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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just that. There are so many. Most of them with wheels. I feel so lost when I look at them to try to figure out which ones to toss. My older son is so attached to his things and cycles which ones he is totally into playing with. He actually raids the garbage bags daily in case I threw something of his out, I often see things that were in the garbage back in his room or somewhere in the house. I know I just need to do it, but I'm complaining about it at the same time <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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Are you involving him in the decision making process? Why is he hunting the garbage daily? I would try to say "ok, today we are going through your toys & what is left must fit into space X - but it is your decision what stays & what goes."
 

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If your kid is going through the garbage on a daily basis to retrieve his things I think you might want to stop and reconsider the priorities. (And I mean that in the most respectful way. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy">) I think that just as consumers and collectors of "stuff" can tend to place "things above people," so, too, can those of us who like less. But it just plays out in the reverse--where getting RID of the stuff becomes more important than the people to whom it belongs or our relationships with them.<br><br>
Truly, it sounds like there's some trust stuff going on. And that's hard to build back up--with anyone. He doesn't trust that his stuff is safe or that you're not going to do something with it that he doesn't want. (Which, in the long run I think could lead to some hoarding-type inclinations.) I know I'd have a lot of issues if someone decided my sewing stash was too much for their taste and just starting pitching things without my consent. I'd be really resentful. (And I'd probably want *more* and to hide it....just because! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">)<br><br>
Can you make sure that any choices regarding his stuff rest on his shoulders alone? Can you explain to him what your wants for your home are? And see how you two could work together to have a tidy, organized, clutter-free space AND have it so that no one fears for their belongings?<br><br>
You might be interested in the thread titled "Forcing minimalism on others" or some such in this forum. Sounds kind of like what you're dealing with.<br><br>
In any event, I hope you can find that balance! It's not easy! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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ITA with the others. Toys my ds hasn't played with in a while <i>may</i> find their way into storage. After a few months or a year, they may find their way to a thrift store. But, I'd be concerned that getting rid of things without consent would backfire and encourage hoarding behavior. Just like a kid needs to learn how to own before being able to really share, he needs to be able to feel secure in owning and allowed enough time to grow out of interests to be able to willingly part with possessions. Now, my ds will let me donate toys he has outgrown or ones that have lost his interest, but he wasn't ready a couple years ago. A couple years ago, he hoarded packaging from things he liked, lol (food, toys, etc).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: No he's not involved in the garbage decision making process (yet), but that is because he's 2, and the things that go in the garbage are things like: broken toys found and brought home from the playground, the broken bottoms of kids brooms that have sharp splintery edges, glass bottles, the broken musical bit from a music box, bits and pieces of kitchen machines that are shiny, packaging from candies or mints like the metal altoids boxes.. he has several but I toss most of them, basically old broken junk that was found or given to us, or just plain isn't useful anymore. Or packaging from various things. I totally agree with the previous points, but I'm trying to declutter the house... not save more garbage because my 2 year old doesn't want me to throw out the garbage. Most of our toys are in the basement - the things he's never shown any kind of interest in, about 1/3 of them are in rotating containers that we keep in the apartment..... there are just soooooo many. I go through them and always think, oh he'll like this in a year, oh this was his favourite for 6 months.. maybe ds2 is going to love it just as much etc etc.
 

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So it's more like he likes to investigate the trash can for neat stuff? Your first post said he was taking back broken toys of his you threw out. Sometimes my ds still has a use for things that are partially broken.<br><br>
I've been known to wait to put things in the trash until the night before trash pickup. You could put the interesting trash in a different bag in a different location so he doesn't associate the main trash as a source of interesting things. If my ds wanted to save the packaging from a toy or box of cereal or something, sometimes I'd cut out the picture he wanted to save and throw out the rest. That was a good compromise at one point.
 

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i am in the same boat, with 2.75 yr old & 1.25 yr old boys. it's hard to know where to start, what to get rid of, but here's what has worked for me. i decide what i want to keep, and then pack up the rest. most of it, i just donate right away. some, i've kept packed, but i think i will get rid of it because ds1 hasn't asked about it in several months.<br><br>
they are not involved in the process. if i pick up a toy and put it in a box, they want it. not because they love and will continue to play with the toy, but because i've made it appealing by picking it up! same as if one of them picks it up, then the other one wants it. ds1 has noticed me packing up (because we moved and i couldn't do all my decluttering after bedtime, had to do some in front of them). i told him we were sharing with kids who didn't have enough toys, and we would still have plenty. that worked for my guy, but yours may not be cool with that, and you know what? if it would upset him to see you decluttering, it's okay to be sneaky about it! you are not being mean by taking his toys away. you are making room for him to truly enjoy the toys he likes best.<br><br>
as far as the trash goes, are you okay with it? if not, he is old enough to learn that we only put things in the trash, we don't take them out. they have germs, we are done with them . . . whatever you want to tell him. however, if it doesn't bother you, then that's great! let him find his little treasures.
 

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I've found that it's good to have a toy plan. Decide what you think your kids really need, toy-wise, for their development. For me, that was some basic baby dolls and some accessories (cradle, sling), some cars and trucks, a box of dress-up stuff, a huge set of unit blocks, legos (when they're old enough), something to ride on (when they're little), something to push or pull (a wagon or baby buggy), plenty of story books, puzzles, and arts & crafts stuff. Other than that, one toy box. When the toy box won't close, something's gotta go.<br><br>
I like old-fashioned, basic toys. Some of what we bought when our kids were little, we knew our grandkids will play with someday. A few things were mine when I was little. I know that I have less trouble with this than some people, though, because most of our family is pretty good about asking us what to buy for the kids as gifts (when they were little; now most of them are plenty old enough to speak for themselves). One Christmas, we asked everybody to contribute to a swingset fund and ended up with enough cash to buy an awesome outdoor play structure.<br><br>
I know it's hard to pitch stuff that kids like, but kids get overwhelmed by an over-abundance of stuff, too, and play more productively and happily when there's a manageable quantity of toys. Kids also need a chance to be creative and too many toys makes that difficult. By the time they're 3 or 4, most kids can make almost any toy that they don't own out of lego bocks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, I really appreciated the last 2 responses. I find that the sheer number of toys really is overwhelming, and regardless of what the toy is (for example those plastic coloured rings that stack on a stick, he never ever played with them and is too old for them now) if he sees me putting them away- in any way, whether it's in the big boxes that go up high on the shelves away out of reach for rotating, or in a garbage bag away.. if he senses I'm taking something out of reach then he freaks out and wants it. HE desperately wants it. I've made the mistake many times of just bagging up old baby toys/clothes and putting them in a room he doesn't generally go into, hahaha he drags the bag out and says he needs it. Then I do it all over again at night. It's amazing how many toys make their way into the house, considering that dh and I rarely purchase anything, and when we do it's something special that he's really wanted. Ok.. I can see that this is very disrespectful according to the first several responses but I want a nice environment for the kids and me, not one that is overrun with junk toys... and though I'm keeping way more toys than I want to, I'm purging. A little bit, at night. I think once the younger one gets bigger it will be good because I can get rid of all of the really babyish cars and trucks and they can have cool and nice ones, and their playmobile sets and I can draw a line there.
 

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good for you! i think it is more gentle to do it at night when your ds1 won't be upset by it, and it just makes more sense for you not to have to redo the work. you'll have to give us an update when things are down to a more manageable level. i need to purge toys right now too!
 
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