When you have three boys with four grandparents, not to mention aunts and uncles who love them, you end up with a small mountain of toys and books in the house. One of the ways we handle this is to have at least half of the toys squirreled away in our closet, out of sight and mostly out of mind.
Initially this was just my way to keep toys that were no longer age appropriate for Jonathan, but would be wanted for later children. Later I realized that it was also a way to keep toys fresh and interesting. If all the toys are out all the time, they all get boring. But put those toys away for 4-6 months, and they are even better than new when they reappear!
Today we gathered all the currently-played-with toys. All four of us sat down together and decided which toys should be thrown away (if broken beyond repair), which would be good to give away, and which we wanted to put away for later. This is the first time I've done this with input from three little boys, and I was expecting lots of disagreement. Surprisingly, it went very smoothly. We ended up with good sized pile to give away, and all boys were in agreement! (It helps that they know where these toys will be going: to the La Habra Life Center just up the street. We've been donating there for years, in person and with the boys' help, and it has been a wonderful way to teach the boys compassion for children who don't have as much as they do.)
The "put away" pile disappeared into the depths of my closet, and then the best part: getting out the "new" toys! All three kids are happily playing while I type, and I'm enjoying the break. :)
What do you do with an abundance of toys, readers?