Look familiar? (To me the funniest part is my husband’s dirty clothes on the right mixed in with everything else!)
For me, one of the most daunting minimizing tasks was simplifying and purging the kids toys. With four kids it felt like there were toys everywhere…we tried to keep them contained to the family room, but inevitably they would get drug into the kitchen, and my office and into their bedrooms…and we moms only have so much energy to correct our kids in a day, so that rule was often neglected.
But when I finally decided enough was enough, I came up with a battle plan: I was going to decide which type of toys we were keeping and EVERYTHING else went.
You can read more about the toys that made the cut and how I decided to keep them here.
I had my husband take the kids out for awhile and I got out a garbage bag, a couple of boxes, and a large plastic storage tote.
What I had decided to keep were mostly legos, blocks, a couple of dolls and accessories, little people, and a few trucks and tractors.
With this in mind, everything else had to go. I didn’t have to look at each item and think “should we keep this or not? How much do the kids play with it? Will they notice or be sad if it is gone?” (This is the energy suck of sorting toys, all of the debating!)
So the trick was: no pondering over each toy, if it wasn’t in one of my “keep” categories, it had to go in one of the three other spots: garbage bag, box for Goodwill, or tote to be stored in the garage.
There were a few toys that I just wasn’t sure about, they were more expensive and the kids played with them sometimes. So these went in the tote to be stored in the garage. If in the next three months I thought we needed them (I use that term loosely!), I could pull them back out, if not, they would be going to Goodwill in three months.
Of course, you could probably guess, we never pulled any of the toys out of the garage! And off to Goodwill they went :)
I like this option, though, for a couple of reasons:
- When the kids got home and wondered where all of their toys were I could honestly say “I decided to pack some of them away in the garage. We can rotate them back in if you get bored with these toys.” (I’ve tried not to be dishonest with them through this process, it’s not always easy!)
- It helps our brain detach. We’re human and we get attached to things, its just how it goes! By putting toys out of site for awhile it allows our brains (and our children’s) to detach from the items so that it really isn’t a big deal to get rid of them in a few weeks or months.
This of course works for just about everything in our home that we need to pare down :)
In the end, all of our toys fit in here:
I’ve said this before, but I’ve gotten rid of about 90% of our toys and our kids truly don’t miss them, in fact, I think they are happier without them. Looking back, I think they were a little overwhelmed by all of the toys. It was too much for them to keep clean themselves, and they always had to sort through huge bins of unused toys with dead batteries and missing pieces to find what they were looking for.
They also love all of the extra free space in our family room to dance and “practice gymnastics’ :)
So if you just aren’t sure, be encouraged! Your kids may respond better than you think!
I’ll leave you with an inspiring article from Living Well Spending Less: Why I Took My Kids’ Toys Away (& Why They Won’t Get Them Back)
What hesitations do you have about purging the toys in your house? Or do you have any helpful advice? Please share below! :)
And if you are on Pinterest, here is an image for that, THANK YOU (thank you, thank you) for sharing!