How do you get rid of your kids toys? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 09-02-2010, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay savy mamas: I've tried the "what do you want to donate" stuff, but how do you get rid of the toys that your child really doesn't want to part with? Is it okay to discreetly remove some? DD age 4, has a great memory and sometimes recalls a toy a year later that we don't have anymore. I don't want her to feel scarred with insecurity at her stuff "disappearing", lol. But on the other hand, we have our second firstborn who is 6 weeks old and I desperately need to declutter! Please help!
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#2 of 20 Old 09-02-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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I do spirit stuff away, but we don't have fallout from it.

How would your DD react to selling toys and doing something fun with the money she makes? What would she think of giving her toys to a charity, school, doctor's office, etc?

Julie - Mom to Elizabeth (Libby) age 6, Penelope (Penny) age 5, Elliott age 29 months, and Oscar who is 1 year old!
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#3 of 20 Old 09-02-2010, 04:57 PM
 
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I just get rid of stuff.

Sometimes I put it away, sometimes I toss/donate.

If he notices later I say either "mommy got rid of that because we have too many toys" or "hmm, I don't know where that is? Do you know where it is?".

Obviously I don't just chuck things that are important to him. But if he is asking about some piece of junk that he never plays with, I don't mind lying about its whereabouts.

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#4 of 20 Old 09-02-2010, 05:15 PM
 
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At that age I either:

-put it away and if my sons never asked about it, I would donate it or put it away until the younger one was old enough for it. If they did ask it would come back out.

-tossed it at night.

If they ever asked I would say "I do not know, when did you see it last?". Honestly I think I was only ever asked once about something.

As my boys have gotten older I am trying to work them into donating So I let them know I am considering donating something. My 8 yr old is starting to get it and will help decide what should go.
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#5 of 20 Old 09-04-2010, 03:06 AM
 
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I have to be really careful with this, and it's a royal pain in my rear. I have the mixed blessing of having kids with creepily phenomenal memories and strong attachments to their possessions I stash toys in the storage closet (I call it purgatory, got the idea from a friend) and wait to see when it gets asked about again. ds1 has remembered things after not playing with them for two years and has had complete meltdowns over toys being missing. (not saying this is normal, btw, I'm not exactly sure about that...) I've been purging ruthlessly this summer and just two weeks after a huge yard sale dd asked to play with something I had gotten rid of. boy, did she ever have a wholehearted cry over that! telling them they can get money from selling or trying to pitch the charity idea goes over like a lead balloon, too. ds1 FLIPS OUT if I even suggest it. so, I sneak stuff out in black garbage bags when no one is looking; I've used childcare from my MIL to load my car; and I've said "I don't know where that is" which is technically true. I feel guilty about some of the things I've gotten rid of (items I hated that they didn't), so mostly I try to stick with items that I feel pretty confident they really won't miss (as long as they don't see it going out the door! ). and, like I said, I still have screwed up some this summer and have been yelled at and cried upon for it! oh well...

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#6 of 20 Old 09-04-2010, 06:01 AM
 
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My son had a storage basket of toys he no longer wanted. He wanted to sell them at a garage sale or similar. I always donate, I hate garage sales, so I just offered him money in exchange for the toys. $10 I think, to buy one small thing to replace a huge basket. It might not be practical for everyone, I'm sure some people would object to the cash part. However, he is in the know about what happened to his excess toys and they aren't still hanging around. Just saying, it worked for us! In the past he has been unable to let go of anything, ever, so it's great experience in letting go and seeing that he's OK without them.

Mama to 13, and 10 and 4.
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#7 of 20 Old 09-04-2010, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh thank you all ladies! YES, my daughter has an incredible memory and asks for toys from over a year ago. I like the purgatory idea, I have something similar to that right now. And I like the validation that I can say "I don't know where that is" because technically I don't! Then there's always the honest, "we had to get rid of that because we have too many toys" response.
Thanks for all of your responses, you give me resolve to continue to purge!

PS: Like the cash idea too, then I don't have to deal with a garage sale
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#8 of 20 Old 09-04-2010, 08:26 PM
 
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I collect things I think dd does not play with or care for and hide them in a closet. If she happens to ask for them once or twice I get them back out otherwise I donate them eventually (I usually wait a few months, atleast 3..)
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#9 of 20 Old 09-05-2010, 10:59 AM
 
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I just posted a similar reply on another thread here. I tell my DS "we have no more space, so no more new toys till some old ones leave". Try selling them that idea at birthday or christmas time, and watch stuff fly out. And if it doesn't - stick to your word. At least you won't be adding to the clutter, even if you haven't managed to reduce it.

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#10 of 20 Old 09-06-2010, 06:28 PM
 
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I have been doing a combo of a lot of things here. I put some into a big rubbermaid bin in the garage and if they don't ask about them for 6+ months then it goes to Goodwill or a friend who might enjoy it. Some things they just do not play with....ever....and it usually just disappears into the Goodwill bin. Other times I tell them they have to pick a toy to get rid of before another comes in. We talk about donating to "the children who have no toys" and they seem ok to part with toys that don't have sentimental value. It's funny though because my oldest will always say, "But not my special stuffed animal, right Mommy?" It's so cute. I make sure they know I would never give away something with meaning.

I do have a small rotation storage spot. Just yesterday they rediscovered an old Fisher Price Little People Discovery Village that they hadn't seen in at least a year!! They played with it for hours!! Of course, the castle and house took its place in storage.

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#11 of 20 Old 09-08-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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I keep dd (3) pretty in the loop about what we're off-loading. Typically I get the one tub of toys that is out of the cycle, she messes around with stuff in there, pulls some back out, leaves some in there, tells me that it's okay to give this or that to a "little kid". It helps that her daycare always rotates toys so she is pretty used to things coming and going. She does make sure that some of her great loves will stay--I see a moment of anxiety about her favorites here and there. There are a couple that I would LOVE to get rid of--these cheapo plastic dolly contraptions her cousin got her for xmas. Problem is, they are duplicates of her much nicer dolly things. So, she checks on them in the storage bin, we discuss that they are "junky" and fall apart/don't work, whether it's time to give them away, and ultimately she decides to hang on. Not sure what the importance is, but clearly there's something that I feel a need to honor. She's doing such a good job of decluttering her own things that I let some of the unfathomable keepies stay.

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#12 of 20 Old 09-09-2010, 03:23 AM
 
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I get rid of things that either 1) doesn't get played with, 2) is to big for the space (like the whole set of doll furniture that my daughters decided to take a dislike to that was taking up the whole bedroom), 3) I consider a safety hazard or 4) is broken. If my daughter asks about it later Im pretty open with what happened to it. Shes always just found something else to play with.. Maybe I have easy kids though.

~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
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#13 of 20 Old 09-12-2010, 02:29 AM
 
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I sneak the stuff out to Goodwill. I've tried that whole lets give it to others approach and it is a big no go. The kids occasionally ask for things and I just say "I don't know where it is." This is usually some random thing that they haven't played with in 2 years. They don't seem traumatized by this. Usually they just notice that their room is cleaner than it was before, without connecting it exactly to me having removed a ton of stuff.
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#14 of 20 Old 09-12-2010, 02:30 AM
 
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I have always just bagged stuff up when the kids are away and off it goes. I have yet to run into them missing something later.

 
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#15 of 20 Old 09-13-2010, 03:42 AM
 
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Do you have a grandparent or someone close by that your child visits? In the past, I've left some of DS's toys at my parents. It gives him something new and exciting to play with there and keeps every single toy out of my house.

DS is little, so I don't feel guilty about decluttering his toys. I save my favorites and bag up everything else to give away.

A supportive military wife and mama to my busy boy and sweet girl.
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#16 of 20 Old 09-15-2010, 02:27 PM
 
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I just get rid of stuff. They don't usually notice, but they are chidren and often can't make decisions like this because clutter isn't a gig deal to them (at least to mine) so I make the decision. I would never get rid of something played with though.
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#17 of 20 Old 09-15-2010, 03:27 PM
 
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The worst way: let the kids destroy stuff by not putting it away and it gets stepped on and broken, pieces go missing, etc. Then I "have" to throw it away. They rarely notice because they have so much stuff. I pay attention to what they love and play with, though. That stuff will never "disappear".

As I go off to clean out the toy closet.
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#18 of 20 Old 09-15-2010, 07:28 PM
 
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If it's something they really want to keep then I'll suggest maybe finding something else to donate/get rid of instead. For the other stuff, random toys, I just get rid of it. 99% of the time they never even notice!!

Jenn: WOHM to a big girl (7/03), a medium girl (8/07), and a little girl (12/10)
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#19 of 20 Old 09-16-2010, 06:00 PM
 
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bleah, I've gotten busted three times this week! dd has asked for two pieces of clothing and one toy that I recently donated. I lied about the clothes (the "I don't know, maybe those are dirty" lie) and told her the truth about the toy. MAJOR meltdown. again. she got through it, but it was not pretty they certainly don't understand clutter, and I don't even think they should at their ages (7.5, 3, 1). sometimes I do wish they could glom on to "mommy has needs too" though

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#20 of 20 Old 09-16-2010, 06:26 PM
 
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Little junky toys just disappear.

Larger toys or ones that are nice but don't get played with as much usually go in a bin in storage. I have toys that my son has outgrown in the garage.

I need to go through the toys again. He just had a birthday, we are having a baby and then it will be Christmas. I also try really hard to limit what comes into the house. At his birthday I returned a game the next day and he hasn't asked about it since. It is tricky because you want to be fair to your children and respect their stuff but at the same time too much stuff is overwhelming for them.

My son found a pile of too small clothes in my room and insisted on wearing them before agreeing they were too small.

Melissa- mom to a boy 9/06 and a new boy 11/10 and married to my best friend 7/02
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