Monday, July 26, 2010

Dealing with too Much Stuff

quite literally.

When I first had children, my goal was to raise them in the most natural way possible. I wanted them to have nice quality toys (handmade, wood toys, etc). I didn't want to get into the whole world of plastic JUNK but over the years we have. We've been to numerous yard sales where the people hand over a box of junk and say "here, take it all for free." Then when were away at the cottage we (yes, WE) purchased Morgaine a large 5 dollar bag of "stuff" as she didn't have much to do and I was huge and very much pregnant. Well, she didn't want to get rid of anything and now I'm overcome with Barbies (gasp), building toys and just stuff in general. They have so much stuff that they don't care about the things they own. They are SPOILED!

For about the last month I've been taking the toys they leave out and putting them in a laundry basket in my room. The plan was that eventually they'd get down to a decent amount of toys that they'd be able to take care of and understand that more isn't always better at which point we could go through the stuff and decide to donate some of it to others with less than we have.

After about a week I'd collected a fair amount

The sad thing is that after a month, I've collected over a laundry basket full of stuff and have started to donate things without their knowledge. They still have more than they know what to do with. I could likely toss the whole basketful without a word from them. I am totally appalled that it has come to this. We don't have any of the nice quality toys that I dreamed of. We've succumb to brand names and cheap toys and as a result the children don't care and actually just want MORE! I'll continue to purge over the months (I have a friend doing a 500 pound purge this year and I'm kicking myself for not joining as I'm sure that we could have reached that goal) and let you know how it goes.

Have any of you managed to go from way too much back to basics? Let me hear your stories!


  1. Very cool, and I know what you mean about kids having more toys than they know what to do with. I actually just posted about this, and my plan on how to deal with it, yesterday:

    Glad to hear I'm not the only mom tired of too many toys!

  2. I *just* went through Chaeli's stuff this evening... just one bin full.. but FULL of junk and garbage... *sigh*
    Off to read Tristan's post and see if I can get anymore ideas of how to deal with the junk...
    (btw, I think our girls have the same "babydoll"... LOL! and ours is leaving too! LOL!)

  3. We, too, have way too many toys in our house. I'm painting the girls room now, and they actually agreed to get rid of half the stuff in their room! I'm working on it while they are gone, but they packed up a lot of bags before they left. The boys room, on the other hand, needs a LOT removed.

  4. If you haven't read it yet, I HIGHLY recommend the book "Simplicity Parenting" by Kim John Payne. I'm not all the way through it yet, but each time I read more I'm inspired to pare down my kids' possessions even more. They really need very, very little, and in fact, thrive on less! This is an ongoing struggle at our house, too (I think it is for everybody - particularly if you have people who give you gifts). Simplicity Parenting gives a list of the types of toys you should keep (greatest play value), and which ones should go. We have a pretty small living space and I get claustrophobic if it gets too cluttered, so I have no qualms about getting rid of stuff that is not adding value to our lives. I also find Flylady very helpful for just general clutter busting, which includes toys. :) In terms of natural toys, we started changing over a few years ago, gradually buying good quality wooden toys for Christmas and birthdays, and then getting rid of the plastic ones. It probably took about a year to get rid of the plastic, but with the exception of Lego, almost all of the kids' toys are now wood or cloth. I'm also really interested in learning to make toys, as I think toys that are handmade with love are the most cherished and cared for. I'll be watching your comments to see if you get any more tips... I'm always looking for more ideas in this area. :),

  5. I can totally relate. Sadly, though, with my kids, they do sometimes remember things I have gotten rid of. But we are constantly purging stuff and it's never enough.

    (Here from the TOS crew.)

  6. I went to town, posted what I thought was good quality helpful information that perhaps could help with these stupid plastic toys kids have so many of and I got a message that

    Your HTML cannot be accepted: Must be at most 4,096 characters.

    What! How much did I write????
    Lol, anyway I couldn't just throw it away so I posted a helpful few tips on my blog site:

    I hope it isn't too long of a read and I hope it helps.