Is this enough toys for them? (serious decluttering again) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-07-2006, 02:37 AM - Thread Starter
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I am trying (once again) to simplify/declutter my house before we start school in a few weeks. We have four children and live in a 1032 SF condo. I have donated tons of their toys that they never play with and still have too many.....I/they cant keep things organized/tidy. It overwhelms all of us to have to continually clean up the junk...(maybe I should post pictures?)
Anyway....the plan: To give them each one bin or cube (laundry basket size) to keep what they want in their room....then to have a couple shelves in the cabinets upstairs for their crafts/games/dress up make up stuff.
Downstairs is another toy organizer for smaller toys (cars, tools, lincoln logs, etc )
that's it.....
Is this fair?
oh I fogot, there is also a pop up hamper in ds6 and dd7's room for their stuffed animals.
Ok.....does that sound fair/reasonable?

Here's me I married then we had dd15 , dd11 , ds10 , and then and now we and I blog!
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#2 of 9 Old 08-07-2006, 03:36 AM
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yes, i think that sounds more than fair.

when i was a kid, everything was kept in our rooms. we had a box for stuffed animals, a box for dress up clothes and related, a box for wooden blocks, and two smaller boxes--one for art supplies and one for barbies/ponies.

we never kept toys or supplies in other rooms of the home. we could play in there, of course, and create in there, of course, but at the end of the day toys had to be in our rooms (started at age 4/5).
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#3 of 9 Old 08-07-2006, 03:53 AM
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How much will the children need to get rid of to make that happen? If it's more than half of their stuff, I would think that is too drastic of a step. Our children have WAY WAY WAY more than that and we declutter frequently (baby steps) but I feel bad getting rid of anything that they will play with regularly for any more time. I donate and give away toys that they have outgrown (re: baby toys) but other than that, the trick is just to sort and organize.

Honestly, what you mention sounds like plenty of toys, way more than I had growing up. I think it really has to do with your children's reactions if they have to give away stuff they really don't want to give away. Leeway might be in order if the children are extremely upset about the situation.
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#4 of 9 Old 08-07-2006, 10:37 AM
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another aspect of this is decreasing the amount of toys that 'come in' through birthdays, christmas, etc. i know that this can be difficult.

limiting grandparents can be hard. coordinating with parents coming to the birthday party (seeing if they'd be willing to bring home-made gifts or useful gifts like art supplies) works well too.

good luck!
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#5 of 9 Old 08-07-2006, 12:32 PM
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To limit the amount of stuff coming in, I encourage multiple people to collaborate on single gifts, since they are going in together, the gifts can be more expensive and so hopefully less in number but higher quality, if that makes sense.

We did pretty well this year for birthdays in that regard I think.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#6 of 9 Old 08-20-2006, 11:25 AM
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We have 3 (soon to be 4) children and live in a 1000 sq ft apartment. We have 3 bedrooms, and all the toys live in dd and ds1 bedroom (ds2 will share his room with the new baby, and we don't allow the toys in there). I've sorted the toys into different boxes (trains, little people, wooden blocks, etc). They are only allowed to have 1 or 2 boxes out at a time. The rest are stored up way high in the closet. If they want to switch then they have to clean. My 3 and 4 year old are already very familiar with "organizing" (we periodically have to dump everything out and re-sort because stuff always seems to end up in the wrong boxes!). My kids also regularly help me donate stuff we don't need/use anymore. They understand that there are children who don't have money for toys and would really like to have some of theirs. I think if you establish this stuff early it's just a part of life for them and they are cool with it. Some toys we will probably keep forever, like all the wooden train stuff. And dh seems to have an emotional attachment to Little People so he wants me to keep all that too. But miscellaneous stuff, if not played with, is fair game for donation. We also limited the number of stuffed animals. They are dust collectors! Each kid has a few favorites that they sleep with. There are a few more up in a pet-net, but that's it. A few years ago we took 3 or 4 big garbage bags of stuffed animals to the goodwill.

I think another poster already mentioned this- for gift ideas we have started asking for the consumables like crayons and paper; fun toothbrushes; stuff like that. That way they don't get quite so many toys!
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#7 of 9 Old 08-24-2006, 06:09 PM
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Another gift idea as children get older, especially good for relatives who don't live near & might be hesitant about knowing sizes, interests, etc. is payment for lessons, riding, art, dancing, swimming, sports camps, etc. It can be tailored to a child's exact interest & give him/her a chance to have a high quality experience if the parents have limited funds, many other children, & so forth.
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#8 of 9 Old 08-26-2006, 08:50 PM
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I have read of each child having a drawer of toys that they are responsible for.

The blocks and puzzles and such items are kept in a closet.
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#9 of 9 Old 08-27-2006, 07:08 PM
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That sounds very fair to me. It sounds about what we have for our kids. I know dh gets on my case about the decluttering, but honestly, how many toys do they really need and Christmas is right around the corner *shudder*.
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