I am the anti-Santa.
I don't mean I hate Christmas. This has nothing to do with the holidays, and in fact I love yule time as much as the next person, but I have been sneaking into our living room at night and removing bags full of toys. And you know what, no one has noticed.
I'm not throwing these toys away or donating them, but I am making them disappear for a certain amount of time, usually until my kids seem bored with what's on offer in our play area, then "new" toys magically re-appear where the old ones once were. I know toy rotation is nothing new for parents, but until I started doing it I didn't realize how smart it was.
As I sit and write this, there are currently seven soft bins jam packed with toys, a giant play yard full of toys, a pack and play full of toys, and a massive cardboard pirate ship all in our living room. We are currently living in a daycare. This is something we're fully embracing, though, because our kids are now home indefinitely. We want to make everything easily accessible, so the girls can just grab what they want to do, especially our older daughter.
For a long time, we had an Ikea art table and a wall of bin storage in the breakfast nook in our kitchen, where my three year old would do art. The closed bins, though, meant that she would have to ask to do something or she would forget what supplies we had. Last weekend, we took the soft cloth bins out and opened up the shelving so everything is easy to see and grab, and every day she amazes me by pulling something out, taking it to the table, and working on it.
I think we're all feeling like the living situations we had set up for ourselves are now different because we're home more, or we're working at home, so constantly adjusting our spaces is something a lot of us are dealing with. We're trying to balance the desire to buy tons of stuff to improve this vs. being resourceful and just using what we have to optimize our living situation. For now, I will continue to be the anti-Santa, rotating out toys so there's not an overwhelming mess to deal with daily, and I'll continue to re-stock the art supplies so that when my daughter learns how to use scissors and cuts every piece of construction paper in the house, there is more the next day when she needs it.