Post-holiday toy purge. Now’s the time to do it!



Christmas is over, and with all the new toys your children acquired, now is the perfect time to go through old toys.

Here are some general rules I like to apply to this task:

  • 1-in 1-out rule¬†–¬†if they add¬†a new toy they must get rid of 1 toy. ¬†Very important……stick to this!
  • Go through toys every 3 months and rotate where they are kept (rotate all your toys between all the rooms containing toys: ¬†playroom, bedroom, basement).In my experience just shifting their placement brings new life to a “forgotten”¬†toy.¬†While you are going through them, choose toys that they have outgrown¬†to donate (first remove the toy from their play area for a month or so, and if they don’t ask about it, donate!) ¬†Note:¬† go through children‚Äôs toys without them; if you ask them whether or not they want it, they will!¬† Children will make up/find an emotional attachment to anything!!)
  • If you are unable to part with your children‚Äôs toys without asking them, go through the toys with them a couple of times a year and ask them¬†instead to find a certain number of (eg. 5) toys they are willing to donate to a needy child or shelter.
  • Keep play areas organized with labelled boxes/bins/crates.¬† This way your children will know where the toys go when they are done with them.
  • Designate areas for certain toys, and group like items together. ¬†For example, have a craft area with a bin/shelving unit available with all the supplies they will need to do their crafts. Designate a Lego area, doll area, kitchen area, and so on. ¬†Keeping “like” items together makes it both easier for play and clean-up!
  • Implement the rule that they can make as much mess/play as hard as they like‚Ķ.as long as the toys get put away properly, and by them, when they are done.
  • Throw away broken toys immediately.

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“Christmas lights” = GONE after Christmas!!! People please!!ūüôŹūüôŹ



Okay, so maybe it’s just me, but I really don’t think so. ¬†Who out there agrees that after the Christmas season is over, the lights should be turned off and come down???

One major pet peeve of mine is to see¬†people’s Christmas lights still up in May! ¬†Come on people! ¬†Get off your butts and get them down already!

There are always some mild, or at least nice winter days where you can get out there and get them down.  Maybe putting a due date in your calendar would help (say Jan.31st at the latest!!) you actually get it done.

Now, a couple of tips to keep the cords from tangling into a big ball (like Chevy Chase on Christmas Vacation…). ¬†Using a larger box from one of your Christmas presents, cut the large side out and carefully wrap the lights around it. ¬†You should also write on it where they came from and/or how many strands are there.

After you have your lights all wrapped around these boxes put them into an old zippered quilt/duvet bag, or other clear bag that you can see or label.

Keep your other outdoor decorations and lights all together and clearly marked so that the job will be easier each year.

In with the new, out with the old….new year’s resolutions


IMG958 This is the time of year where my husband notices the gym is always packed, and I pass new runners out there killing themselves!  One thing we also notice is neither the trails I run, nor the gym are as busy by February.

What does this say…….

One of the most common new years  resolutions is to get healthy and start exercising.  A great thing to do, but unfortunately approached wrong by many people.  Getting out there is where you start, but starting with a plan and realistic goals, and starting gradually rather than full out will have longevity.  You are more likely to keep going if you schedule it in, and if you start slowly.

As I’ve said before……in order to make it a new habit and lifestyle change, you must actually enjoy it!!!!!

Don’t feel like you need to go out there and run hard for 5 km. Starting with a good brisk walk for 30 minutes first and gradually building from there is the way to go (contact me if you need more advice, a partner, or tips here).

At the gym, try to have a plan.  Decide first what you want to accomplish, and consider whether or not this is better done by hiring a personal trainer to learn correct form and exercises. Hiring a personal trainer may seem like an unneeded expense to you, but hiring the right one for a short period of time to get you on the right track can really benefit you in the long run.  Signing up for classes is also a good way because you feel more committed that you have to go.

Whatever you do decide to do, getting fit and healthy is always a worthwhile goal and it is never too late to start!  Just make sure it is enjoyable and realistic!

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your Simply Susan useful tip of the dayūüėā