OH yea! I have two kids (1 and 2) and I am already cleaning out some of their toys. It becomes hard to shop for kids who seem to have it all… They have tooooo much!
Trying to simplify our life by purging all of the extra’s in our home hasn’t been easy. We moved into a smaller home until I finish school, so that we could downsize on bills, but when moving from a big home to a little one, you have to realize all of that “stuff” needs to go somewhere.
When we finally moved into our home, I was sickened by the amount of stuff we had. This led to my journey in wanting to become a minimalist. Since starting, I have purged nearly 60% of our things. Most recently in the kitchen, the master bedroom and the supposed man cave/family room/make shift storage area.
So how did I get the point, where I am probably the worst parent to walk the face of the planet?
Toddlers. Or our very own Tri-Sarah-Tops and Isla-sarus Rex, as we so lovingly like like to call them.
With my girls I may have gotten rid of 70% of their things, and I honestly thought that “hey I am doing something great here”. The room went from looking like this at the end of the day:
So one afternoon, the kids and I bagged up broken toys, noise making toys, missing pieces, old toys, new toys they didn’t play with and so forth. I decided to let the kids keep 5 toys a piece. And I was quite pleased with the outcome. The room had an adequate amount of space, I though surely they couldn’t destroy this room.
One of evenings before bed that the room was once again cleaned.
However, even this simple toy arrangement proved to be a disaster and after a few days chaos was back again. Even though I clean the girls room nightly (with their help of couse), it still would get destroyed to the point where I just don’t want to be bothered with it at times. This continued on for two weeks, an no matter what I did; showing the girls where things belong, teaching them how to pick up after themselves, having them help me, forcing them to do it without my help-nothing seemed to work.
My Breaking Point #2
I’m suprised it took so long to reach a breaking point. One night, Sarah woke up screaming her head off. Of course at some point after we went to bed, Isla decided to get up and play, and I stepped right on Barbie’s car and fell backwards, hitting my head on our hardwood floors. Needless to say I pissed and in pain. After consoling Sarah and my husband consoling me, I decided that it all has to go. The next morning, I got up and went in their room and just started bagging up the remaing things. Surprisingly, they helped, with Isla stating at one point “oh thank goodness”. They each got to keep a doll, but everything else was cleared out. Afterwards, Isla was actually thrilled about her toy free room.
Now its been about a week since this happened, and not once have the girls complained about being bored, nor have they asked for their toys back. My kids don’t have televisions in their rooms (actually no one does), and they have enjoyed spending more time outside, coloring, looking at books and making up games to play. Don’t get me wrong, they are still toddlers, so they still toddle. However, our days run more smoothly. The girls are playing together better than before. They are also playing better independently.
I never realized that it was a possibility the girls were “over stimulated” in their own bedrooms. Unlike my son who has Autism, it was easy for me to pick up on those cues from him, but it never really dawned on me it was the same with my girls. More toys=more temptation to pull out everything and “play” with it. They don’t have that temptation now. Also it is my guess that in their own way, even they were frustrated with the mess (even though they constantly made it).
Embracing a minimalist lifestyle hasn’t been the easiest thing for our family, but everyone has been on board. My hope is that my children will be more appreciative of their things. While I am enjoying the “lighter” feel in the home, the children are as well.
I am of the mindset that toys don’t serve much purpose other than to create clutter, so what’s the point? If an over abundance of toys are your things, that great! We all have to do what works for our family. As for mine, there are a few things they love, that I would never get rid of, but there are other things, that we just don’t need.
Would you ever get rid of your kids toys? Drop me a line below and let me know your thoughts!
Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.