Between both girls in the living room alone we have a toy box, one cupboard and one happyland box all full of toys. In the dining room they have a play kitchen and a dolls pram and in Clara's bedroom a dolls house. It is ridiculous how many toys they have. I am already a pretty firm culler so if something crucial get lost or broken then that is it (unless it is a much beloved toy, so Radio Controlled Brum is totally FUBAR but I daren't throw it out because Phoebe loves him so). I have a toy cull before any gift receiving festival and I am pretty strict on what people buy (well when you have 6 grandparents and 5 sets of aunts and uncles as a starter, not including a vast extended family you have to be a little bit organised about things!) and I do try and theme Christmas so we don't end up with too much of a random spread. I find this bewilders the children too much anyway.
At 2.5 and 4 I think it is time to get ruthless though, I would like to contain things into sets. we currently have a bag system that works quite well. I bought a load of plain cotton drawstring bags (this was pre sewing machine) and decorated them with fabric crayons. We have Animals, Characters, Magnetic Dress Up Dolls, Train Set, Play Food and Vehicles. As well as having them written on I also drew pictures so the children could recognise what belongs where. We did bags as we just don't have room for the, much beloved by parents, Ikea Trofast system. It does work well but I think the time is rapidly approaching when I renovate this system.
My Aunt used to wrap similar batches of toys up in table clothes so the children could play with one thing and then tidying up meant sweeping it all up onto the table cloth and scooping it from there. I am thinking I could make some large drawstring mats to use a similar idea but more dedicated to the cause. I just have no idea how to organise it or, for that matter, what to bin / recycle etc (I have long since given up selling toys...). Any ideas? Better yet anyone want to do it for me hee hee?!