wow - yes - exactly - thank you - I needed this to help direct the uncluttering I am planning for the weekend. Well said.
Just my two cents, but I think for some mamas, it's not about the toys intruding on our space and the appearance of our homes, but it's a bit deeper.. For me at least, having a small, simple collection of toys is my way of teaching my child to be content with what is given to him and let his imagination do the work, to respect his belongings and only keep what he has the room and energy to store and care for, and that everything that passes his way does not end with him... there comes a time when objects need to be passed on and shared to others, recycled, etc.
While the toy phase may pass, as teenagers it's about clothes, and as young adults, it's all the latest techy gadgets, and then they're adults and they need everything from crate and barrel and find themselves in a home of clutter from everything they've collected over 30 years. So I think toys are just the easiest vessel to start teaching, early on, an important characteristic that will in turn effect the kind of adult they grow to be.
I think this really struck me several months ago, when I had to opportunity to watch a group of Tibetan monks spend an entire week creating a mendala, which is an intricate art work created out of tiny grains of sand, carefully placed one by one. After an entire week of labor, the piece sits completed for maybe an hour and is then destroyed, to symbolize the impermanence of life. The sand is then distributed into a flowing body of water, returning it to nature. Some may think.. KEEP IT! FRAME IT! but what a lesson about how we do not need to keep everything -no matter how special or laborious it was to create- to have a great experience and lifelong memory. ds has a picture of it hanging up to remind me of this every day, though he reminds me too when he creates puzzles and "sculptures" and destroys them within seconds of completion... he doesn't care about the object.. it's the experience.