The first lady, while looking around our shell of a home commented often about how much stuff her 4 year old “needs” – even offering to give us toys for the new baby. While I am taking this as a gesture of helpfulness, surly she realizes that after 5 children and the ever present possibility of more, I have kept what new baby’s need – and toys are not on that incredibly short list nor do I desire to bring into our small space!
The next day – weirdly – conversation #2. Another lady, excited about having gotten most of their 2 children’s toys organized in time for the next round of Birthday and Christmas influx. That is when it hit me on how far we have come! Last year during the “back to school sales” I purchased 12 large totes that were on clearance to organize all the toys. Twelve totes!! Ok, so for 5 children, perhaps that isnt a ton individually – but collectively – oh my!!
We haven’t had many toys for the last 11 months. And I/we don’t miss it one bit! Sure we took 4 large totes and 8 shoe sized totes of toys with us to Texas, however, in those 6 months, they played with only 2 of the large totes and a few of the smaller totes. Since April they have had even less. If we gathered them all together, it might fit in one tote. And they have not missed them. Imaginative play still occurs with whatever is around – even (funny enough) sticks and stones. I stated I wasn’t excited about bringing all those toys into the new house – and this amazing freeing feeling when it occurred me to – WE DON’T HAVE TO!
All toys were gathered from the storage rooms and put into one place. The children were asked to pick one tote each to get rid of. Totes were quickly and easily picked out then later sold. We are talking in a matter of 15 seconds, they just picked the totes. No tears, not upset, just simple “take these mama”. How many times do we as parents keep toys that they do not play with, have no attachment to, just because the toys are there?? Are we the parents more attached to their toys than they are?? Do we make it harder for them to get rid of their extras instead of helping, encouraging, empowering them to give their abundance??
Yes, we will keep some toys. They each have a special box for their special stuff. We may keep a couple of totes for rotation purposes. Blocks, dress up, kitchen toys are great for rainy day imagination games. We will never eliminate all toys, but we can drastically reduce their numbers.