Decluttering Toys

As I mentioned in my most recent post, we’ve been dealing with a lot of behavior issues with The Boy lately. He has had what we call “meltdowns” every day for the past two weeks (there’s a slight possibility it wasn’t every day, but it was certainly more days than not. 

I’ve been reading about the effect of electronics (to include toys with batteries) on behavior, and I’ve decided to test out the theory. This is what our living room looked like as of a few days ago:

The chairs are in the living room because our home is used for our church services, but their placement in the room was due to The Boy using them to “build a house” and then deciding that that was how they were going to be put away. 

This morning, I took every toy downstairs and most of the toys in The Boy’s room and dumped them all on the living room floor. Then, together with The Boy, we sorted the toys into categories. We had categories for toy food, stuffed animals, baby toys, cars, train tracks, building blocks, duplo legos, instruments, chunky puzzles, stuff to throw away, and stuff to give away. 

I also removed all electronic toys from the room (I’m storing them elsewhere for the time being), and I will limit his screen time to 30 minutes a day or less. He didn’t have ton of screen time before but I’m pulling back the reigns even more for now to see how things go. 

My plan is to try going without the battery-powered toys for a couple of weeks and observe The Boy’s behavior for changes, if any. 

After about 2 hours of sorting and organizing, our living room now looks like this:

Every toy has a place, and toys that are in the black bins have labels so we can see what belongs there at a glance. We also have some “dress up” clothes that are currently in The Boy’s bedroom which I’d like to find room for in the living room as well. I have thoughts on how that might work, but I haven’t done it yet. 

Looking forward to seeing if this makes any difference in our family dynamics.