Somehow, kids inevitably come along with a lot of stuff.
We try to keep things pretty minimal around here and yet we still feel swamped sometimes. One of the best decisions we made as parents the first time around was to not purchase much until after the baby arrived. All the lists and guides tell you your “must haves” but we never felt the need for most of it.
What gets you is gifts. Don’t get me wrong, we are always grateful for gifts for our boys from those we love, but they add up. Grandparents always love to buy toys that are big, loud and battery operated, don’t they?
That said, I strongly believe that just because you have kids doesn’t mean your house can’t also be pretty and minimal. My boys have grown up surrounded by lots of white and breakable objects, but they’ve also learned along the way to be respectful and not touch certain things. Have things gotten broken? Of course. But that’s always on me for choosing to take the risk of having those items within reach.
Here are a few tips on keeping toys and gear from overrunning your house…
- Rotate your toys: Not everything has to be out all the time. In fact, kids will play with toys more if the bulk of them are kept in storage and you switch out the selection for something new when they tire of what’s on hand.
- Buy used, and sell often: Get on your local buy & sell groups! It makes it easy to freshen up the toy selection for not much money, plus you’re not increasing your eco footprint when you buy used. Whenever you get something new, sell something for a few bucks to keep the stash from getting out of control.
- Make your storage attractive: We don’t have a playroom or basement for toys so our toys are right in plain sight. You need bins or containers to keep everything organized, but who says they can’t be pretty? I choose bins or baskets made from durable materials that will stand up to rough play but look nice when they’re closed and put away.
Does our house often look like a toy factory just exploded? Of course! But it’s also a nice feeling when the kids go to bed and to be able to put everything out of view and get my living room back for the evening. For a few hours anyway, before it’s time to wake up and destroy the house all over again!