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kids'Toys

8 Steps For Managing & Organising Your Kids’ Toys

Most families have too much stuff, and that includes kids’ toys. Most parents have had the slapstick comedy scene where you get up to check on something in the house, a noise perhaps, and tread on a squeaky toy or slide across the room and land on your bottom after stepping onto a skateboard or some such rolly thing. Then there’s the clutter that ends up driving you crazy if you have nowhere to store the mountain of toys the kids just had to have or that grandparents have bought over the years. If you have only one area in the house to relax, for the kids to play, toys can be a problem. If you get tired of telling the kids to pick up their toys, but the toybox is well and truly overflowing, maybe it’s time to get organised.

Kids' Toys

1. Keep an Eye Out For Ignored Toys

It seems counterintuitive but the fewer toys kids seem to have cluttering up the overfull toybox, the more they play what’s in there. Some boys will stick to their favourites such as the fire engines, plastic dinosaurs, and fast cars. Culling them would be an obvious mistake, but you could consider removing the small plastic rubbishy things such as Kinder surprises, and stuff they get for free at fast food outlets. If you leave the kids’ favourite toys around to play with, they won’t notice the cull.

2. Get Rid of Non-age Appropriate Toys

You could be the one reluctant to let go of your kids’ baby toys or toddler toys, even though nobody plays with them, and if so you’re not the only one. Some parents find it hard to do, maybe thinking they’ll have more kids and will need the toys. Giving them up might mean your baby days are over, and that can be sad, but you might find a mother in need somewhere who can’t afford toys for her baby, and that would be a panacea for your grief. And my kids will barely notice their baby toys gone, unless it’s a favourite cuddly toy they’ve had since birth. You would never part with that.

3. Don’t buy Happy Meals, Kinder Surprises etc

The simplest way of avoiding these nasty little beggars that cut into your bare feet if left lying around and you don’t see them scattered on the floor is to ditch them and don’t buy any more. They often come in party bags and other fun things but if the choice is yours, don’t use them. It will mean no more happy meals, but you’ll be healthier, have less pesky little bits cluttering your house and have more money. It’s cheaper to just get a plain burger and chips and to take your own water (in a glass bottle – think of the plastic cluttering up the oceans).

4. Convince the Kids to Donate

One good way to clear the clutter is to teach your kids’ the joy of giving their unwanted toys away to other children in need, or donating them to charity. However, it’s all in the way you approach the subject and how old they are. Mr five can perhaps begin to understand how much more he has than some other kids and might show some enthusiasm in helping others. If your kids are older, have a chat with them about giving away to other kids in need those toys they don’t play with anymore.  

5. Have a Special Play Area

If you don’t have a playroom it doesn’t matter. The specified play area doesn’t have to be a whole room but you will need a place where the toys reside, which could be one corner of the lounge room. Mind you, the toys will no doubt rarely stay there, but will be spread throughout the house. However, when it’s pick up toys time they have their own place to go. Your child will probably have learned the art of toy tidiness at preschool so make it a game.

colour, bedlinen, playtime, cubby house,

6. The Right Storage is a Good Investment

It’s more often the case that clutter is a problem because there’s nowhere to store the toys. If you have a small house you’ll need multipurpose storage, for instance, a toy box that serves as a bench. It will need a hard top that can go over the box if there’s a need for extra seating.

7. Gently Coach Grandparents About Gifts

Grandparents love to spoil their grandchildren with gifts and such and that’s a special joy for them and the kids. Without taking that away, you’ll need to talk to both sets of grandparents and gently explain how your house is too small for all those toys, or that you‘re teaching your kids to be mindful of waste.  A good idea is for the toys Gran or Pa buy be left at the grandparents’ house so there’s something the kids can play with when they visit.

8. Try Joining a Toy Library

Toy libraries are a great idea for anyone who wants to declutter and also give the kids a thrill by going to a special place where they can find toys they want to play with and take them home for a couple of weeks or a month, then go back and change them. If there’s a toy library in your area, the small fee is worth the joy for the whole family. Toy libraries are usually stocked with high-quality toys that still have the ‘new’ feel so kids play with them a lot. To find a toy library near you check out https://www.toylibraries.org.au.

 

Author’s Bio

Alex Morrison has been an avid digital marketer for over 10 years. In this time he has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in depth understanding of many different industries including toys, children’s products and services. As the owner of Integral Media he is now utilising his knowledge and experience with his rapidly increasing client portfolio to help them achieve their business goals.

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ImPERFECT interiors make PERFECT homes…

We are constantly bombarded with images of beautiful on trend homes!!…Are you like me an obsessive collector of glossy interior magazines that set the benchmark of how your home should be??? Why do we set ourselves up for disappointment…let’s get real most of these perfectly styled homes are never truly lived in its all for show… stop believing the grass is always greener and start to celebrate the homes we have, sticky finger prints and all. I urge you to follow a more genuine style where your home emanates personality and uncovers the story of you and your beautiful family. Therefore I believe imperfect interiors make perfect homes.

 

Kats slow style

Kats slow style

 

What about TREND?

Grey and everything dull is the latest and greatest!...How’s the DE saturated thing going for your kids???Really are we trying to raise mini adults fitting them into our sophisticated approach to interior décor?… I believe we should be nurturing and embracing the natural healthy development of our own creative kids by surrounding them with spaces that inspire and encourage genuine experiences. (Colour bombing)

A new approach…

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Adding items to your home you gather along the way whilst your family grows makes for beautiful spaces…

So those of you with homes, kids, pets, all contusive of mania. I believe it is time for a new approach ….its an honest look at style mixed in with a humour and colour explosion. LBH life with kids is always epic, it’s always explosions, it’s always about finding the right balance and rebalancing. It’s us mamma’s working together to find the right solution. We need to have the confidence to be contented in a family friendly house, in organised mayhem.

Let’s call it SLOW style…

Make your style true to you and your family rather than the latest trend…. Let’s call it SLOW style…SLOW design…. This represents having a home that evolves with your family, a sustainable lifestyle. Leave space on the wall ready for your kid’s artworks…plan for the future…do not fill your house with cheap fast fashion and décor items for the sake of the latest disposable trend. It’s about forward thinking and being ready for those things that really mean something to your family and add sooo much value.

 

Slow conscientious life styling…let’s be HONEST let’s be REAL……


This blog emerged after a fabulous wine filled evening with my fellow creative friendie and mamma of small kidlets Pinky Wittingslow, Textile designer. We both live and breathe the SLOW DESIGN ethos. Our own homes are a (crazy) eclectic mix and match of colour, whimsical collectables and kids artwork…all added with love.

home style pinky

home style pinky


About the Author

Kat is an Illustrator, entrepreneur, blogger,  interior/textile designer, visual arts teacher and above all mother to three crazies. In her whimsical humorous way, she explores all topics related to the many sides of motherhood and parenting little angels on her blog.

Connect with Kat on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to be inspired every day.

Colouring book freebie

 

 

 

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Once upon a memory

Ok I’m a mum of three kids that span a decade…all their needs differing…I work, I serve, I nurture, I friend, I love….I bet you do too???… Its mental isn’t it?…I mean life is speeding past at the rate of knots. Come bedtime – after the craziest two hours spent delegating, feeding, instructing, bathing, reading and organising – I am exhausted ready to crash… Great lets relax let’s sleep! BUT NO the mind starts racing…it doesn’t stop…the inner voice begins  ” Have I turned off the iron? Has Emily cleaned her teeth in the last 3 days? OH MY GOD I didn’t sign the note for Joe’s excursion to the sewage plan TOMMOROW!!!!

This started to become a real pain in the #%&^ as I was averaging three hours sleep a night.  I searched for answers to solve this issue…I WANT TO SLEEP!

I tried mediative music, breathing, hot tea, cold tea, head wraps, different positions, taking the dog to bed with me, taking the youngest to bed with me…kicking the husband out of bed…nothing…nothing …NOTHING!!!!

AHA there was one thing left on my carefully researched and compiled list…Memory induced sleep…or MIS..(Please don’t Google it I just made it up)..

I had my usual nightly shower turned the lights off, plumped up my feather pillow, snuggled under my bed covers closed my eyes and began the MIS process…

I was 8 years old sitting at the kitchen table at my Aunty Jane’s house in Shrewsbury

 (It ok I grew up in England). I can smell the fresh sweet scent of baking filling the air; she made the best chocolate cake.  As I look around the table my cousins Dan and Emily all smile back. A bright yellow plastic cup sits in front of me with my favourite sugar filled drink, Orange Squash. I take a sip it tastes so good…so sweet.  We chatter away and giggle as we grab at the felt-tip pens and fight over the huge selections of colouring in books. I find a picture of Dumbo the elephants and start to scribble…I stare at the tip of the pen as it leaves its mark on the page….every stroke of colour getting me closer finishing. I am filled with such warmth, love and satisfaction….A truly happy memory.

The sound of the alarm wakes me with a start…8 hours…I actually slept 8 hours..

Have a go and let me know how you go in the comments below!!!!!

Colouring book freebie

 

 

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Planting the SEEDS….

So lets be honest I have not uploaded a blog for a while …WHY? Sometimes when the creative spark is firing you just have to run with it and that is what has been taking up my time of late. I am also taking some time to think through my use of social media so that you, dear reader, get quality, not just quantity. The blog is the perfect way for everyone to hear my voice…the voice behind Kat & Fox (And it’s a loud voice).

So now that that’s sorted out I s’pose I should begin. BTW I do like to think out loadcall it what you will eccentric, mad, creative or just an overall chatterbox., promise to not be too long and I’ll add lots of cool images!

PlantingTheSeeds2

I going to start with.. WHO IS THE ’ I’…well my name is Kat Rattray, born Katharine Jane Fox, hence the brand name and yes ‘I’ started this brand. Now moving onto the basic beginnings. As the ‘My story’ states on the website I was a little girl who adored nothing more than to sit and scribble, draw, colour – you name it I tried it. When my parents discovered this they realised it was the only thing that would shut me the hell up and keep me still. Back in my day we were never diagnosed with certain behavioural conditions…I was just seen as a bloomin’ annoying kid with big round blue eyes and a cheeky grin. My Dad, Mr George Patrick Fox, loved the fact that I showed promise in this area and would rush down to our local stationery supply shop in Hampton court…EKA (Still running to this day) and delight in selecting me pens, pencils, sketch pads and even paints when he felt a little more adventurous! (Cool dad award!) Mum, Mrs Susan Mary Fox, contributed to this as a Band-Aid to make me feel better when I was home from school sick, so in came the colouring and felt tip pen sets. I would devour these.

Another influential moment in my story was way back in 1981. I was five years old and we had our white, block like, 1930’s deco house painted to a Marigold (so on trend) colour by a local profession painter David (Our house ended up being known as the slab of butter). I adored him as when ever he arrived to set up he always took the time to chat and ask to see what I drawn, painted or coloured. He even shared with me the fact that he loved to paint in watercolours – very talented! Whist he worked on the house I would set myself up on the lawn at the base of his ladder (great WHS) on the rare English hot dry summer days with felt-tip pens and paper at my disposal gaining direction from above as he tried to get on with his job. I don’t know why he was so nice to me, I mean I was a pain (A BIG PAIN). If I were he I would have found the nearest bin and thrown my five year old self in there. But the best thing happened on my 6th birthday. While still in my parent’s employment, David bought me first set of DERWENT colouring pencils. My blue eyes were pools of excitement. I felt super special. In fact that tin of pencils stayed by my side until I was fifteen when they turned into tiny stubs from so much usage.

There were many other wonderful people in my childhood that added more bricks to my yellow brick road. Uncle Tom and Aunty Bridget used to love nothing more than to drag Sandra (their little girl) and I to the Royal Academy in London amongst many other places. Looking up at a massive Da Vinci’s, Monet’s all stayed with me.

So if you have fallen asleep this is the part where in 3, 2,1 you are now WIDE AWAKE and feeling very refreshed and ready for more…

Planting the Seeds 1

Hopefully by telling my story through this blog I have helped you to see how essential planting initial seeds can be for a young person. If your child shows, from a young age, a glimmer of ability and love for making, drawing, and painting, YOU MUST go with it. Don’t stress about the mess, its cleanable. Show interest, provide them with resources, take them to galleries, and frame their work. This all became so important to me. All that support allowed me to follow my passion and turn it into a career I love. Remember it takes a community to raise a child so look to those around you for guidance too.

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