I’ve been thinking about my kids’ toys a lot recently. I wrote in an article that if I had my kids over again I’d be tempted not to buy them any toys at all but of course, we do have plenty of toys in the house and every so often we still get to the point where we need a big clear out. I always feel this around about now when the clocks change and I get a waft of that Big C feeling. In fifty-two days time there will be a fair few new toys and books arriving, even with modest Christmas giving.
Do you mind whether your children keep their bedroom tidy? I’m no neat freak but really don’t like the girls to have messy bedrooms. I think they sleep better in a calm room, rather than one filled with clutter. Reading Simplicity Parenting a few months ago resolved me to tackle the girls’ rooms and have a big clear out. We followed the ideas in the book, saying goodbye to lots of things and putting others away in boxes on top of wardrobes. All we have out now are a few special toys, which we can rotate with the goodies in the storage boxes when they want a change.
The girls love it. Having less toys seems to magically promote more playing. Both enjoy being able to get straight into play, rather than having to search under beds to find things. Not being overwhelmed by the choosing means more time and energy is available for imagining and creating.
How to keep a bedroom tidy
Here’s what works for us.
Motivate your child: I wanted to make sure the girls were with me on the Big Clearout, so we focused on what the advantages were for them. For one, who likes a tidy bedroom but doesn’t like to actually tidy, it was about making this easier for her to manage. For the other it was about making it easier to have out her favourite little toys, without them going astray all the time.
Focus on less is more: Less toys, less overwhelming choices, less tidying, less clutter, less things going missing. More calm, more play space, more easy access to the things you really love, more play time.
Include a range of toys: Although the number of toys have reduced we’ve been careful to still offer a range of play options: things to read, toys for imaginary play, things to write and draw with, treasure boxes for special things and of course favourite teddies
We were helped in our Less is More project by being official testers of the Feather & Black children’s bedroom furniture range. They sent us this Noah bookcase to try out and it has helped to give a great play space in L’s bedroom. The bookcase is big enough to store things well and provide different levels for L to play on, but is narrow enough not to intrude too much into her bedroom. I like the classic design which will mean it suits her room even as she gets older. And I love that fact that it came with polite delivery men, who left their shoes at the front door and carried to the bookcase upstairs for me – and there was no flat pack assembly required!
What about you? Are you in the less is more gang?
Do you leave your kids to decide for themselves how toys are organised in their own rooms? Do you have a naturally neat child, who keeps their own room spick and span? What tips do you have to share on how to keep a bedroom tidy?