Day 7: Reflection & Inspiration

The 7-Day Toy Cure

• Reflect • Be inspired

(read on for your final assignment!)

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Hello and welcome to the last day of the 7-Day Toy Cure! And welcome to mherhav who uploaded some great photos to the Flickr group. In her words: "buying more baskets is always a sign that it's time to go through the toys AGAIN." Amen!

Assignment #7:
I told you that Assignment #6 was my favorite because of the weight I feel lifted when I remove a bunch of things from my home, but Assignment #7 is probably the most enjoyable. You've done the work, you've made the choices and now it's time to sit down for a few minutes (however many you can spare!), reflect on the Cure experience and be inspired by others.

Reflect
Reflect? That sounds awful touchy-feely, but besides decluttering your home of superfluous toys, Cures are meant to teach you something about yourself, your home and the things you let enter it. If you found yourself looking at your Outbox wondering, "where did all this stuff come from?," now is a good time to think about that for a moment. I realized that one of the things I do that I had considered a virtue, is actually a vice. I love to pick up toys for my son at a local thrift shop. I figure it's better for the environment than buying new toys and it's certainly better for my pocketbook. But is it better for my home? No, I now realize. My standards for the toys I bring home from the thrift shop are lower than toys I buy because I think, "Eh, if he stops liking it in a few weeks I'll just put it on the stoop for someone else to take." Which, in theory, works except I don't do that regularly and instead the toys pile up.

Did doing this Toy Cure inspire any deep thoughts for you? I'd love to hear them.

Be Inspired
The goal of the 7-Day Toy Cure is simply to edit your children's toys, books and art supplies. And, congratulations, you've done it! But the process may have also got you thinking about how these things are stored, organized or displayed in your home. Perhaps you have a system in place that's working for you and you just needed to weed your toy inventory a bit - terrific. But if, like me, you realize there's room for improvement, I wanted to leave you with an inspiration gallery of smart and beautiful home organization. Take a peek. The first two rows are toy storage, the third is books and the fourth is arts & crafts.

Click through the link in each photo to see and read more about these inspiring, organized spaces:

Parting Thoughts

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I recently stumbled on an old post, inspired by Martha Stewart.com, about having a donation bag (akin to a permanent Outbox) in your home. Doing a full-on Cure every once in awhile is a great idea, but editing your home should be a part of daily life too.

Finally (and this is not part of your assignment), consider buying a new toy or book or box of crayons to celebrate completing the 7-Day Toy Cure. It's a nice way to show your child that there's a reason to get rid of toys - so that you can enjoy new toys in the future. My advice: choose something small!

Thank you, readers, who participated in the Toy Cure at home. I hope you found it useful and I, for one, was glad to know we were in it together!

(Images as credited in original posts)

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As Apartment Therapy's Family Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.