Having kids is great. Having kids that have a million toys strewn all over your home is… not so great.
I have struggled to let go of toys that Elliott no longer uses. I don’t know what it is. I’m sentimental about who bought it for him or I’m sentimental about him using them when he was itty bitty. Either way, it is tough for me to part with his toys (don’t even get me started on his clothes!). Since it is so difficult to let go, his bedroom often looks like this:
As you can see, it’s not a pretty sight.
Since it is the beginning of the year, and to me that means it’s time to purge and organize my entire home, I have been working on taming the toy collection. I’m pleased to say that after going through all of the toys in this house, I have whittled down the collection to a manageable amount.
Here’s how we avoid toy overload in our home:
1. One In, One Out – When a new toy comes home, we have to let go of an old one. We either put it on the “for sale” shelf in the basement, or it goes into the donation box. I find that by doing this, we avoid having way too many toys that don’t end up getting played with.
2. Put It Away For Another Day – Every month or so, I take away a bunch of Elliott’s toys that he hasn’t been playing with as much and I put them in a storage bin in the basement. The next month, I will bring those toys back out for him to play with and put something else away for a month. This makes it seem like there are always new toys to play with and nothing ever gets boring!
3. Stick To Quality Toys – I like to stick to quality toys that Elliott can play with for years and that his future siblings will be able to play with as well. We like Little Tikes, Fisher Price, Melissa & Doug and Leapfrog. Let’s not forget Lego and Mega Bloks, too! We also like to make sure that almost all of the toys we own are educational in some way. Just like I don’t want my kid to watch TV shows with zero educational value, I feel the same way about his toys!
What about relatives that always give your kids toys?
It’s very kind and generous when relatives give your children toys, but sometimes you just DON’T NEED ANYMORE. Many people will say “oh, it’s just one little toy” or “it’s small, it won’t take up much room” or “but look how cute is!”, but you know when enough is enough.
If you really feel that your children do not need any more toys, speak up! Tell people that although you appreciate the gesture, you really don’t need any more toys in your home. Let them know of items your child does need, such as clothing, books or maybe even some money deposited into his/her college fund.
Remember that these people are giving toys to your children because they love them, so don’t hurt their feelings by saying “don’t give us any more toys”. Tell them that you appreciate them and know they mean well, and give them other suggestions for gifts.