My parents are in town, so we're play a lot this week, but I thought I'd give you a little update on the purging of the toys in the kitchen. We had a lot of toys in the kitchen. Some always lived there and others migrated. It's the room we spend 90% of our time in, so it's not surprising. Even though I had baskets and bins for them it was just too much. The baskets and bins were overflowing and there were a lot of baskets and bins. It took far longer than five minutes to pick-up and the amount of toys available to strew about made a significant mess.
I have now pared down the toy selection to a much more manageable amount and the results have been wonderful. First, we really can pick-up in five minutes (maybe less). There is much less visual clutter and less raw material to create the clutter and mess. And, the toys really are being played with. I was pretty selective about the toys that were left out. There are some board books (none of which I look at and inwardly groan about reading) a couple of soft dolls, a wooden ring stacker, a wagon, a toy phone, plus K.'s cars. They are all things which can be played with as they were designed or can be used as other things. The wooden stacker has seen the most play it has ever had and has been stacked and used for a great number of other things.
Probably the most interesting thing is that no one has complained (or even seemed to notice) that there are a lot fewer toys available. They have played with what's available or they have searched out other things to do, such as D. getting out several puzzles to work on yesterday. Having less stuff has seemed so far to create a greater sense of calmness all around. Plus, I haven't had to spend much time telling people to pick-up or feeling annoyed that no one is picking up. I'm sure this has more than a little bit to do with the atmosphere of calm around the house.