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This is something thats been on my mind alot lately, I'm trying to figure it out. Stay with me here, this may get long. I've just been really sickened lately by how much stuff DD has. I've seen a few threads online lately of people posting pictures of their playrooms, some of them are just awe inspiring with their simplicity and wooden toys and they just looks like they would be so creatively inspiring... others just sicken me with all the bright colors and jumbles of toys - even a well organized toy room/ area has soooo much sensory wise, so many colors, so many different toys to choose from... I dont know if I'm explaining myself well or not. There was one picture that really stood out to me awhile back, of someone's playroom, and I've been looking at DD's toys trying to figure out how to simplify and organize them, but its hard! I saw a few more pictures tonight, on another website, and just looking at all the toys and colors and chaos, just reaffirmed what I want and need to do.<br><br>
The simplicity and organization that I saw in a couple people's playrooms just really seems like a necessity the more I think about it. How can a child play (focus, pretend, anything) in a room thats filled with so much (so much = colors, choices, just the sheer amount of toys to choose from)? I'm not saying we had gobs and gobs of toys, I've seen other houses with way more, I'm talking about your average 2 year old toy collection here. We do live in a small house, and have baby #2 on the way, so I guess that's what got me thinking about organizing things a little better as well.<br><br>
Anyway, how do you weed through it all and make choices as to what to keep and what to get rid of? Seriously! There is just so much. I've tried to go through the toy box several times and by the time I'm done there are just one or two things to get rid of. DD's 2nd birthday is coming up in June and I'm having the Grandparents get her a nice wooden kitchen, wooden food, and I'm making some felt food also. I'm really trying to make good choices about the things that I let into my home and get her quality things that will last and be good play items. But we already have toooo much!<br><br>
Ok, there's the blocks, we have a huge plastic tub of wooden blocks, we have another huge tub of Mega Blocks, and another of Duplos. The Duplos are a bit hard for DD to put together yet, but of course they are a staple toy to have. She can kind of build with the Mega Blocks better than the Duplos... and I can't toss the wooden blocks.... We have a wooden doll cradle and a wooden high chair that I just found at a garage sale, but I also have the pink and white plastic little tykes set of high chair, stroller, changing table, and cradle in the basement stored away. *sigh* I prefer the wooden stuff, but the plastic little tykes I spent forever collecting the set from yard sales, and I dont quite have that all in wooden stuff yet. I dont know, I guess I'm rambling. Thats some of the bigger stuff, but its even the little stuff I dont know what to do with. (Oh, and as far as blocks go, I just remembered we have the peek a blocks, a huge collection and a few things like the giraffe and elephant that you put the blocks on; and there are some nice small wooden blocks that a friend sent her from Germany!)<br><br>
There is a huge pile of stuffed animals that so and so have her this one, and this one was her first baby gift from so and so, this one is her puppy, this one is her bear, etc, etc. She doesn't even play with them! I would feel awful for getting rid of them all though because eventually she might like them and they might be sort of sentimental to her you know?<br><br>
Another thing is that we plan to homeschool, so part of me wants to have all these things in my home that DD might get to play with at school so that she isn't missing out on anything. Of course that's probably silly, and we do have the important things- TONS of books, some puzzles, art supplies, etc etc. Its just hard to get rid of something if DD has played with it a couple times or likes it, lol. Well, its getting late here and I'm not sure if I'm making sense or not, but I think maybe it helped to type this all out. I'm not sure what the solution is, I think I'm slowly becoming aware of the problem though. Its not something that would have bothered me before, but its growing on me, just a kind of distaste for the excess, I'm just realizing how MUCH we have for some reason. I still see things in stores though and think, ooh, she needs that, or someday I want to get her this/that/etc. I hope someone understands what I'm saying and doesn't think I'm a looney! lol
 

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I have also been trying to figure out what to do with the excess toys my son has. I definitely understand the problem but I don't have a solution yet! We've been trying to get rid of so much plastic (once we realized how much is here) but some things he really likes are plastic and I can't afford to just replace everything with wood (or whatever else is possible) so we've been selectively selling off or giving away some of what he doesn't play with often. He actually prefers things that are everyday household items (like vacuums and pots and pans) to play with anyway. We've also packed away some of his stuffed animals because he has tons and really doesn't play with many. Might end up getting rid of some of them eventually but for various reaons we don't want to yet (sentimental usually). We have 4 boxes of toys and cycle through them one per week so that he doesn't have as many choices and so there's not so much clutter but we still need to reduce it because it's starting to not all fit in the boxes. Another thing - when the grandparents buy him toys we've been leaving them at their houses so that he can play with them over there and we don't have extra clutter. I'm kind of rambling but I just wanted to say I definitely understand!
 

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We've been going through this process big-time with 2 kids and #3 on the way. My kids share a room, too, so there has to be room in their room for all the stuff. Toys do not live in the living room <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:, and less is more. I have noticed that my kids actually play with the stuff that they have more intensely, and can combine sets to make wonderfully imaginative scenarios.<br><br>
These were my criteria:<br>
Redundancy was not a good thing in toys. We need one set of any one type of toy. Period. (Unless they're functionally different - like stacking blocks vs wood blocks vs Duplos - we have a set of each. But the MegaBloks are gone, as are the stacking cups and the peek-a-blocks)<br><br>
Anything that is really irritating gets donated (mommy's sanity is important, too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> - that shrieking, shrill microphone - gonzo!)<br><br>
Anything that exists solely to be dumped out and not played with - gone.<br><br>
Stuff that I bought because I liked it but the kids don't play with it - sadly had to leave (like the cool xylophone - they never ever used it)<br><br>
Stuffed animals have to all fit in one of those squishy barrel clothes hamper thingies (if that makes any sense at all). I did this when my dd was about 3 - I kept the ones she had named. Others slowly disappeared.<br><br>
Anyways, not like I'm some guru of organizing or anything. I've done this all over the last 3 years, and some things take a long time to release. I just got tired of all the clutter, the battles at bedtime over putting this massive quantity of stuff away, and having my living room look like a toy store with the overflow.<br>
HTH,<br><br>
Kristin<br>
mom to dd (5 1/2), ds (almost 3!) and #3 due in June
 

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I have big Rubbermaid tub, and I keep about half of DD's toys in it, rotating them in when she seems tired of them, and back out when she hasn't seen them for a while.<br><br>
The stuffed animals are a major irritation, though. I've tried telling our family and friends that she doesn't need any more purple rabbits or pink bears with wings, but they don't listen. I ought to give them (the toys, not the family and friends, although sometimes I'm tempted) all to a children's hospital or something.<br><br>
Rachael, mama to Ella 2/06
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mercy589</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7975597"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">There is a huge pile of stuffed animals that so and so have her this one, and this one was her first baby gift from so and so, this one is her puppy, this one is her bear, etc, etc. She doesn't even play with them! I would feel awful for getting rid of them all though because eventually she might like them and they might be sort of sentimental to her you know?</div>
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We had the same problem with stuffed animals - everyone buys them for kids! My ds had no interest, and I put them into a huge rubbermaid container - he didn't miss them, and out they went. Ds is 20 months, and I refuse to keep anything that "might" be sentimental to them later at this point. He likes "Little Bear" that he sleeps with, and Pooh Bear for downstairs, but other than that, I don't keep much that he isn't interested in right now. JMO. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I hang out a lot in the "Decluttering" forum - those women have inspired me to do a lot - to keep what is meaningful to my family and to donate/toss what is not. They always have great ideas over there. Good luck!
 

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My sister and I made my poor Dad tote two large containers of our stuffed animals. We are now late 20’s early 30’s and FINALLY they have been tossed in the dump. We each kept two. Trust me when I say you are doing your kids a favor by weeding them out!<br><br>
I am driven to keep on top of this toy stuff to!! I grew up with toooo much stuff and I hated it. Pieces of games were always missing and I remember being stumped by the mess. When my DD turned 1 I realized it was time to get it together before I totally lost the war on toy clutter.<br>
I basically took every toy out and made piles. (When I help my organization challenge mom organize we make category note cards and hang them on the wall) Then I decided what toys I wanted in the play room and what would work in my DD room.<br><br>
We came up with play room -<br>
Blocks<br>
Trains set<br>
Music toys<br>
Art<br>
Toys with Wheels<br><br>
Then I bought storage containers for each category and labeled them. We made zones in the play room and put the appropriate toys near that zone. My DH built an activity table which is great for all art projects, building projects and train time. We bought draws that slide under the table that house blocks, train sets and play Dow (which I labled). Then I labeled the containers for the music toys ect. and they are kept in a cabinet that my DD can get to.<br>
Baby’s room is zoned -<br>
Dolls<br>
Books<br>
Stuffed Animals<br><br>
For my DD bed room we made a reading corner with a book shelf and a cozy children’s chair so she had a spot to read. I find my 18 month old flipping threw her books by her self often. She is very in to baby dolls so we set up a baby spot in the center of the room with a wooden doll bassinet that her three baby dolls live in.<br><br>
If they don’t play with it I totally suggest rotating. If you have two kinds of blocks then put one set away for a couple weeks and alternate them. My DD loves it when an old toy comes back. It’s as good as getting something new.<br>
Long post!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Lilliansmom, sounds like you did a great job getting it under control! I'd love to see pictures if you want to post any - and anyone else. More inspiration could always help! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mercy589</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7975597"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">There is a huge pile of stuffed animals that so and so have her this one, and this one was her first baby gift from so and so, this one is her puppy, this one is her bear, etc, etc. She doesn't even play with them! I would feel awful for getting rid of them all though because eventually she might like them and they might be sort of sentimental to her you know?</div>
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Take some pictures of them and then donate them or give them to someone that will love them. You and she will have the photos to remember them by. As an adult who is still digging out from a lifetime of things saved FOR me, I think you will be doing your dd a favor letting things go that she doesn't use.<br><br>
Another idea is to go through them with her and let her decide which (if any) to keep and which to give away. My dd is pretty good at this. It's hard for me (as a recovering pack-rat <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">) because she sometimes chooses to give away things I think she *should* keep for whatever reason. But unless it's a very important reason, I honor her requests. If I like the item that much, I should keep it, not her, right? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, that makes sense, DH and I are still digging our way out of things saved for us - especially now that we have kids, our parents think that all our old toys should now come from their house to ours, and we both had alot saved for us and dont know what to do with it here at our house, and alot of it isn't stuff that we really want to give our kids anyway- old stuffed animals for one thing, ick! lol
 
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