This month is the perfect time for a tune up, a toy tune up that is! After the holidays it can be overwhelming to integrate the new toys into the mix. I try to take it slow, and put out the things my daughter really wants to play with right away. I put other items away for a snowy/rainy day, and then try to find a place for the rest. Inevitably this means some purging of old items, which is OK.
Last weekend my six-year old daughter and I purged her dress up clothes and purses, and her box of art supplies. I let her take the lead as my "client" and decide what she wanted to keep, what could be given away to another child, and what should head to the trash. She didn't get rid of a ton, but we worked together to clear room for some of the new special things. For example, her art table was a mess of old half-done projects and worn out supplies, so I said that if she wanted to use the new sticker maker and stack of coloring books she had to make some space.
It was also a good opportunity for me to see what items she really liked and what see didn't. It is easy to forget that our kids' interest in their toys changes over time.
This may not work for all kids, but try to involve them in the process of what to keep and what to pass on/donate.
Set a timer for 20 minutes, pick one toy area, and see if a tune up helps you start the year off right!