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#1 of 22 Old 07-18-2002, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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...the mass amounts of toys in our home? We have one 3 yr old dd. She is the only grandchild on either side and the grandparents take spoiling to a whole new level. She has so many toys that she cannot play with any because it is such a clustered mess. I have sat down a few times to weed through em, but cannot bring myself to throw away stuff. Any advice on how to bring myself to toss perfectly good, sometimes expensive, yet totally not played with, toys????
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#2 of 22 Old 07-18-2002, 04:11 PM
 
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How about donating them to a women's shelter, nursey school, or some other location that would love to receive a generous gift of toys?
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#3 of 22 Old 07-18-2002, 04:13 PM
 
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Bring them to a consignment store & get some $ for them!
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#4 of 22 Old 07-18-2002, 04:14 PM
 
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Don't throw them away!!! Give them to someone who does not have so many toys! You could donate to a thrift shop, homeless shelter, abused family shelter, church nursery, etc. Involve your daughter both in choosing which toys to give away and in taking them to their new owners.

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#5 of 22 Old 07-18-2002, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When I said "tossing" I really didn't mean in the trash, just out of here. My problem is, I have this mental block about tossing anything grandparents gave, which is everything. Despite me telling my inlaws we didn't want Barbie, we have a bucket of barbie crap with a kazillion pieces. So when dil's come visit, and they wonder where it is, what so I say?? I am not sure of what to keep and what to get rid of. Thanks for all you advice. I'm gonna call around and find some places to donate.

Joanna
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#6 of 22 Old 07-18-2002, 04:38 PM
 
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Wow, everyone's replies are so much more altruistic than mine! Is there a 'sheepish grin' smilie?

Yes - donate the toys!
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#7 of 22 Old 07-18-2002, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just called the Penn House which is a shelter here that does the immediate taking in of battered women and children. There is a half-way house too, but by the time they get there, they have usually had time to go home and get their stuff. But the Penn house is the place they go when they bolt from their house in the middle of the night with nothing. The lady said kids and moms come in with nothing and then not only are the kids going through hell, but they have nothing to play with. I explained to dd (3.5) in simple temrs and she is going to pick out some toys to take. Great advice!!
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#8 of 22 Old 07-18-2002, 05:26 PM
 
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Just box a bunch of stuff up and put it away in a closet or under a bed. You don't have to totally get rid of it. Then every week or so you can rotate a few toys back into the playroom in exchange for a few others that will go into the box.
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#9 of 22 Old 07-18-2002, 05:26 PM
 
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I think its OK to tell benevolent lies when G'ma & G'pa ask about their gifts whereabouts. Tell them it was loved to death. Or if it was something you truly don't want replaced - ie) Barbie stuff - tell them you prefer they don't spend their money on that stuff and that you gave it to someone less fortunate. Shoot, it'll make them think again before shelling out the cash for something you told them not to get.
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#10 of 22 Old 07-18-2002, 05:27 PM
 
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I say if you are having a hard time deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, have a friend who is not a pack rat (in my group of friends this is me) and have her help you. She holds up a toy, and says keep or give, and you decide and if you kept too many things than you go through again, until you only have an many toys and you have room to store or display them neatly. You can let you dd have a few vetos, but not too many because shes little, in fact you may want to do this while her and her dad go to the park or something. Good luck, I love getting rid of stuff, so your project sounds fun to me.

Oh and don't worry about what to say to the grandparents they are not cataloging the toys of your dd when they come over, and if they are they shouldn't be. If they do ask about something (which is just rude) say that it is at the church nursey (or other acceptable place) so that she has toys to play with there.
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#11 of 22 Old 07-18-2002, 05:47 PM
 
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In spite of telling my parents over and over to cut back on buying my kids toys, they never listened until I started decluttering. I've kept everthing that the kids love, but gradually gotten rid of tons of stuff. I started last summer and have found that this is an on-going project.

My mom has asked where I few things are. I explained that the girls had outgrown somethings so we passed them on to friends, and that somethings they didn't really play with it so we gave them to a charity shop. It felt uncomfortable, but last Christmas was the first time she has stuck with my suggestion of 1 toy per child. She loves to spend money on my kids so she has started buying clothes, books, and savings bonds (HUGE improvment over mounds of molded plastic!)

My kids play so much better with a reasonable amount of toys.
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#12 of 22 Old 07-18-2002, 05:54 PM
 
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We moved recently and it felt so good to give away a lot of the stuff the kids were not using/playing with. They don't even seem to notice it's gone. It seems like the first time you part with something they have played with is the hardest. But, it gets easier and easier each time! Especially if it's something they use little but you seem to be picking up often.
Hi Linda in Arizona! Steph
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#13 of 22 Old 07-18-2002, 07:25 PM
 
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We rotate our toys to keep them fresh!

A few favorites always stay upstairs, but the rest go into the basement. Many things that are inappropriate I pass-along immediately. If they are pristine, they go to toys-for-tots.
Otherwise your local DSS will have plenty of places that need/want such things.

We have three small (clear plastic!) boxes which contain, respectively: art supplies, music instruments and 'house' toys (plates, apron, mixing bowls, etc.) that all stay upstairs, along with a favorite doll, a llama and a small tin tub of 'baby-toys' to distract the 10 month old.

Everything else--excluding books--is stored in baskets and rotated. Sometimes something is missed or 'needed' from the basement so I go retrieve it. When things get rotated it's like having a basket of new toys! To 'test' something, rotate it out indefinitely and see if it's missed at all (seasonal toys like kites and sleds notwithstanding).
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#14 of 22 Old 07-18-2002, 11:06 PM
 
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We rotate our toys too, every 2 weeks. Same with board books. It helps keep a cleaner house and it's Christmas every 2 weeks! The ones that never get played with through 1-2 rotations get donated to Goodwill, which is where most of her toys come from anyway.

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#15 of 22 Old 07-19-2002, 06:46 AM
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here's my trick:

I bagged up all the toys that weren't natural, or were just "too much". I got rid of everything except wooden castle blocks and the wooden king and queen, 2 matchbox cars each, 3 basketballs, a few beloved stuffed animals, and puzzles.

EVERYTHING else went into bags. Then I called MIL and told her that I had some toys that the boys had originally loved but weren't playing with anymore and asked her if she would like them so they could play with them when they are there.

I brought over 4-5 GARBAGE bags full of toys - 75% MIL had bought. I think she's still sorting thru them!

I didn't do it to be mean or anything. I truly kept what I thought was enough and appropriate for 3 boys. We have asked her in the past to try to refrain from buying things for them, but she loves them SOOOOO much that she has a very hard time not giving gifts when she sees them (which is about every other week).

She is a AWESOME MIL. She's one of my very best friends and I love her dearly, but I just needed her to see HOW MUCH she actually gives to them.
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#16 of 22 Old 07-19-2002, 04:27 PM
 
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When one of the grandparents asked where a specific toy that they gave my ds was (we had given it away) I told her "It's around somewhere." We frequently can't find certain toys in our house. That was enough to make her happy and I wasn't really lying.
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#17 of 22 Old 07-19-2002, 05:39 PM
 
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My parents spoil our kids rotten too. Forget Christmas and birthdays, they get new toys every month. I just flat out tell my mom that she's wasting her money. That and I box up the toys every so often and take them to THEIR house. This wore thin with my mom who said to stop bringing toys over. That opened the door for me to say that with four kids, a 1200 square foot house and no basement we have no room for them. That has limited it a little bit. Plus, it was teaching my kids to be ultra greedy. I probably sound nasty but I just couldn't take it anymore. And after 10 years of being nice I had to start being honest!

I donate all of our toys to a shelter. It makes me feel good. It would make me feel good if they weren't bought in the first place but we haven't exactly gotten that far yet.

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#18 of 22 Old 07-19-2002, 06:28 PM
 
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I make donations to a charity who collect every month or so, and each time I get rid of one or two unwanted toys. That way it is gradual and nobody notices that something has gone - not even dh! (He'd keep everything, no matter how plastic and horrendous)

I also give people lots of feedback about the good toys that we're given eg a much loved farm set and animals. I tell grandparents how we're trying to build up the set. Now they are buying a wooden train set for the next birthday, which they can add more pieces to in the future.
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#19 of 22 Old 07-20-2002, 12:51 AM
 
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Being honest with my mom about purging our toys has really, really changed her shopping habits. She used to buy them tons of crap for Christmas, but this year she bought them a very nice wooden doll house that we will never get rid of. Honestly, it is the kind of thing you keep until your kids outgrown and then put away for the grandkids. Being honest about not keeping all the junky toys has worked out great for us (although mom was annoyed at first).
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#20 of 22 Old 07-21-2002, 11:13 AM
 
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There's a ton of good advice here about purging toys and where to send them so I won't add my .02, but I would like to say what I asked my mom to do in lieu of tons of toys; pay for lessons. My kids are old enough now (more or less- 2 &5) that a gift of swim lessons or pre-tumbling lessons are a goddess-send. The local pools sell punch cards for visits, too which are always useful. Mom is still totally pathological about giving the kids a ton of crap but at least not they get something they can really enjoy that I don't have to box up and send to charity.
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#21 of 22 Old 07-23-2002, 01:47 AM
 
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Something my friend suggested about this that has worked wonders for our family too is this:

Box up ALL toys that are not age appropriate or played with often. Stick them in the attic. If they are still there un opened [and un asked for etc] after 6 mo, DONT open the box, just carry it to a donation location and count your blessings for having so much to give.

With the rest of the toys, divide them up into categories [make your own; we have books, videos, trucks, dolls, blocks, art, other] and take ONE toy from each category [max two] and put it out on a shelf or toy box or what ever. Put ALL of the rest into a [big] box in the closet, garage, wherever. Then once a week [or what ever time frame you chose; we do Sat morning] rotate thru the toys in the boxes and bring out 1-3 "new" toys and put away an equal amount of "old" toys. This helps keep them interesting and more readily used/loved.

Finally, when asked "where is such-n-such toy" just say "oh, new system, must be in the closet, etc". Or, brag to relatives about your new system, how cool it is, etc, and in the process mention how this way children dont get 100 new toys at christmas and nothing the rest of the year, but something "new" each week instead. Add a pitch for your categories while you are at it, and mention that there arent "violent" videos too [or what ever you chose etc]
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#22 of 22 Old 07-23-2002, 01:58 AM
 
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Just want to say that the chances are the grandparents don't remember what they gave or when. Keep a few of the biggies in a closet to prominently display when they visit, and it'll be fine.

- Amy
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