Project Organize: Day 3 – Ellie’s Books and Toys (a la “Simplicity Parenting”)

Continuing with my organizing theme for the week, today I am beginning to sort through and organize Ellie’s books and toys.

Here are the toys that we have for her:

There are a couple other little toys that we keep in the living room, which I forgot to add to the pile. 

I know that this isn’t very many toys, compared to most kids her age.  We’ve done this quite purposefully – both in number and kind of toys that we’ve welcomed into our house.  Even with this few toys, Ellie still sometimes just flits from one toy to another without really playing with them (which is likely a consequence of having too many choices).

And here’s our bookshelf or at least the bottom three shelves of it.  The bottom two shelves are board books, which she is reading right now.

I forgot to take a before picture so this is the best I could find in our files.

Here is where I am right now, in the process of sorting and boxing up the vast majority of our books.

That’s Ellie, pulling books out of the box about as fast as I could put them in!

My plan is to only have out 6-8 books at a time and we’ll probably pull out new books (and put away old) every week or so.  With the toys, I’m going to put some of them away because she doesn’t play with them anymore.  I am also going to make drawstring bags for anything that has multiple pieces and attempt to put some kind of applique on the front of each bag that relates to what goes inside.  We’re going to start working with Ellie on the concept of playing with just one toy at a time and putting it away before getting out another one.  We’ll store all the toys on the shelves of the bookshelf that I’m currently clearing of books.

Packing away all these books has actually been really hard/conflicting for me.  It feels like we should have TONS of books out, you know?  But really, all Ellie does with most of the books is pull them off the shelves and then I have to put them on again.  I am hoping that with very few options, she’ll learn to settle down and enjoy the books that she does have.  (And yes, I realize that this is an age/maturity issue as well as a “too many books” issue.)

All of this is prompted by our reading of the book, Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne.  We’re attempting to simplify Ellie’s environment in order to help her to thrive.

  I’ll keep you posted on how this plan works out.

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