I started this post back in March and just finished it tonight. Not only have we purged toys in the playroom but I’ve been purging the homeschool room in preparation for school to begin next month.
I have had it with the clutter. I just can’t keep it under control. The papers, the toys, the clothes, the “this”, the “that”- odd things that don’t necessarily have a place.
What made matters worse recently was my tiredness due to some allergies or cold symptoms. I felt like the clutter was taking advantage of my weakness and I just couldn’t keep up. So I did the most logical thing late the other night after I laid my sick, stressed head onto my pillow.
I got back up and got to work!
Yes, I got up and started to quietly sort through the stuffed animals, bagging them up, choosing which of the other toys the boys didn’t need or play with and carried it all down to the basement in numerous trips.
Here’s how I decide what toys have got to go…
1. Purge. Thin out the toys when the kids are not around.
Once or twice I tried including the boys in this ritual but my oldest picked out about two things and then took one of them back.
My boys have a bazillion stuffed animals, small toy cars, big toy trucks, various track systems or parts of them, plastic animals, plastic people, army men, and miscellaneous junk like stray marbles, cheap gimmicky toys and other odds and ends. They have very creative imaginations and will play with an empty plastic dish or cardboard box. Even our trash is not off limits!
2. Bag the toys, hide them and wait.
If you’re not completely sure you should give away certain items just bag them up and put them out of sight for a few weeks. If you’re child doesn’t miss them. Get rid of them. I’ve done this in the past and I’m doing it right this minute.
I have a bag of stuffed animals hiding in the basement along with a couple larger toys. If the boys don’t miss them for a few weeks and my husband doesn’t object to passing them on then they are on their way out!
3. Give them away or sell them.
The boys and I recently took a load of toys (that they helped pick out to sell) to a local children’s second-hand store and made a little over $16; but I’ve given away lots of things- toys included through our local Freecycle.org Yahoo group.
We could still do with less toys but we are making headway and I can actually vacuum the carpet in that room now!
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I have done the purge when the kids are away and hide it to see if they really wanted anything out of the pile. I think perhaps once they asked for something I have taken. It works well.