I love my kids. I am like most parents I would do anything for them, give them the world and share all of my favorite things with them. As much as I love them I dislike the state of chaos all of the things they own causes in our home. My father built them a toy box. Toys live there. I purchased a storage ottoman for the living room and made sure it provided more storage for our family. It is filled with toys. Each of their rooms has shelves with plenty of boxes and baskets to store toys. They of course are filled. So my question to them is how their toys find their way under my feet. With all the places the toys have to hide and live why am I constantly stepping on them?
As I pondered this question I took a look at the things they had accumulated. The children’s toys come from all directions to them. People buy them things for Christmas, Birthdays, Easter you name it people seem to send them something. Do not get me wrong I am grateful but when do we draw the line and start to minimize what comes into our home.
I started out on the journey to remove the clutter from the kid’s lives. My opinion is that in order for this to be a success they too had to play a major role in the process. I took on Spencer first but the process was much the same for my daughter’s room to. We emptied out the toy box, removed his things from the ottoman and locked ourselves in his room. We had three boxes one for garbage and broken toys, one for donations and one for toys that were still good. It took us a good two hours but we successfully navigated through his toy collection and eliminated a ton of extras that were not being played with or had been broken. Another thing we did was make a binder and three hole punched all the Lego manuals all the directions from toys in which my son swears he cannot live without.
We discussed what we could do to ensure that we never let it get to this chaotic point. What we came up with is that we would work on the principle of one thing in one thing out. If they received a gift they knew they were not ever going to play with they were going to put it in the storage ottoman to be regifted or donated to charity at a later date. To me this is a winning solution that I would recommend employing with the books, toys and craft stuff in your life. If there are things that you wish to keep for them to have later on, mine are a kidkraft dollhouse for my daughter and a workbench my dad made from my son, store them in the attic out of the way. This will ensure they don’t clutter your home or get ruined in the meantime. The kids will be so happy to have those few unique items from their childhood with they have little ones of their own.