The 7-Day Toy Cure

A Busy Parent's Plan for Editing Down Your Home's Toys

As every parent knows, a home with children can become quickly overrun with toys, books and art supplies. Do more toys mean more fun? No, in fact it can mean less fun as your over-stimulated kids spend just a few minutes with each toy and quickly move on to the next one and the next one. Not to mention the stress that comes with a cluttered home. You should always be on the lookout for toys that your kids no longer use or that are broken, but a few times a year we recommend you dedicate time to do a really thorough editing job. The 7-Day Toy Cure is here to help.

Maxwell has been hosting Cures on Apartment Therapy for years (for example, The 20/20 Home Cure and currently the Color Cure) and they're based on ideas he wrote about in his 2006 book Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure. It's a fantastic primer for "curing" your home of its ills and transforming it into a beautiful, healthy sanctuary. Consider The 7-Day Toy Cure a "mini-cure" to tackle just one facet of your home: your children's toys (we're including books, media and art supplies as well.) It can feel like an overwhelming task but if you break it down into manageable chunks you’ll be successful.

How It Works:
There will be six assignments over seven days (the first one may take you two days) and each one should take about an hour; maybe more depending on how many children you have or how many toys you’ve accumulated. If you need to skip a day, no problem. Make it work with your schedule. If this isn’t a good time for you (end-of-summer family vacation perhaps?), bookmark this post and come back and start the Cure when the time is right.

We want you to feel really good heading into the school year with toys, books and art supplies pared down and under control. For those of you ready to dive in and dig out, here’s your first assignment:

Assignment #1: Create an Outbox,Touch & Evaluate Every Toy
Assignment #2: Touch & Evaluate Every Toy continued
Assignment #3: Arts & Crafts Supplies
Assignment #4: Books & Media
Assignment #5: Clean & Repair
Assignment #6: Empty Your Outbox
Assignment #7: Reflection & Inspiration

Share & Discuss Your Cure:
• We've created a 7-Day Toy Cure Flickr group and encourage you to share photos of your befores, afters and progress with each other.
• Use the comments section of each assignment to chat with each other, ask questions and share your successes.

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Family, Cures

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.

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