Taming Toys: A Fresh Start for 2013

The gift giving is over, the wrapping paper and tree are at the curb, and a mountain of new toys threatens to overtake your home. No matter how careful you are, it's difficult to curb the deluge of new play things your child receives during the holidays. And the worst part is, all of that stuff can not only overwhelm your home but your little one as well. Here are a few of my favorite tips and tricks from around the web for taming the toys in your home and giving yourself (and your child) a fresh start this year:

1. Less is More. Kids can become overwhelmed when presented with a large quantity of toys at once. Limiting the amount of toys your child has to choose from can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Joanna Goddard of A Cup of Jo says, "With Toby, I've been putting a blanket over his toys, so he can focus on playing with one thing at a time. His room looks simple and inviting with just a few favorite toys."

Sherry Petersik of Young House Love echoes that sentiment in her post on kids' stuff: "I finally decided not to leave every last toy that Clara might play with out at all times. So many friends of mine said their kids were happier/more stimulated if their toys were switched out, instead of just giving them free reign of a million things at once."

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2. Have a System. There are many systems for keeping your kids' toys at a manageable level. Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day says, "I keep my kids toys on one shelf in clear bins. Anything that doesn't fit on that shelf gets donated." While Kelly of The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking chooses to separate her children's toys into clear plastic bins. "Each morning we pull a bin of toys out of the cabinet. The children only play with the toys in that bin for that day. At the end of the day we pick up all the toys and put them back in the right bin. Tomorrow, we'll play with the next bin."

3. Work with Your Decor. Every toy doesn't have to be hidden away in a play room or toy box. Melanie Blodgett of You Are My Fave advocates having functional and good-looking storage in the room in which you spend the most time as well as allowing attractive toys to function as decor in your space while Jordan Ferney chooses quality toys that are "beautiful and interesting" for her children.

The bottom line is, there is no right or wrong way to tame the toys in your home. Find out what works for you and your family and stick to it. Not sure where to start? Revisit Apartment Therapy's 7-Day Toy Cure from last year. It's designed to work for you whenever you're ready. Do you have any great tips and tricks for curbing the toy clutter in your home? We'd love to hear about them!

(Images via Shutterstock and Oh Happy Day)

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