The toys are overwhelming me. I thought that this Christmas would be ok, but it's becoming clear that we have moved past Orange Alert and are now fully in Red Alert in terms of toy management. Danger Will Robinson! Overload!!!!!
I am even considering taking pictures and posting them for your enjoyment. Toys are everywhere, and I can't contain them anymore. Seriously, even if I spend a serious chunk of time organizing them and putting them away, there is still overflow.
I curse my mother for sending 3 (or 4? I lost count) boxes of gifts for DD for Christmas. That was just my mother; that doesn't count the stuff from the in-laws (they are reasonable, but having a reasonable number of gifts from MIL, SIL1 and SIL2 on top of my mother is just OVERLOAD!!!!!!!!).
I kind of got cranky at DD yesterday about all the toys EVERYWHERE when I realized it wasn't her fault. When people give us mountains of toys, we either have to absorb them or she has to make difficult choices and let some go. And I can't exactly blame a 5 year old for not wanting to give away 50% of her toys. She willingly made a pile of toys she didn't want yesterday, but the volume is nothing to the space we need to make. It's maybe a shoebox worth of stuff that she parted with.
Now, thanks mostly to my mother o_o I have to either force her to make hard choices, or do it myself without her permission. Seriously, this is not a case of me being such a major minimalist that I am cruelly throwing away any toy that offends my aesthetic sensibilities; this is a huge amount of stuff that has exceeded our maximum storage capbilities (and it's not lack of storage either - I have boxes, I have one of those 9 fabric box cubby thingies from Target, I permit 2 closets to be toy storage, I have a 2 drawer beside-the-bed dresser that is strictly toy storage, a train table with space underneath... ETC ETC ETC).
Help! What do I do? Take photos of the disaster and send to my mother and curse her? Buy 2 huge storage bins and have DD fill them and put them in the basement for occasional rotation? Do a major purge one day when DD is gone? (Not thrilled about that idea - she WILL notice and she won't be happy).
I know a lot of kids have lots of toys they never play with, but DD does rotate through her toys. She's the type of kid who likes "new" things the best, and that includes any toy she hasn't played with for a while, it will spark her interest again. Sure, there are some key staples but she really does play with 99% of her toys from time to time. Even the most junky little plastic thingie can grab her interest for a while from time to time.
I might have talked myself into the huge storage bins, because it seems like a fair way to declutter (without being sneaky and just getting rid of stuff, which will understandably upset DD). And I think that maybe I actually WILL take photos before I do that. Then I can talk to my mother in a month or so about what sending all these toys really does to us, how it really does create upset and effort and stress. I no longer worry one whit about my offending my mother - I will be perfectly fine taking a gift and getting rid of it - it's just about DD now, and I don't want to be the mean mother who gets rid of her toys. That could create problems of its own. But I have to manage this some way in the future, I can't just keep buying more storage bins every few months.