About six months ago I came to this conclusion; we have too much stuff. The culprit that first brought it to my attention was our toy collection. It seemed like we had toys all over the place, in every room, totally disorganized and in thousands of pieces. I pretty much go crazy if my house stays cluttered, so I was constantly picking them up only to have them dumped back out again multiple times a day. And I noticed that rather than actually playing with the toys, the boys really just liked the "dumping" process. So I wised up on them and did a few things to get our toy collection under control:

1) I started loading up boxes of toys to donate to charity. The toys that qualified for donation were a) consistently "dumped" but never played with, b) of little to no educational value and/or didn't encourage imagination c) so full of noise-making buttons that they were an over-stimulating nuisance, d) duplicates of nicer toys we already owned.
2) I went to Target and loaded up on about a dozen clear plastic totes in varying sizes as well as labels for each tote. Each kind of toy got it's own labeled tote.
3) All of the totes are being stored high up in a closet where only I can reach them. One or two gets brought down at a time, and this keeps the mess under control and also keeps things fresh since the boys don't have access to everything all the time.

Oh my goodness, what a difference this made! Controlling the kid clutter around the house is so much easier now. Of course it requires a little upkeep. About once every week or two I have to round up lost pieces and re-organize the bins. But it's totally worth it and my sanity is just a little more intact now!

Just for the fun of it, here are my boys' current favorites: 

one.  |  two.  |  three.  |  four.  |  five.  |  six.  |  seven.  |  eight.  |  nine.

What toys are your kids into these days? Also, Christmas is right around the corner! As much as I'm committed to keeping our toy supply to a happy minimum, I'd love to hear your gift ideas for the kids!

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