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Tame the toys: 5 great ways to manage the messes

If you’ve got a new year’s resolution to get control of the toy chaos in your home, here’s one suggestion from Parents magazine that may surprise you: Get rid of the toy box.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but using a large box or bin as a catchall for toys actually encourages disarray. As everything gets tossed inside, organization goes by the wayside. 

To get a handle on toy taming, we turned to the experts at Parents, who offer 5 great ways to manage toy messes.

1. Make a 24-hour rule. Toss junk toys from fast food places or party goody bags after a day or two. Be firm on this one!

2. Create a toy library. Turn a closet or a cabinet into a “library” from which a certain number can be “checked out” at a time. When your child wants to switch playthings, she must bring one of her “checked out” toys back first.

3. Limit toys and activities in your home. Remember, your home is not a nursery school. Accept that you can’t have a toy for every activity. If your child gets to paint a lot at preschool, you don’t need to keep painting supplies in the house.

4. Use Santa as leverage. Santa probably just brought your kids some new goodies, so take this time to purge and donate older toys that don't get much love anymore.

5. Don't keep it for Grandma's sake. Retire anything that your child isn't actively interested in - no matter who gave it to her. 

You can join Parents magazine in the quest to conquer clutter in 2015 by using the hashtag #conquerclutter on Twitter and Instagram.