Toys. Those odd things that multiply in your sleep. despite your best efforts the mysterious creatures never seem to be tamed. Some seem to have a life of their own. One in our toy bins has been thrown away and left behind during multiple moves and yet is somehow still with us. An almost amusing situation when I think back on it. Neither my husband or myself remember rescuing it and the children were at one point too young to do so.
All joking aside toys really do seem to take over. One item this trip, one the next, then grandma stops by and well you get the point. The holidays are fast approaching and the toys will multiply again over night. Now is the time to get things ready and clean out old toys.
While the kids are asleep dump EVERYTHING. Take out toys that are broken, worn down, or have missing parts. Trash these right way. This job is best done while children sleep or you may find they rescue broken toys from their demise. Then return only toys you really want your child to keep.
Give your child a box (or two, or three) to fill with toys from the remaining toys that are left out. Have them fill the boxes with toys they do not absolutely love. These toys can be donated. This gets the toys out of the house, helps other kids get toys for the holidays and gives your family a tax deduction.
Now pull all of the toys back out give the inside of the toy box a good scrub. It is amazing how much dirt and dust gets at the bottom of a toy bin.
Have your child help sort toys. Sort toys by stuff animals that can be washed, Toys that can go in the tub, and harder to wash toys (think anything with batteries.) Toss all of the stuffed animals into the washer. Fill the bathtub with diluted disinfectant and have your child toss all of the washable toys in for a soak. Clean the remaining toys by hand with a child safe disinfectant. Have your child help wipe everything down until it shines like new.
You now have a clean toy box with only good clean toys you and your child love. Doing this regularly will help keep germs down and the toy monster tamed while making room for new toys that your child will actually play with. You know after the boxes they came in make it out the door.