We switched out my son’s toys this past weekend and, although he’s had most of these toys for most of his life, it seemed a Christmas-like event for him.
We pick just enough toys to fit on his dedicated shelves — trying to keep a nice balance of wheels, balls, stackers, stuffed, and small — and the rest go in a storage bin that stays in the attic for the next three months.
They go in the attic because there is no temptation. We don’t have to keep track of or clean up any of those toys. We don’t even have to think about them for three whole months. We kind of forget about them. So when they make their way out into the rotation again, they are like new, and, thus, exciting again.
Rotating every three months is an arbitrary amount of time. It seemed to make sense because it lined up with the changing of the seasons. I like to do something, even something small, during the changing of the seasons to commemorate them. It makes me notice them more and then I enjoy each one more. And I’d be going in the attic for seasonal clothes at those times anyway. The timing also works well around holidays for us — Christmas and Mo’s birthday each fall near the a solstice and an equinox.
We keep Mo’s toys on the bottom three shelves of his bookcase for a few reasons. 1. The shelves are a nice display. They are open and within his reach so he can see everything that is available, get it himself, and also put it away himself. There is no rummaging in toy boxes where things can get lost or broken. 2. The shelves act as a boundary. We can’t accumulate too many things without also thinking of what we would get rid of to make room. 3. The shelves were available. He has only two shelves of books. They are at the top because they are delicate and are only taken down to be read together.
We don’t keep many toys out at a time and Mo is perfectly happy with that. He enjoys what’s available when it’s around and explores new places and things when those opportunities arise. It works for us. And, more importantly, it helps to keep our lives a little simpler, less stressful, and more enjoyable.