I live in a 1 bedroom apartment with my 2yo DS. He has so many toys they are taking over the apartment (if I had ONE wish it would be that everyone STOP GIVING HIM TOYS!!!!!!!!).
I'm making a run to goodwill on Saturday - I finally found someone willing to take me. I don't have a car, so I can't take loads on my own, which sucks.
How many toys do your kids have? How do you keep them organized?
We do not have much furniture - we have a table, 4 chairs, a rocking chair, a bed, a large rubbermaid bin that works as a bedside table and stores blankets, 2 bookshelves, a small dresser for ds, and a wardrobe thing for me. Thats literally all the furniture we have, and we can't afford anymore (we do have 2 chinese bedding pads that we use as a "couch" in the living room).
My ds gets into everything. And I mean everything. If he can reach it, its either broken, or will be broken very soon. One of our bookshelves is mounted on the wall, but its already full so no more can fit there. I do need to clean it out, but it operates as the filing cabinet since DS can get into the container with files in it and they aren't safe (NOTHING is!!!!).
DS doesn't even want to play with his toys, b/c he'd rather play with all my stuff (and really, its getting old).
I do need to sell a bunch of clothing, and hopefully that stuff sells quickly b/c once I get my closets back I might be able to put things where he can't get them.
I know around here, many of the charities will come pick up stuff for you (purple heart, AmVets, Vietnam Vets, Lupus Foundation, etc). It may be worth your while to see if they do that in your area.
Yeah, I've checked - they won't here (even though I live in the residential boro of NYC they don't come out to my area).
As my son outgrows his toys, I put them on Craigslist in a batch. I make enough to put into a little piggy bank for later on. I don't let my son get into too many things at once. I am very selective. As far as other giving you stuff, keep an empty bin in a closet on a top shelf ; ) that you can put things in and have it for later on, as needed. I have sold toys people have given me as I can't keep everything (Believe me, I am very grateful but one year for Christmas, we ended up filling 3 bins with new toys-C R A Z Y!!!!!) When people ask what I need, I say gift certificates for clothes, since he outgrows stuff so quickly and he wear uniforms to school, it helps a lot. Keeping it down to maybe 5 favorite toys and a few current books is a good idea. Also, I have some favorite books but we now use the library. We go every Saturday and this has cut down on having a lot of books in the house. Plus, he likes having and using his own library card. : )
I keep the toys he is using in nice deep baskets, so quick and easy clean up and they look pretty enough to be out in view, if necessary. My son is pretty good at cleaning up.
I would love to put stuff on Craigslist, but I live alone (its just me and DS) and would be nervous about people coming by, especially people that I don't know.
I am going to sell a bunch of clothing on diaperswappers - hopefully it sells!
Anyone know where I can donate an old television and vcr set? It was sent to me by relatives, and I don't watch TV - its been sitting in its box since it arrived in a corner. But I don't know if goodwill takes TV's? Can I just put it on the curb with a for sale sign and hope someone "steals" it?
I leave stuff outside all the time. Goodwill will take it if it works. Also, you can have Craiglist peeps meet you..I do that instead of at my house. : )
we are very staunch about toys, and since we don't buy many and don't live near family, we are lucky that we don't end up with many. we have two baskets of soft toys (one) and blocks/odds and ends (two). then he has his instrument, train (4 cars, wooden), dragon pull toy, jet airplane (made by his grandfather), tops, and books.
toy minimalism makes life very easy.
I hear you on the no-car thing.
The terrible two's are here!
First of all, if he doesn't want to play with his toys you don't need to keep them around. Perfect opportunity to declutter. Put them in plastic storage tubs and either put them in the garage, throw them out, donate them to goodwill or give them to someone else.
Replace them with things he does like to use - something like your stuff. Get him a little broom so he can sweep when you sweep, get him his own saucepans so he can cook when you cook. Observe him and see what he does like to play with and get him some of that. He's probably bored and lonely if he is in a one bedroom apartment with no garden. He may just need to get out more.
What I am trying to say is that the problem probably isn't too many toys - it's probably not enough meaningful stimulation.
If you don't want people to give him toys, ask them not to. I did that when my child was small. If they ask what you would like instead, tell them furniture, or money or clothes.
As for him breaking things and wrecking things - another classic sign of boredom. When he is "naughty" that's when he gets your attention. So praise him when he is "good" - "what a good boy playing with your teddy" and simply remove him when he is wrecking something but don't give him any feedback. Then distract him with something like "come over here and try this."
I know you are probably tired and frazzled but that's what it is being a single mum - and it requires a huge effort.
My best tip is to take him out more, tire him out - then he'll be glad to play quietly. And give him some quality attention every day - where you are both having a good time.
For tips on how to declutter childrens' rooms go to to declutteringhelp.com.