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drowwning in toys. How do I choose what stays?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I am endlessly struggling with the baby toys. There is just so so so much. They really do play with it all over the course of a few days and almost all of it is gifts (we ahve bought only a very few items ourselves) and I would feel bad getting rid of gifts.

Ther is SO much though. How do you choose. I feel like just putting on a blind fold and grabbing the first 50 ietms and chucking them.
post #2 of 9
Storage bins. Grab the first 50 items and toss them in a few bins. Put the bins in storage. Rotate them in a month or so.

Regift without regret. If you know someone who will benefit pass it on. I used to feel bad about giving away gifts. I got over it. I have also worked on the family to start giving gifts that are not toys. Zoo membership, theatre tickets, etc.
post #3 of 9
Storage bins have worked well for us, too. My kids have access to all of the bins, but they can only get out one toy bin at a time. I help with clean-up when asked, but mostly, they do it all themselves. They like being in charge.

Regarding giving away toys -- I make it a kid project. Right after any gift-giving occasion, the kids each pick out a few things to give away. The reasoning is that all children should have toys, so it's right for us to share when we get more. We've been doing this for years, and the kids seem to enjoy it. More than once, they have picked out a brand new toy to give away.

Also, I encourage gifts like craft supplies that will get used up. They still have toys that are special to them, but I don't ever have to do anything with them -- they are protective of their Legos and dress-up clothes and keep them organized without my interference.
post #4 of 9
I guess I have a different approach...just give it all away! I go through DD's toys often and pick out things that don't meet my criteria:

1. She has played with it this week.
2. It's wooden, cloth, or natural/imaginative in some way.
3. It doesn't have batteries.

Our "main" toys are wooden blocks, stacking/nesting blocks, guitar, tambourine, harmonica, balls, playsilk...and a few small random things.

The only exception is books...and I still do get rid of some that I don't like. I'm brutal. My grandma gave her a stuffed animal one day...and I got rid of it the next. I'm down to 4 stuffed animals/dolls (an ugly doll, a waldorf doll, a teddy bear, and my doll from childhood that DD sleeps with).

Granted, it's much harder to get rid of stuff when they are old enough to 'figure out' that it's gone missing. DD doesn't really care much. I just still feel like she doesn't need all those toys! She would be happy with just three toys. And it wouldn't be such a sensory overload for her to decide what to play with.

Anyway...that's what I do. It may be a bit radical, but it works. If you stay on top of it...and take a box to Good will once every 2 weeks or so, it won't be so daunting.
post #5 of 9
I also do rotating toys. I have the toys in binsin their rooms and play area, whatever can't fit, doesn't stay. Every three months I bring down the toy boxes out of the attic and take away some toys from my kid's rooms/play area and give them new ones from the attic boxes. They think its Christmas all over again and really enjoy rediscovering old toys. Of course, if I hate a toy, or a toy is repeatedly ignored and not played with it goes in the yard sale box in the garage and will either be given away to charity or sold at an upcoming garage sale. I also have found that my kids will play better with less choices. If they have too many toy choices they just go from toy to toy, not really playing with them.
post #6 of 9
First determine how much space you want it to take up.
We have two book shelves. We have bins for the shelves.
I organise the stuff then try to cut it down like play food 2 plates, 2 cups.
I try to get rid of plastic crap, stuff that makes noise.

Yes they might play with it all but what do you want them to play with more?
Kids will play with anything really up until a certain age. Tell yourself you will only keep x numbers of a certain toy... dinky cars we are down to 10. Think if dc had friends over whats the total possible amount of stuff they could play with?
post #7 of 9
Good tips given already.

Another thing I've heard is not to duplicate function. Don't have 3 sets of wooden blocks or 15 puzzles when 3 to 5 puzzles would do. I just went through the toys throughout the house and donated a LOT of duplicated toys. My girls didn't need 2 easels! And I just had to get over feeling guilty about toys that were given as gifts. Your house/apt whatever can only handle so much. After awhile it just gets rediculous. Your sanity comes first over possibly hurting someones feelings (which is just highly unlikely to happen anyway). Keep toys you feel good about.
post #8 of 9
I rotate toys as well. I keep a small amount down stairs in the living room for them to play with on a daily basis. About once a month I filter them back upstairs into his room into a bin we have up there. I also go through his toys every other month and pull out the toys I see him play with the least or he has never touched. I then donate those toys to the city mission or give to friends who otherwise couldnt afford them. Isaiah pretty much only plays with his guitar, drums and other musical instruments. Caden doesnt have any toys really. He would rather play a video game, some soccer or watch National Geographic.
post #9 of 9
I've found that if you find someone who really needs them, it just feels good to give them away. Look on freecycle if you have that in your area. There are so many poor mama's out there who would love to have your excess. That helped me get rid of so much.
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