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#1 of 54 Old 10-13-2007, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am trying to implement a "10 Toy" rule in my house (For dh and I, as well as the kids!)

I can tell it is going to be a process and not nearly as easy as it sounds.

I wonder if I need to send a notice out to friends and family that we will be doing this so they dont buy too much for xmas...I can already tell I am going to have to get rid of 90% of what people buy for us. (Every single year. Christmas is so stressful-no one understands our desire for simplicity. They all think we are sticks in the mud.)

Does anyone else want to try to simplify?

Jenny
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#2 of 54 Old 10-13-2007, 07:04 PM
 
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Me! I'm in the process of giving away the toys they don't play with/don't need; this after getting rid of everything made in China. I'm right there with ya!
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#3 of 54 Old 10-13-2007, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am really struggling with books though-I wonder if that needss to be its own category.

I am pretty good at only having the really good ones around (and my MIL likes to buy me all kinds of terrible books all the time because she is a teacher and I think they come in and "sell" her books. LOL)

How do you keep books from getting out of hand?

Also, I have zero things in my ds's category and I dont feel bad about it because he is not a toy player. I just asked him what his favorite toys are and he held something up and said "this is!" It was a super sized M-F pill case my mother gave to him to play with.:

I hope no one buys him toys for xmas.

He needs a curtain rod and a cup of rice, and the running hose.

He'll figure out the rest!

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#4 of 54 Old 10-13-2007, 08:13 PM
 
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I'm so in but I'm going to fudge it and say 30 toys for now, some were bought ahead by family and they are not age appropriate now but will be in a couple of years.(it doesn't count if he has never seen them and they are put away right?) I do plan to reduce DS toys by another 90%

I was given so many MIC hand me downs that I got excited when I found a made in USA I was crying happy tears. The only thing I am proud of is I have managed to keep his bath toys in a really small basket in the BR and the rest of his toys in a med size wicker basket in the bedroom.

So am I in?
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#5 of 54 Old 10-13-2007, 08:19 PM
 
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my family is well trained LOL. they know that i only want clothes for the girls.
i have a 5 toy rule. so i only have 10 toys out at a time. i keep everything for rotation every two weeks i change them up. i'm a trift store junkie so they are always getting new toys. we go through all toys monthly and get rid of a few.
i don't consider books toys, they have 100's of books. mostly on the floor tho...
i remember only having like 4 toys most of my childhood, and i never felt cheated or anything.
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#6 of 54 Old 10-13-2007, 08:27 PM
 
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I do! I have been trying for a while. I took so much stuff to GoodWill a few months ago. My kids have three sets of grandparents b/c DH's parents are divorced and both remarried. We have really tried to make our wishes known (my folks are better about it than DH's). DH's dad and his wife don't even ask us what the kids want/need, they just by something ridiculous, and half the time we end up giving those things away. We are also TTC, and with another one in the house, I don't want the piles to grow!
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#7 of 54 Old 10-14-2007, 09:34 AM
 
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I have no problem sending the family a list for DS. I just say "if you want to buy him something for the holidays, here's what he needs/ wants"

And it usually includes some inexpensive items like simple books I know he'd enjoy. As well as more expensive items like membership to the zoo/ aquarium/ children's museum. Tickets to those places for a day. Things to do rather than consumables. Usually they go by the list, and when they don't I just donate the stuff we don't need. It all comes by mail since family is far away, so "disappearing" the item before DS sees it is not a problem. I open the mail, make the call, and go from there. We write a thank you note, and tell DS that uncle or grandpa or whoever gave him one of the things we picked out for him.

We HAVE to keep toys down because we live on a boat and literally don't have the space. We've managed to do a decent job so far, but I always think we can thin down more.

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#8 of 54 Old 10-14-2007, 01:47 PM
 
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oooo oooo me too me too!
anybody have good ideas for how to tactfully suggest gift ideas to in-laws et. al? ds's birthday is in 2 weeks and we usually end up with all this run of the mill fisher price/china/plastic crap. i've done the 'ole "have you seen the mom and pop toy store in foothill village?" during the "off season". they still seem to go to costco and toys r us. i'm fine with good, quality toys that inspire imagination (simple, wooden, etc.) heck, my kid loves a good cardboard box! and are you counting each individual toy or would say, the construction set count as one toy?
i would definitely put books in their own category. those are sacred things in our home. i would also put art supplies in their own category, another sacred thing in our home.
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#9 of 54 Old 10-14-2007, 04:27 PM
 
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This is more of a parenting issue than a tribe, so I am moving you all over there. Please remember that FYT is for chit-chat and daily life rather than specific issues that are better hosted in forums that already exist.

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#10 of 54 Old 10-14-2007, 04:28 PM
 
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Also, if you want to branch the conversation out into simplification beyond just the 10-toy rule and how to get families to comply, we have a whole forum dedicated to simplifying here. If that is more what you're looking for, I'd be happy to move the thread there. Just PM me.

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#11 of 54 Old 10-14-2007, 09:35 PM
 
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Moved to decluttering, organizing, and simplifying at the OP's request

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#12 of 54 Old 10-14-2007, 10:01 PM
 
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This sounds like a great plan! My DS hardly plays with the toys he has anyways. I do have a nice big garage so the nice, quality, wooden non wanted toys will be stored in there. I am opening a preschool next year so they will be well loved then.

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" --Leonardo Da Vinci
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#13 of 54 Old 10-14-2007, 10:07 PM
 
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Wow! 10 toys sounds so interesting to me... could we really get by with 10 toys per kid? My oldest would never miss any of his as long as he gets his legos, and I'm wondering if my 3yo ds would do fine as well. I might box the rest of his up, stick them in the garage and see how it goes. Maybe we could do the toy rotation I've always wanted to do.

One question... I'm thinking with something like Playmobile, I would count a set as "1 toy" for example the castle/knight/accessories are one thing. Or do you mean 10 items total?
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#14 of 54 Old 10-14-2007, 10:08 PM
 
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Do you all really have toys that the kids do not ever play with? I would love to get rid of some toys but then dd goes and plays with the ones I am eyeing. So, it would be disrespectful and mean for me to get rid of the ones she plays with. Also, I try to give family guidelines for gifts if they ask but if they don't ask I think it would be rude for me to tell them. And, to throw or give away their gifts would be really rude. So, I am stuck there. My dd has so many toys but she enjoys them all. Truly! I have tried putting some in a box in the garage but she will notice and ask for them even if she has not played with them for eons.

So, how would you handle all of that? I think we need to just try to have less and less for a long term goal and not try to get down to just a few items right away.
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#15 of 54 Old 10-14-2007, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
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One question... I'm thinking with something like Playmobile, I would count a set as "1 toy" for example the castle/knight/accessories are one thing. Or do you mean 10 items total?
I think "tea set" for my dd, and then I am limiting "tea set" to like a service for 4. (BASIC service for 4)

or "play food" and then I picture enough play food to fill up her small grocery cart-which is part of that "game." kwim?

Thats what I am doing. I'll let you know how it works!

Yellowpansy-I am beginning to really want simplicity in my life and for me, thats getting rid of "stuff" and my attachments to it. I feel kind of guilty for thinking this still but I am beginning to actually resent my family for dumping toys, hand me downs, heirlooms, and stuff into my enviornment. Its so not peaceful. And I think they just want to stop "storing" some of this stuff in their own enviornments. I mean, I get some of it but my mil always offers me old stuff that she is decluttering out of her house and I dont know how to say no to her every single time. (She does it all the time.) My mom does too. My moms space is overflowing with boxes full of schoolwork we did 20 years ago!

We really want to downsize...and stay downsized...but I dont think its going to happen overnight. (Esoecially for me. Getting 4 boxes of junk out of my house the other day took up the whole rest of my big 'ol' pregnant energy for the day! I am spent!)

And I will have a newborn soon too, so not alot going to be happening at that time either. 'cept booby and snuggles.

I am just beginning a process....or actually elaborating on a process I had already begun in my head.

I dont know that that has anything to do with your post, LOL.
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#16 of 54 Old 10-14-2007, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you all really have toys that the kids do not ever play with? I would love to get rid of some toys but then dd goes and plays with the ones I am eyeing. So, it would be disrespectful and mean for me to get rid of the ones she plays with. Also, I try to give family guidelines for gifts if they ask but if they don't ask I think it would be rude for me to tell them. And, to throw or give away their gifts would be really rude. So, I am stuck there. My dd has so many toys but she enjoys them all. Truly! I have tried putting some in a box in the garage but she will notice and ask for them even if she has not played with them for eons.

So, how would you handle all of that? I think we need to just try to have less and less for a long term goal and not try to get down to just a few items right away.
Ok it had nothing to do with your post, LOL...But I did want to comment!!!

I think my reasons for decluttering to 10 toys is that my kids are so overwhelmed and so am I, nothing gets played with a whole lot.!!!

If they played with all of them, I'd be totally content!

BTW-

I didnt just mean childrens toys. I would like to downsize myself to "10 toys" as well. (Like I live on a boat!!! I will have to figure out what my toys are. And the house gets 10 toys too. Like kitchenware.

I am challenging myself.

Not making dh do it though. Its not my place.
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#17 of 54 Old 10-15-2007, 01:17 AM
 
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I'm assuming you mean categories, right? Like Playmobil would be 1 and blocks would be 1 ? Off to go count...
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And, to throw or give away their gifts would be really rude.
I would like to respectfully disagree . When you give someone a gift, do you consider it completely theirs to do with as they please? IMO, it would be rude to expect someone to keep a gift that I give them forever. I would loathe the idea that someone feels burdened by a gift that I give them. People give you gifts but they do not pay for your rent or mortgage or storage locker to store the gifts (which costs a lot more that the gifts usually). If people find that you are tossing the gifts, what's the worst that can happen? They might say "we are just not going to give gifts to those ungrateful people any more!" Problem solved

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#18 of 54 Old 10-15-2007, 04:40 AM
 
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Im right with ya sistah. My ds gets a lot of toys by well wishing people. Im not sure what to do b/c people pop by my house all the time of course they are going to ask where such and such I bought T is?

Its hard. Well my MIL stopped the gifts since she's a JW now. So we can count her out!
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#19 of 54 Old 10-15-2007, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It has changed my view of giving gifts actually.

I almost don't give very often because I don't want it to become someone elses clutter.

I dont think there are very many people in my life who "need" something. They have pretty much all they need....plus a swiffer, plus clothes from 20 years ago, plus plus plus plus plus
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#20 of 54 Old 10-15-2007, 10:27 AM
 
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I'll try to hop on the 10 toy bandwagon! But with 5 kids, that is still 50 toys - or types of toys if you think "blocks" or "playfood" or (ugh) Polly Pockets and all her clothes! It still adds up to a lot - too much. We live in a 1200 or so square ft house and that many toys/pieces really overruns the place. Maybe I'll knock it down to 5 a kid, with another 10 for "shared" toys or something...

We have a baptism coming up, and two birthdays (my oldest will turn 10 and 8) before Christmas ...plus Christmas...this should be interesting!!

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#21 of 54 Old 10-15-2007, 10:31 AM
 
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It has changed my view of giving gifts actually.

I almost don't give very often because I don't want it to become someone elses clutter.

I dont think there are very many people in my life who "need" something. They have pretty much all they need....plus a swiffer, plus clothes from 20 years ago, plus plus plus plus plus
This is totally our experience too. Although the people I know seem to LIKE getting clutter! Go figure, LOL. But the people I buy for have everything they need, and then some. I just hate feeding into the whole "gimme gimme consume consume" thing. : We buy a lot of gift certificates or consumable products (soaps, food, etc) or at least *useful* items if we can manage it!

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#22 of 54 Old 10-15-2007, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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consumable products-perfect! I am buying soaps from my local farm for all the girls in the family this xmas.

Although the girls in my family like to hold on to good soap in their bathroom and never use it. I used to do the same, but now I am like "I'm using the good stuff!" soap doesnt keep forever.

My MIL thinks it does. She also has her spice set from when she got married. over 30 years ago. And she still cooks with the spices.
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#23 of 54 Old 10-15-2007, 12:43 PM
 
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I want to do this.

DSS, age 9, has a ridiculous amount of toys, but most of them are not here, thank goodness. He mostly here in the summer, when we play outside, and holidays, when family stuff keeps up hopping, so toys are mostly an afterthougt.
We have bins under his bed, a big set of shelves mounted on the wall of his room, and he has a closet, a desk, and a bookcase headboard. He does a good job keeping his stuff neat.

As for DD, she's only 18 months. My idea for her is to do categories, give each category its own container, and not let the container be outgrown.

I don't think that books, games, and art supplies count as toys, but they will have their own containers, too.

Books are easy. No more than what fits on the shelves in her room.

Games, I dunno. The jury's still out.

For art supplies, I want to buy her one of these lapdesks, as they look like they will hold quite a bit.

Here's what I have established for toys so far:

Stuffed Toys: Before she was born, I made a toy bag that ties to her crib. No more stuffed toys than will fit in the bag. I am RUTHLESS about this.

Dress up box: I built an oblong box and covered it with heavy vinyl tablecloth, and mounted a lightweight plastic mirror on the side. I need to run a couple dowels thru for hanging rods, and attach some hooks as well. The dress up clothes and accessories, as well as the playsilks, live in this box.

Puzzles: Buying a wooden puzzle case from LTD. ($8! It's $30 on Amazon.) No more puzzles than what fit in the case.

Kitchen Toys: My dad is currently building two playstands for DD's Christmas present. These and her little wooden table and chairs will compose/deliniate her play area. My dad is also going to build a little platform thing that looks like a stovetop and fits over the playstand shelf, and that will be her play kitchen. I am going to find/build a box or basket that will contain all the dishes, play food, etc.

Blocks: Right now it's wooden, but I imagine as she gets older, it will be Duplo/Lego. For this reason, they are in a clear plastic tote.

And, of course, there is a MISC box. This has her Magic Motzart cube, a bunch of soft cloth and bouncy balls, some plastic clothespins that she really likes, and currently holds the playsilks.

For her next- that is, 2008- Christmas, we are planning on building her a tree doll house. I want to build it on a platform that will be narrow enough to fit on the playstand shelf, and I want it to have a built-in drawer for the fairy dolls and their accoutrement.

As she gets older still, I imagine that she will want one or two nice dolls. This worries me, since doll stuff takes up a huge amount of room. I'm not sure what we'll do with all of it. I don't want her to have Polly Pockets or "fashion" dolls, but I don't really know where this is going to end up.

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#24 of 54 Old 10-15-2007, 05:38 PM
 
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Definately a good idea The holidays are hard because people just want to give stuff and stuff doesn't equal happiness, imo. I'll work on getting down to less toys!
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#25 of 54 Old 10-15-2007, 07:25 PM
 
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Wow, this is a great idea. My 3 kids have literally 100's of toys apiece and we are completely overwhelmed. I am working on paring down, and am comitted to working harder now!

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#26 of 54 Old 10-17-2007, 01:05 AM
 
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This is an interesting concept.

DS2 has WAY more than 10 toys and I'd love to pare down to a reasonable amount for one little boy!! We have the IKEA Expedit shelf with 16 spaces, so it would be reasonably easy to pare down to just what fits on the bookshelf, with each category of toy getting one slot. We have three slots already full of books, and one of art supplies, so there are actually 12 spaces available for toys.

He also has a bin of stuffed animals, a Cozy Coupe (he rides it around the house all day long!), a push cart that he uses like a stroller for his toys, and a wooden fire station with people and parts. His toys really seem to come in categories rather than single toys. Maybe I can rotate so eight bins of toys are out at a time, with five or six in reserve to swap when something is starting to look boring. I've been pulling out plastic toys and once those are gone, the shelf will be a lot more sparse.

Thinking out loud here, I could pare him down to one bin apiece for the following categories:

Blocks bin
Wooden train and tracks bin
Trucks, cars, and fire trucks bin
Activity cube (the kind with the windy bead thing on top, four different things on the sides. He's not thrilled with it, but is liking the windy bead thing lately.)
Music toys
Play food
Little animals (plastic being replaced with wood for Christmas)
Sorting and stacking toys, lacing beads, manipulatives
Play dough and play dough tools
Puzzles
Tools - hammering pegs, Melissa and Doug toolbox
Assorted little toys, like a pull toy alligator, stacking animal puzzle/pull toy, Jack in the Box, balls, etc.
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#27 of 54 Old 10-17-2007, 08:23 AM
 
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This idea appeals to my minimalist leanings but I wonder how my child would react to such a rule. What do your kids think? Do you take their feelings/desires/wishes into consideration?
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#28 of 54 Old 10-17-2007, 09:19 AM
 
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This idea appeals to my minimalist leanings but I wonder how my child would react to such a rule. What do your kids think? Do you take their feelings/desires/wishes into consideration?
I understand your point, and I wondered how my kids would react. What I do is a "modified rotation." Books are always available on their bookcases, and some things stay out in their bedrooms (on shelves). Art supplies are always available in the family room (in baskets). In the family room, I rotate out toys every month or so (they stay in baskets on two bookshelves). I watch what they play with the most, and will generally leave those one or two toys out longer. I have a closet under our stairs that I put the extra toys in. My kids call it the "stuff closet," and they know that the extra toys are there if they start to miss something and want to go get it. I will also pull some things out of their rooms and put them in family room and vice versa. Sometimes just putting a toy in a different place reminds them that they have that one and they get excited about it all over again instead of wanting something new. If they ask for something that I've put away, they are welcome to go get it.
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#29 of 54 Old 10-17-2007, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have had a very easy time deciding what 10 toys to have around for my 2 year old dd. And she is very happy with it.

What I cant figure out is what to keep for ds (4). I actually eliminated ALL of his toys into the garage and that was a week ago and he hasnt asked for anything yet. He doesnt play with toys! So I am kinda lost as to what to do with him. Its the story of my life.

Know what he has been having a blast with though? A spray bottle in the shower. Thats my ds....
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#30 of 54 Old 05-20-2008, 06:00 PM
 
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He doesnt play with toys! So I am kinda lost as to what to do with him. Its the story of my life.
My 4 yo is like that too . We don't have many toys because he doesn't play with them unless they are seriously fresh - like just came out of storage 30 minutes ago.

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