking about the sorting takes place as I'm sorting and it just sort of creates a giant mess that I don't get finished with during the time I've allotted for that project. So perhaps before I get into sorting again I should think out what I want to do first. =D
Currently we have two (actually three, but one needs to move) tables in the basement for Eliana to play on. One contains cardboard blocks and another has Little People on it right now. The third has a car track painted on it and I'm debating what to do with it. I also have an open space that's sort of fenced in by the two tables in the basement. I would love use this space for imaginative play. She has puppets down there already, but not set up in a good way to play with. So for the basement, here's what I'm thinking...
Building station (big table): 1. cardboard blocks 2. mega blocks 3. alphabet blocks (?)
Imagination station (open area): 1. puppets 2. dress up 3. dolls
Play station (smaller table): 1. little people 2. cars 3. trains (which we don't have yet)
Art station: I like the idea of an art station, but I think I'll set that up in my craft room to minimize the damage she can cause with a mess. =D Plus she can do art while I craft and that can be our "craft together" time. Now I just have to figure out where to put her easel in my craft room...
So given what I've planned for the basement and the craft room, that takes out the easel, mega blocks, alphabet blocks, dress up, and dolls from her room. That leaves in her room... stuffed animals, musical instruments, books, puzzles, and activity bags. I'm sure there are other things in there that I'm not remembering at the moment too, but, well, I'm not remembering those at the moment. So for her room I would like to see these areas....
Reading station: I'd like to divide her books into thirds so there are fewer of them to get scattered around. I would also like to take the glider out of her room and put her little rocking chair in there. Maybe I will (I can see a project coming here and I'm not sure I'll ever get to it, so don't hold me to it!!) make a cushion for the seat and back of the rocking chair so it's cute for her room and a little softer to sit in, too. I don't know if I can split her books into three "themes" or if it will just be a random selection of books, but there can be some Sandra Boynton and some Dr. Seuss in each set for sure.
Learning station: I have lots of little activity bags that I haven't had a place for so far. They include matching, bead threading, counting, etc. I don't know just how I want to do these yet since I don't want all the pieces to get mixed up, but I think it would be good to incorporate these. I also have some puzzles and some other things that could go in this station and get rotated through.
Music station: For this I have different kinds of instruments that I can cycle through. Ellie seems to have her favorites and I think if I switch them around then she will maybe play with some of the lesser favorites, too.
Suffed animals: This is less of a station and more of an area in which to reduce clutter. I'd like to split her stuffed animals into thirds so she has fewer to scatter around at a time. Some animals will stay out all the time (namely Kitty, Little Kitty, Star Bear, and Duck) but the others can be cycled through.
Miscellany: I just took a peek in Ellie's room and realized that the other toys in there are a lot of miscellaneous stuff. There are some bendy bunnies from Easter (which she still plays with and loves) and some stuffed peeps from the Easter before, a Barbie (from Barbie, which Ellie loves!), some slinkies, and some other miscellaneous toys. I don't know what I want to do about all these yet, since they really don't have a good home. If she didn't love them so much I could freecycle them, but she does love them and she does play with them. And really, some of them are good little toys for her to take out and about with us to keep her occupied at the grocery store. =D Now if only I could find a home for them...
So.... I think that's at least a good start on figuring out how to minimize the clutter. I'm sure I'll tweak it as I go, but hopefully once I decide to tackle this project I will actually get it done this time because I've taken the time to think it through.
I can hope, right?