How To Keep Toys From Totally Taking Over Your Home

You're just three steps away from serenity.

If you have kids, you have toys, and if you have toys, you have messes.

It might seem like an unavoidable reality to just make do with the scattering of stuffed animals, building blocks, puzzle pieces and play sets littering your living room, but organization expert Peter Walsh says there's a simple way to keep things from getting out of hand.

"How do you get your kids to manage their own toys?" Walsh poses. "Here's a technique that I've used really well, lots of times."

  1. Set limits on the number of toys your children can have.
    First things first: Reduce the clutter. Whether it's a couple of toy chests or baskets, Walsh says it is key to set up designated containers to house these select items.
  1. Establish containers as "homes" for the toys.
    "Help your children to understand that when they're finished playing with their toys, this is where they belong," Walsh says. "This is their home."
  1. Follow the "one in, one out" rule.
    Walsh says that this might be the most important element of all. "When the bins are full, before they can add a toy, they have to take out a toy and give it away," he explains. "One in, one out."

The great thing about this process is that even though it's simple, its benefits are numerous.

"It's a great technique for teaching your children responsibility for their own toys, the concept of time tabling and putting things away. And, maybe best of all, the idea of giving things to people who are less well-off," Walsh says. "And don't forget -- it really helps keep your home organized."

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