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The toy room. I honestly had never heard of the idea of a specified "toy room" until I was in college. Growing up, my brother and I had our toys in our rooms. So the concept of a designated room just for kids to have toys and play was fairly foreign to me. When our first was born, we had a 3 bedroom house but he had his own room and the other room was our office space/guest room.
Then #2 was born so they each had their own room and the toys were in big brother's room. We moved and bought a house that is 3 bedrooms and came with an add-on bonus room. At first, it served as kind of a box dumping ground as we unpacked. But then, somehow, the kid's toys ended up in there.
And then we had a "toy room"
It wasn't a terrible idea at first. The room is part of the open concept living/dining/kitchen areas so the kids were always in view when playing. But then so were the toys...
The toy room always looked like it had thrown up all over the rest of the living areas during the day. Clean-up was the worst. Especially with a 2 year old and then 4 year old. There was always a lot of whining and tears when it was time to clean up all. the. toys. It was ridiculous. Nothing ever stayed organized, even though we had toy organizers and boxes (like the one below).
Recently, I couldn't take it anymore. The toy room was always a disaster and every time we spent hours organizing the toys, it didn't last a couple of hours and it was all a mess again. As a SAHM, this drove me insane. All day long, toys were everywhere and no matter how many times we cleaned them up, they were all over the place shortly after.
I couldn't take it anymore.
The toy room had to go... Like now!
You can read about it in my post, Why We Are Choosing Minimalism, but I went crazy organizing and cleaning the whole house one weekend. We thinned the toys to the point that they all fit in 1 toy box in the boy's room. And it. was. glorious.
Now, the boys go to their room if they want to play with toys. They can bring one or two out, but I try to get them to keep much of it in their room. Our "toy room" is now our homeschool area/reading area/my desk area. We do have some "toys" in that room, per se, but it's mostly puzzles and things we use in our schooling as well.
It's so much easier to keep the house presentable
For the longest time, I just resorted to the fact that I had kids and the house was just going to be a mess until they were older. But it never really sat well with me. It didn't have to be that way, right?
Nope, it doesn't. Honestly, our kids don't need toys spilling out of every orifice of the house. Once we got rid of the hundreds of options of toys, our kids played much more and more freely. They didn't spend 60 seconds with a toy and then throw it to the side. Now, without all crazy amount of options, they play with a toy, for sometimes an hour, like their Legos. An hour! That rarely happened before the toy purge/getting rid of the toy room.
But now that we have a smaller selection, there's a ton more opened ended play. They are more creative and play more intently. Not only has it been good for keeping the house under control, it's been amazing for the boy's play as well. It's really great to watch how they play with their toys.
And they seem to also be taking better care of their things. While the toys we kept are more sturdy than your flashy light, plastic toys, the boys are more eager to help clean up and do it without much fight back.
Well, most days.
Life has been so much simpler since we started down our minimalist journey. While we still have a ways to go, just getting rid of our "toy room" has helped so much.