Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Day 2 of the 30 Days to Transform Your Play

Today is day 2 of the interactive series  30 days to transform your play by Kate from An everyday story and Rachel from Racheous.

30daystyp 30 Days to Transform Your Play: Day 1

Day 2: Cull toys

Today's challenge comes at a perfect time. I have actually been purging toys (on and off) for a good week now and I am on my way to Ikea tonight to purchase some storage (Expedit unit, trolleycardboard boxes to serve as continent boxes and plastic boxes to serve as toy rotation storage). I haven't been to Ikea for a long time and I think I might get carried away. 

The problem I find with the entire toy presentation and rotation is the lack of storage space or perhaps the lack of organisational skills. We live in a 90 m square three bedroom semi-detached house and we are lucky enough to have a fairly spacious lounge with a dedicated playarea, but I still find it difficult to keep everything tidy and accessible.

Most of our toys and books are displayed in a large Expedit unit. We keep toys in baskets (e.g. cars, figurines, blocks, balls,...), which is all good until they start to over spill - this is always the case with Mr A's cars. 

Our arts and crafts shelving unit and the children's table are located in the dining area and also need some decluttering. Our music / instrument area is next to the fireplace and I am happy with it.

At present, toys for rotation are randomly stored in the upstairs airing cupboard and stashed in a wooden chest which serves as a nature table. I won't take the photo of the airing cupboard - I think it is not too difficult to imagine a mess containing my sewing supplies, children's toys and books, outgrown clothes and a couple of lampshades. 

On my to do list:

  • Donate
I would like to donate the giant Noddy toy and all Noddy books, some of the toy cars (how to convince Mr A?), baby touchy feely books, baby toys that I haven't donated already and little tikes climbing frame from the garden.

I have decided to give some of the nice duplicate toys to the grandparents to keep them at their house or their holiday flat.
  • Trash
I am quite good at this. I can't stand broken toys, so they go straight in the bin. However I still need to get rid off half ripped books that even our magic sellotape can't fix anymore.
  • Store / temporarily remove
We have a story corner / reading corner in our playarea which I love, but it does not get used often, as children prefer to sit on the sofa. So, I am deciding whether to remove the story corner and just space out the furniture / baskets / mirrors / plant in the playarea.

  • Organise toy rotation storage
I need to decide where to store toys for rotation and stick to it. I would love to have everything in one room, ideally with a giant storage space behind some hidden mirrored door. I think I might attempt to tackle our airing cupboard and repeat the same trash / donate/ keep action for clothes and other items.

However, given that my brother and his little family of four are coming over for a long weekend, I can't imagine how I could end up with more organised playarea...


  1. I'm so glad you're blogging this process, Nina, it's useful to see you think it all through "out loud" as were.

    Our storage space is the greatest challenge, and one that I'm going to work away at through this weekend.

    Funny that you mention going to Ikea -- I just did a post about bringing Montessori into the home with Ikea products!

    1. Thank you for stopping by and linking your Ikea post - . I love those little sturdy glasses, just bought a pack of 6 yesterday. Please share your storage space ideas :)

  2. Hi Nina, nice post! Good luck with the culling, I do it regularly and find that the best way to do it is to stop new toys entering your home! Easier said than done, I agree. Living with less has such positive repercussions on our happiness. I realise that the more we have, the more we desire to acquire! I honestly found true satisfaction from the declutter. Now I'm observing Finn closely to see what he actually uses - and there's not much at all!

    1. Very true and very wise! I find it hard to find the right balance between keeping it simple, yet providing enough opportunities for my children to express themselves. I came to a similar conclusion today - my children don't use very much :). At the moment, Mr A would happily live with a plastic container for collecting bugs (a a few books) and Miss R does not need much more than a ball and a couple of ribbons for dancing.