We are drowing in toys - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 10-26-2005, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I am having such trouble with my daughter's toys. I need some help!

When we (meaning me, usually) clean up the living room, I put her toys in bins and take them back to her room to put away later. I used to go in once a week and pour out the bin/s, organize stuff and put it all away. This would take me about three hours. (She has LOTS of little teensy tiny things. argh!) But I've been avoiding this project and now we've even run out of bins to fill up.

She has five boxes of toys in her room, waiting to be put away. I'm really ashamed but it's the truth.

I just can't face those boxes. I tidy her room and the living room but those boxes sit there, untouched unless rifled through by my daughter when she wants to find something and can't.

When I first noticed the boxes piling up, I poured them onto the floor, sat there for about thirty minutes just taking in how much STUFF she has. I got angry and then I started crying. I called my husband in to help me just put it all back in the boxes.

I know I should just take it one box or even one handful at a time. I should get my daughter to go through it with me. Weirdly enough, we went through her toys that ARE in their homes and she purged two boxes of items for the orphanage and homeless shelter. (So now there might be room for about half of the stuff yet to be organized and put away) But there are those boxes still. Mocking me.

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#2 of 5 Old 10-26-2005, 06:12 PM
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We just went through ds#2's room and and pulled ALL of his toys out, put them in the guestroom, pulled up the boxes of stored toys from the basement that were in boxes and had him put the things he REALLY likes in his closet in his room. Next, I dumped ALL of the other toys out into the living room and sorted them. We ended up with three boxes to store for "memories" 3 trash bags full of junky little pieces, broken stuff, etc. and 4 boxes to give away. This is a big deal and it feels sooooo good!

My ds is 11, so old enough to understand finally that we can't keep everything that comes into the house forever or we will run out of room! And now that he mostly has his favorite stuff, it's nice because he KNOWS what he has, he likes what he has and it is much easier for him to pick up.

So...if you are able, get rid of as much of it as you are comfortable getting rid of and your dd is comfortable getting rid of. It does help. Sometimes they have so much stuff it is overwhelming to them and for us! Good luck!

P.S. We did this with ds#1 a long time ago, too, but now need to go through his "memory" boxes cuz he saved way more stuff than ds#2 did and it's too much to keep.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Plato
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#3 of 5 Old 10-28-2005, 12:41 AM
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You sound so overwhelmed my heart goes out to you. This should take less than a hour and would be my permanent solution to your problem:

First - sort everything into Chuck, Give Away, and Still Using piles. Get rid of the first two piles in weather proof bags outside somewhere where you don't have to look at them to be dealt with when you have time.

Second - use your existing 5 containers and evenly divide the toys you have left as current useful playing toys.

Store 4 of the 5 boxes where you don't have to look at them and DC can't see them and only leave one box out at any one time.

Rotate one of your five boxes every week or fortnight so DC has "new" and interesting toys in a managable number to play with on a regular basis.

Believe it or not children prefer not to be overwhelmed by masses of toys at any one time. They can choose and concentrate better with less to select from.

Rotating means they don't get tired of the same toys and you don't have masses to pick up all the time. One box full can be easily, neatly and quickly stored away at the end of the day. And they love it when you put a box away and bring out another one - it's like Christmas getting toys they haven't seen for ages to play with.

How does that sound?

P.S. I would do this without DC around to see what you are doing. She won't understand and won't want you to throw things out or put them away where she can't get at them.
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#4 of 5 Old 10-28-2005, 03:47 PM
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I know just how you feel. I was wanting to post a similar thing here yesterday, trying to clean up the playroom.

I just don't know how to get rid of any of it. A lot of it I'm attached to . Then, when I do manage to give something away a week later my DD starts asking about it (never mind the fact that she hasn't played with the darn thing in 6 months.

Believe it or not children prefer not to be overwhelmed by masses of toys at any one time. They can choose and concentrate better with less to select from.
I've seen this in action. The playroom was a disaster - whenever things don't get put away, we all avoid the playroom. No one will go in there to play because it's just overwhelming.
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#5 of 5 Old 11-09-2005, 02:34 AM
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You sound really frustrated, I totally can relate. I go crazy over having my dd keep the toy parts that belong to that toy in a container so she can find all the little parts. What helped me is, I do not let her bring her toys upstairs, she plays downstairs. Otherwise, I was spending time getting all the stuff from all over the house. Also, I try really hard to do the one toy at a time rule, however, it is hard to do. I put some of the puzzles and small part toys in an area where she would have to ask for it, this really helps because it allows me to make her put away something before she can play with the next toy. I also have a "sanity bin" that I throw everything in and hope that someday i can put it where it belongs. When I am pms ing this is really helpful, otherwise I can become a screaming mad woman! My dd is 4.5 and hates to put away anything, so I ask her to put 5 things away and I'll her with 10. Small bins from IKEA really help keeping all those tiny Barbie toys. Also, we use ziplock bags with the zipper to keep stuff and dump those in larger plastic tubs. Just today, my husband was yelling at her to clean up and I had to remind him that it was ok, she is so precious and life goes on. Take a deep breath and love them. Oh, and when she has a playdate, the friends mom call with a heads up, so the girls have to help clean up. I hope it helps. Do you have a sister or someone that can help, I always take advantage of that as well, my sisters are a lifesaver.
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