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Go Ask Mom

Housekeeping Tip: Getting rid of toy clutter

Posted January 8, 2013

I've been to Beverly Kain's home and I can attest to the fact that it's spotless. I have seen her daughters' rooms and they are not cluttered with toys.

Here's Kain's secret: Before each birthday or gift-getting holiday, she asks her girls, ages 9 and 13, to get rid of some of their old ones. After all, they want to live in a clean space too, said Kain, owner of House-N-Order, a home decorating and organizing business based in Cary. I featured Kain on Monday. Beverly Kain Housekeeping Tip: Getting rid of toy clutter

Here's my experience getting rid of toys: To make room for Christmas gifts, I quietly purged our own play room, giving away a giant box of toys and clearing out all of the clutter in that room. It was very obvious, at least to me, that things were missing.

I was shocked when my kids didn't miss or ask about any of the missing toys. When my three-year-old stumbled on the box, she decided the toys were "old" and left them alone. In fact, what happened was they actually started playing with the toys that were left.

Lesson learned. I heartily endorse Kain's recommendation.

To hear more from Kain, watch my quick interview with here. For more about her business, go to House-N-Order's website. And check back next Wednesday for another tip from Kain.

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  • shall6 Jan 13, 8:28 p.m.

    RaleighMom ... sorry for not seeing your comment earlier. I actually take toys to the Missions Thrift Store at Crossroads Fellowship in north Raleigh (for full disclosure: my mom is a church member there and active volunteer at the store).

    Here's the information: http://www.crossroads.org/thriftstore

    Sarah

  • raleighmom Jan 9, 2:12 p.m.

    Where do you donate toys? It seems like Goodwill no longer accepts them?

  • thefensk Jan 9, 12:51 p.m.

    We tried to thin out the herd of stuff animals from my daughter's room once when she was about 5 (now 26) ... took them to one of the PTA thrift stores. She missed most right away -- I think her mother had to go down and buy a couple of "favorites" ones back -- and once on a trip to the thrift store she recognized one of her toys ... 100% idenification due to some flaw or spot, I still don't know how she did it. But I think she is the exception.

  • missparrothead Jan 9, 9:35 a.m.

    When my kids were younger, I had a bin in the family room, bonus room and their rooms. By the end of the day, all toys were corralled into the bins. Other box games/puzzles, etc were kept on closet shelves, etc. We also had a few "purges" throughout the year to keep them minimized. Its a big challenge....

  • jonnraleigh Jan 9, 6:35 a.m.

    Part of the problem is that most kids have way too many toys. I've seen playrooms that are wall-to-wall toys. A child (or adult for that matter) does not need that many toys. We held our kids down to a manageable few and kept half of them stored away and would rotate them when we could see our kids' interest in the ones out wane.