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#31 of 54 Old 05-20-2008, 07:22 PM
 
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My oldest three kids were never big on toys. My fourth one does play with them, if we are at other peoples houses - and he has some trains/train table and cars/mat at home and a few "guys" - but mostly plays with household items, like hangers or whatever. Don't know about the baby, yet...she likes toothbrushes and shoes.

My problem was I didn't realize they didn't like toys...I can remember being at the store trying to talk them into stuff. Our house was so over run with toys, and I'd get frustrated with them because they didn't keep them picked up. Well, duh! They didn't care about them, why should they take care of them!?! (It took me quite a few years to figure this out. )

It's been a process. When I realized what was going on, I told them what I thought it was. They were relieved to be set free from all that stuff! They actually said thank you. We decided each kid would keep their most favorite things, and everyone would get a 55 gallon bin. Not one kid filled it up. I, however, was like...oh wait, we need to keep that! And, no...don't get rid of that! Plus, things creeped back in over time...

So, just a few weeks ago, I was so upset going into the playroom where things were all over...walked on, broken, missing pieces, etc. I freaked out and said I was going to get rid of everything! They all thought I was serious and my oldest said that's fine, I just want my Yugioh cards, my daughter really only had Webkins anyway, my six year old has a couple things (omnitrix, bakugon guy, a couple of his own Webkins and some trading cards) and my three year old has his trains, cars, and like 3 guys. The baby has her kitchen and some food, a basket of blocks, a ball and a baby.

That's it.

Well, to be honest - we do have a bin of dress up stuff, books, board games and a cabinet of art supplies. But they aren't toys...so I don't count them.

I haven't needed to clean up their stuff since...and no one has even asked for anything back. (They have asked for more cards, or Webkins though! )
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#32 of 54 Old 05-20-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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I'd never be able to do this. Unless I just limited each hobby to one bookcase each. 1 for books, 1 for sewing stuff....
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#33 of 54 Old 05-21-2008, 12:18 PM
 
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This thread is very inspiring. I've been thinking about getting rid of almost all of their toys. They don't play with about 75% of them anyways. I'm doing a garage sale this summer with a few friends. I plan on putting most of the unloved toys on it.

Kathleen SAHM to Jade 10/14/03, Aiden 2/2/06, and Hunter 5/14/09 Wife to Rob 3/28/03
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#34 of 54 Old 05-21-2008, 01:20 PM
 
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I *always* wanted to have only 10 toys...but it's never really happened.

Actually...i think DD really only has about 10 toys (not including books - which she has TONS of) - but they have a bunch of different pieces - like train set, play kitchen, my little ponies, etc. So more like 10 "groups" of toys.

I feel like it's a lot...esp. since she doesn't have her own room so they are all in the livingroom...but i've been to my friends houses - and thier kids probably have 10 times as much crap as my kid...so heh, could be worse i spose!
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#35 of 54 Old 05-21-2008, 02:56 PM
 
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Okay -- my two older girls and I went through the playroom today...culling toys.

I just asked them what they wanted to keep and what they wanted to get rid of.

I was shocked at how many toys they were fine with giving away.

The entire trunk of my car is FULL of stuffed animals, weeble-wobbles, puzzles, care bears, princess dresses...stuff I never thought they would part with.

The playroom still has WAAAAAAAY more than ten toys in it, but there has been a substantial reduction.

Thanks for inspiring us!

 

 

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#36 of 54 Old 05-21-2008, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#37 of 54 Old 05-21-2008, 03:00 PM
 
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So what does everyone do with kids older than toddler/preschooler aged? My older three are 6 1/2 and almost 5. We recently moved the oldest in with the twins (they're all very excited about sharing a bedroom) and are using his old room as their playroom. Now that the baby is mobile, I didn't want all their 4+ toys in the main floor play room.

They have a bin of Planet Heroes (they love them), Magna Tiles, Plan City Roadway on a playboard with cars, some big Playmobil stuff- firetruck, police car, tractor, a miscellaneous bin with cameras, dusters, and balls, and a little bin of people.

We have tons of other toys, but I only let them have three big bins plus whatever "extra" stuff that doesn't fit in a bin at one time. I rotate the other stuff in.

So do you ask their input about stuff to put away or just do it? I guess I'm okay with the amount of toys out now. It's so great that they're keeping them upstairs for the most part, so I'm not stressed out by it. I probably should rotate more often and stuff would get played with more. They like everything, but when there's too much out or it's been out too long, they stop playing and start spreading it out all over.
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#38 of 54 Old 05-21-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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I wouldn't just get rid of their stuff without it being okay with them. I wouldn't want my husband to come home and get rid of anything of mine without asking. And I'm totally into getting rid of stuff!
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#39 of 54 Old 05-21-2008, 03:31 PM
 
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I asked.

Because my older daughter has a steel-trap memory and she would ask about ~anything~ that was missing.

We have doubles of a lot of things (my girls are close in age and often get the same thing for Christmas, birthdays, etc.) and if one said she wanted to keep hers and the other one said she didn't want to keep hers...I kept them both.

I figure it would only be a matter of time before the one changed her mind when she saw the other one playing with a once-beloved toy.

 

 

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#40 of 54 Old 05-21-2008, 03:38 PM
 
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I actually won't get rid of anything, we're at a point where everything we have now is stuff we want. I just wonder about rotating though.
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#41 of 54 Old 05-21-2008, 07:24 PM
 
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She also has her spice set from when she got married. over 30 years ago. And she still cooks with the spices.
Whoa. Not only do spices lose their potency over time, but you can get some serious food poisoning from that! Google 'Indian restaurant syndrome'--it ain't pretty. Why do people think spices are immortal?

I am saddened to admit that DD already has way more than 10 toys, and she's only 9 weeks old! She had maybe 5 or 6 stuffed toys that used to belong to me and DH. Then Mum made her a teddy... fine... and we got a few lovely stuffed toys... fine, a nice organic cotton monkey and so on... and then people from church started giving us LURID day-glo teddy bears and cheap rattles and so on. We've donated a few already and I want to get rid of more, but Mum's paranoid that if I do, someone who gave them to us will see them in the op shop. (To put things in perspective, Mum's constantly bewailing how much clutter is in her house, yet she visited me the other day and had to collect a bag of my chickens' shed feathers for which she had no immediate use, and a bag of autumn leaves 'just because'! Love her dearly, but huh?).

I don't get the 'culling books' thing. Books to me simply aren't clutter--it seems perilously close to sacrilege to say you have no room for them, or heaven forbid, to get rid of them!

Hmm, I feel inspired. I think I'm gonna go throw some items in a donation bag!

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#42 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 02:02 AM
 
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Books to me simply aren't clutter--it seems perilously close to sacrilege to say you have no room for them, or heaven forbid, to get rid of them!
oh but sometimes there just is not room for books... imagine a 20x20 unfinished house 2 adults, sometimes up to 5 cats depending on their moods, 2 large (100+ lbs) dogs, an occasional goat kid or two (in a playpen of sorts) a couple of small parakeets in a flight size cage and then your dearest wonderfulest hubby in the whole universe decides it would be 'fun' to buy out a bookstore that was going out of business! Yikes and Jinkies! Talk about scary!

Back to toys.... I've been pondering the idea of 10 all day, I know growing up we went through phases of the family having and not having things, I can't put an exact number of the least and the most toys I as a kid ever owned... I do remember sitting in piles of toys around me and feeling weird, can't put my finger on it, the feeling into words... most likely overwhelmed... thinking back too I remember playing intensly when I only had XY and Z for toys, those memories are nice. So tonight as I was stepping over and picking up the toys strewn over the house I reallly really need to pare down on what my boys have, (and what we as a family have).

We have done toy purges before which have been nice and handled well by the kids. I'm debating now with myself how to explain the whole downsizing life to them, they don't 'care' how many dishes or towels we own but their toys are their things so I'm trying to come up with a good way to approach and explain to the kids why it's a 'good' thing not to have so many. When we went through before they both were at the age of truely growing out of the baby toys and so me saying to them "you have grown up so much and don't play with the baby toys or you like to play with X now and don't play with Y anymore, let's pack it up and give it to the new baby down the street or take it back to the thrift store so that other little kids will enjoy getting it and you can start getting the "big-boy" toys... those explanations were true and simple. How do you say to your kids though.. oh our society is going down the drain because we consume and use too much, mom has 'spoiled' you (if that's the right word, it really isn't but what pops in my head) with too many things, she has made mistakes buying a zillion toys and now she wants to get rid of half of them. I know them seeing me purge things from other areas of our lives is a positive reinforcement to the whole subject but how do you unteach and reteach a more less is more lifestyle to them?

whew... that's a long post.... thanks for reading my ramblings
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#43 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 03:41 AM
 
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i disagree. I think books can be clutter. It really depends on WHY a person wants to own "a lot" of books.
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#44 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 08:37 AM
 
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I agree, anything can be clutter...even books.

I love the saying "let the library store your books" - I have to remind myself every time I look something up on Amazon and the "one click to buy" button is staring at me!
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#45 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 03:05 PM
 
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I absolutely agree on the books. And I found that books were the same as toys for us- when too many were available, they weren't really looked at. when I split them into groups and rotated them just like the toys, they are enjoyed.
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#46 of 54 Old 05-23-2008, 02:20 AM
 
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I definately need to go throught books, and donate a few and rotate the majority. Inspired!

What works for our family, is for me to go through toys by myself and take out the ones I really don't want. Then I let my 5 year old do the same (carefully watching, b/c you would be surprised at the amount of baby brother toys that she doesn't want). We get rid of tons that way.

I think I am shooting for a 20-30 toy/person standard and I'll let you know how it goes.
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#47 of 54 Old 05-28-2008, 03:05 PM
 
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you would be surprised at the amount of baby brother toys that she doesn't want


We had the same issue with my daughters...the older daughter didn't want ANY toys that her younger sister was madly in love with.

 

 

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#48 of 54 Old 05-28-2008, 08:24 PM
 
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I'm slowly joining in on this one. We recently made a one thing in one thing out rule and the kids are fine with that. Then we bagged up another trunk load of stuff today for the free box. I have no idea how many toys we have but I intend to keep quality things that encourage imagination.

I also puta few things in a basket and am taking it over to my good friend's house who has no kids or toys. That way when we visit the kids can play with their old things.

What's more important to me is having a place for all the toys. Our house is still unfinished and we are working on finding homes for all our stuff.

I love the rotation thing and did this twice unintentionally and it worked.

I'm not necessarily sticking to 10 but am definitely getting super close.

I think we have:
  • legos small
  • legos big
  • wooden blocks
  • wooden animals
  • 5 stuffed animals
  • thomas the train set (small set)
  • 4 handmade tiny fairies
  • wooden fairy furniture (table, 2 chairs)
  • magic erase boards (3)
  • robot building kit
  • electronic snap kit
  • a few matchbox cars
  • 2 little trucks
  • a few plastic tools

Then there are a few outside toys such as dumptrucks and a backhoe.

I guess it's not that much since we have 3 kids. We have lots of homeschooling and craft stuff too. My kids also take apart a lot of things a build things out of our scrap building materials. When I combine all that with art supplies and yarn and whatever else is up there, it seems like a lot.
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#49 of 54 Old 05-29-2008, 10:47 PM
 
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I really hate clutter and i detest a mess. When my kids don't clean up(age appropriate) it is disrepectful to me. When school being out, the playroom which I have thoughtfully creative for them is destroyed with mess. They don't have alot of toys at all, it is a simple structured room. There is a place for everything. I don't expect 100% clean but they weren't even trying. In the past 2 weeks I have gotten in there and cleaned up, reorganized and even gave away unplayed with items. I am recovering from foot surgery and a reinjured broken foot. Let's just say today I had enough. I had been warning them but they didn't think I would do anything I guess. I told them what I was going to do and then I got a big box and started packing. Then i realized I didn't want more work for myself later. I do respect them but the mess they were making isn't respectful of me or their belongings. So I told them they could keep their waldorf doll(special doll) and one other item. Then i locked the playroom door. I just want them to love and respect what they DO have ya know? Is thing wrong? I dont know what else to do.
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#50 of 54 Old 05-30-2008, 04:16 PM
 
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I don't have kids yet, but my friend has three, and I love her system!

For Christmas each of her kids get three presents from Santa/Mom and Dad. They get one box with some books in it, one box with clothing, and one single toy.

She is from a huge family, so her kids are going to get tons of toys from other relatives anyway.

Each child has two plastic bins to hold toys. These are not big either, just like a standard rubbermaid bin. She puts as many toys as can fit in to the two bins. One then goes in the basement for storage, one in their bedrooms. Every two weeks, she switches them out. That way the kids don't get too bored with the current toys. The rest of the toys are donated.

It helps keep things reasonable in her house. They live in a tiny house and they just don't have the space.

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#51 of 54 Old 05-31-2008, 01:48 AM
 
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what an inspiring thread! we live in a small home, and i've just been culling out stuff in our house, trying to simplify, and the toys, oh my, the toys...my dd is drowning in them, and she will say herself that she doesnt play with most of them. books, shes got a million books. i did too, until i forced myself to go thru them and choose ONLY the ones i KNEW i'd reference and reread, the result being about 5 large boxes full gone!! i need to weed hers out too. the toys, im dreading-there are so many i don't know where to start. and i feel like im fighting tooth and nail to keep more from coming in-the family is awful about giving us "stuff".

Erin, 33, salty southern mama, sitting by the sea with my DH35, DD10, DS4, &DD2!
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#52 of 54 Old 06-01-2008, 12:23 AM
 
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The thought of the ADULTS only having ten toys to themselves really intrigued me. Although I can't say for sure what is a toy and what is not.

i.e. Is my hair flatiron (I know, terrible) considered a "toy" because it's not an absolute necessity? Or how about my rice cooker? I could just use a pot. And then there's my laptop. I play on it sometimes but I also use it for work and research. But it's definitely fun! So it's hard to draw the line sometimes. (But I will say DH's Playstation3 is definitely just a toy. )

I'm trying to figure out my 10 toys... anyone want to share theirs (if they have a list)?

1. My digital camera
2. My embroidery basket
3. My nostalgic stuffed animals from DH
4. My media collection (is that cheating?)
5. My mp3 player
6.

Gosh darn it, I'm stuck. I can't really come up with ten "toys" for myself because there's so many gray areas like I said before.

But at least it's getting me to think about what hobbies I have and interests and try to not go overboard with things that remind me of what I *could* be doing... if I got around to it. But I never get around to it, cos there's so much stuff to decide between. Etc.
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#53 of 54 Old 06-01-2008, 12:49 AM
 
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#54 of 54 Old 06-03-2008, 03:59 AM
 
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Lovin this thread. We moved last oct and did a LOT of decluttering & thinning out then (two FULL vanloads to the dump of just crap, a lot of useful items ebay'd and local charity picked up more!) Some of that was toys.. but not most by any means, I did get rid of broken toys, things missing peices and a lot of gifts that I just HATED.

I've just decided my three boys (6, 4, 2yrs) are going to bunk in the same room so that we can make them a decent play room (makes more sense to have two beds in one room, 6 &4yo will NOT sleep in separate beds, and have one room to play in than to have beds in both rooms and slivers of play space!) I've got a couple of grocery bags of toys that never got played with much, especially since the batteries died & I hate the never ending noise) At the moment we are down to:

small collection of about 10 stuffed toys (ruthless on this one!)
little people (plain, castle, pirate ship plus MANY people & accessories)
Substantial collection of dress up clothes, capes, hats! (used DAILY )
little legos
bigger legos
wooden blocks
wooden train set & table
a small bin of 'action figures' (buzz lightyears, action man, small plastic dinos)
a growing collection of play food (wood & mama made felt )
a 'clakety clack' (wooden zig zag thing that cars zip down, loved by 2yo )
a 'busy beads' toy
and obviously some I'm missing
plus art supplies etc that I count as part of our homeschool materials

My problem is .. WHY can I not get rid of things that are 'part' of a set? why do I think they need to have all 4zillion little people just because 'oh she goes to the airplane!' I honestly feel like they don't play with half of the toys they have so why am I so hung up on getting rid of them???

Also the train table is HUGE :S (it's gotta be about a metre long by 2/3m wide!) and I'd really like to get their grandpa to make them a small 'kitchen' since they're into that.. but it's gotta be either or since the room is barely 3m square if that. But it's stressing me to think about getting rid of it since it was their major Christmas present 2yrs ago.

Help? lol

Pagan  lovin'  WOW playing mum to 5 boys in the wonderful land of Oz ... FOR THE HORDE! hehehe
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