Sunday, August 30, 2009

Toys, Toys and More Toys Part 2

Dear Ladies,
Now that you have had time to clear the toys from your bedroom room, let’s get started dealing with all the toys that are everywhere else.

One of the best ways to deal with toys is to limit them. So to start you will need a box of trash bags. Before you can organize anything you will need to weed out what you want to keep, what needs to be trashed and which toys can be given away. Anytime you are sorting through toys to get rid of it is best to not have your children around, let them watch a video, nap in your room so you can be in their room or plan a play date. Since this job may take a while you may find it best to accomplish it in short time spans.

Let's get started sorting.
- First we are going to trash any toys that are broken, unsafe, or too worn out to pass on.

-Our second trash bag will be for toys that are still in good condition, but are not played with. Your church nursery maybe interested in them, you can donate them to Goodwill or The Salvation Army for a tax deduction, ask a friend if they are interested in any of the toys for their children or list them on Ebay or Free Cycle. ( is a great way to give items away to other local people. Go to the website and select a group in your area, sign up and then all you do is write a short note of what you have you would like to give away. People will email you if they are interested and then pick it up from you. I love free cycle. I will list something and often have multiple people who would like it. I email one of them with my address and leave the item on the front porch. The next thing I know the item is gone. Often the person will email and tell me how glad they are to have the item.)

How do you determine which toys stay and which toys go? Ask yourself when was the last time your child used the toy, if they have not used it in the last six months to a year it is time for the toy to leave your home. Most children have a few toys that they use all the time and even some that they use every day. Toys like blocks, Playmobiles, Legos, dolls, kitchen items, and dress up clothes give children hours of enjoyment, so these are keepers, unless your child shows no interest in them. Our house has tons of Legos; the boys spent countless hours building, rebuilding and imagining with their Legos.
They were well worth the space they occupied. Decide what toys are worth the space in your home.

-Now be sure to make sure the toys in your trash bags leave your house.

You probably still have plenty of toys left in your house. We will talk about some organizing ideas in the next letter, but for now happy sorting. Remember it doesn't have to be done all at once. If you only have 30 minutes to sort through half of the closet that's ok, the job will get done.

Happy Sorting,


Monday, August 24, 2009

Toys, Toys and More Toys

Dear Ladies,

I love hearing from you and hearing what ideas you would like to read about. Recently a reader asked me for ideas on organizing children’s toys, dealing with the abundance of art work our children make and how to effectively store hand-me-downs. I haven’t personally conquered all of the STUFF in my house. It is a constant battle. Since our home isn’t very big and we don’t have the option of throwing everything in the basement, we have had to learn how to deal with all the stuff that six people need, collect and want.

There is a lot in the above topics to talk about and since I like to keep these letters short, I’m going to break this up into several different letters. First we will start with the toys.

TOYS: They are everywhere and seem to multiple like bunnies. If toys aren’t kept under control they will quickly take over your whole house.

First I would suggest you make your bedroom off limit to toys. I have always felt that the children had the whole house to play in they did not need to play or leave their toys in my room. If you are married your room should be a calm, restful place for you and your husband to enjoy time together, if you are a single mom you need one place that is just for you. You are not being selfish by keeping one room as your personal haven and for many that would mean a room with no toys. So take a box, go to your bedroom and put all the toys in the box. Put the box in a child’s room, we will deal with it later. For now you have one place where you can go that is toy free, be sure to let your kids know that your room is now a “toy free zone” and remember to enforce this new rule.

More to come on the subject of toys in the near future.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Quick Summer Tip

Dear Ladies,

We had a chance to go camping last week. We spent the good portion of an afternoon at the pool one day. The water was nice, the sun was hot and I didn't know where the sunscreen was. Needless to say I got a sunburn. We went to the store and I purchased a bottle of lotion that had Aloe Vera plus vitamins and tea tree oil(usually I use just aloe), it did wonders. Not only did it sooth the burn, the burn turned to a tan and didn't peel.

Aloe is also good to have on hand for the occasional burn when cooking.

Have a great week ladies. Stay cool and remember the sunscreen.


PS- I bought sunscreen and than found the old stuff, so we were better prepared for the next time we went to the pool

Friday, August 7, 2009

Treasure Boxes


We found a great deal this week on treasure boxes. We all know how much children love to keep things and they always need somewhere to keep their treasures.

The cigar store next to the Blockbusters in North Stafford will sometimes have empty cigar boxes sitting outside the door for people to take, but they also sell some of the boxes. The boxes they sell are very nice for treasure boxes. We had a great time sorting through the piles of boxes looking for our favorites. Many boxes are made of beautiful stained word, with hinges and latches on the front. They come in a variety of sizes; they have a few that are a little larger then a shoe box, but many are half that size. Currently there is a sign on the door saying cigar boxes are 1/2, the larger boxes are about $2-2.50 and all the smaller ones(just inside the front door are $1).

I thought the boxes would be great to put Christmas gifts in either as is or spray painted. I'm sure many of your children would enjoy picking out a treasure box to fill and once it is filled I would encourage them to sort through and get rid of some of them to make room for new treasures. This can work as a great way to store treasures, but also to limit them because once the box is full they have to discard somethings.

And if you want to get crafty I'm sure there are many ways you could decorate these boxes, but many are already very nice.

I also have a large box of tea sets. My daughter had multiple sets and we sorted through and just kept her favorites. Is anyone interested in a tea set to have tea parties with their kids? If more then one person wants them I will divide the sets up?

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.


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