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Decluttering "too much"? (Throwing the wrong thing away!)

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
We are putting our house on the market next week. I have been decluttering and packing for the last few weeks. I went through the toys in my children's rooms and tried to purge the things that they don't play with much (or ever).

Well, today, DS mentioned his "favorite bear," the "one with the tear". I told him he had other stuffed toys to play with and that it was probably packed. I had vascillated about that bear because he rarely, if ever, played with it and it was a cheap (think dollar store) stuffed bear that was ripped after hardly any use. I put it in the donate bin, I'm pretty sure. He kept saying that he loved that bear and it was his favorite. He has loads of other stuffed animals that he plays with all the time so it is not for lack of others. I'm not sure why he has latched onto the idea of this bear, except for the fact that it is "missing" from his room now.

What do I do?

I rented a storage space for a lot of our stuff so most of the boxes I've already packed to clear out our house will be in storage for a month or more. I'm thinking that I should leave it alone until we unload in the new house and see if he mentions it again?? I'm usually completely honest with my children but I fear that if he thinks I threw out something of his, he won't trust me to pack anything else and I really must pack things. He is a complete pack rat, at the age of five!
post #2 of 6
I don't know, just apologize to him? Offer to take him to the dollar store to find a new bear? Ask him to help you pack so you don't accidentally toss anything he wants? (I think at that age I would try to involve him in the decluttering of his stuff. It's such a luxury right now to be able to declutter my 19mo's stuff on my own, since he doesn't notice yet!)

I have some things I'm on the fence on whether to keep or toss. I usually put things like that in a box in the basement & then if I don't miss it after a few weeks I sell/donate/toss it.

Anyway if he doesn't mention it again I'd let it slide but try to have some mental plan in place in case he brings it up!

ETA: You could make a box of the things you plan to donate & explain to him that you're giving these things to other kids, but he should look through it, & if he wants to he can keep one or two items from the box.
post #3 of 6
I think I would leave it and see if he mentions it again. As you feel he is showing pack rat tendencies at this age, it would be good to nip that in the bud so that he learns to not develop too much attachment to things. However if he feels he has had it taken away without his consent, it could actually aggravate that tendency to hold onto things! Of course one always has special toys as a child that mean a bit more than others, so just wait and see if he is still pining for it.

A couple of recent threads have touched on this subject, which may contain useful advice.


post #4 of 6
I say keep your eyes on the prize. You have to declutter to sell a house, it's a must. A ripped dollar store teddy bear that he didn't play with much makes sense to declutter, I feel for him, but I understand your decision 100%. I would wait to see if he mentions it again as well, and then if he does apologize and come up with a solution together.
post #5 of 6
I swear my son has radar when it comes to this. I can get rid of something that he hasn't seen or played with in a year and he asks for it!! Recently my daughter asked me (via pantomine since she is too young to talk) where a toy went that she had. I packed it up 4 months ago and put it in the garage. Thank goodness it was still out there because she was insistant!!!

We are decluttering to sell as well so I feel your pain. I would just wait to see if he asks again. Good luck. Keep us posted.
post #6 of 6
Say you gave it away to some kids who didn't have any toys to play with.

I HATE dollar store stuffed animals, urgh. I have become a decluttering fiend the past few months, no one in my family can out their crap up, so its gone!!
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