When I put my home on the market many years ago, I knew that it needed to be "show ready" at any given time. Homes that were neat, clean, and clutter-free sold the quickest and for the most money. Exactly what I wanted!
I had 2 daughters who loved Barbie. I mean LOVED Barbie. Everything Barbie! And I'm pretty sure that they had every shoe, purse, headband, sunglasses, hat, and piece of clothing for Barbie. They would sit in their room and play for hours. But the parts were easily scattered, accidentally kicked next to the bed or nightstand, etc. When a realtor called and wanted to show our home in 30 minutes or less, we were crawling around on our knees to collect all the pieces. Plus I wanted to run through and straighten or pick up anything out of place. I would become frantic - not my best state of mind.
One night my daughters were sitting on the bed with some new Barbie accessories spread out. It hit me light a bolt of lightening - this was the answer! I grabbed a solid color flat sheet and spread on the floor. It was perfect!
The next morning when the girls got out their Barbies, I had them sit on the sheet with all of the "stuff". The solid color, instead of a busy pattern, allowed them to see all of their pieces. When the realtor called, I grabbed the 4 corners of the sheet and picked it up, toys inside. Using a ribbon (I had girls so we had ribbons, not rope LOL), I tied the top and placed on a hook in their closet. The closet still was neat and tidy when we closed the closet doors. And their room was tidy in just seconds!
Over the years we've used this same system with Legos, Matchbook cars and trucks, and anything else that had small pieces. The sheet would be tied and hung up before other toys could be pulled out. This avoided the problem of having multiple boxes or totes with the toys and having the kids pull them all out at the same time or having to sort through all the totes to keep specific pieces and sets together.
Toys - we buy them for your kids to enjoy. But controlling the clutter and the pieces can truly be a headache. This simple strategy will take less than 15 minutes up front and only a few minutes to clean up the toys with small pieces from now on.
One problem. One solution. 15 minutes. Done.