4 Essential Questions To Ask Yourself When Tackling a ‘Toy-Splosion’
Blogged while wrestling my kid for control of the iPad
Have you ever noticed that toys pile up faster than cars on the 5-Freeway?
You don’t even need to be a big toy buyer to have this happen to you. In fact, I’ve probably spent less than $100 on my daughter’s toys since she was born, but still our closets are overflowing.
You know how it goes…
Friends are giving away toys; you take a boxful.
You go through the drive-thru and the kid’s meal has a free toy.
Christmas strikes and the grandparents get overzealous…
Suddenly, the closet door won’t close.
We’ve all been there.
Don’t get me wrong — toys usher fun and joy into our homes, encourage creativity, stimulate imaginative play and teach essential skills.
However, just as toys bring joy into a home, they are equally capable of suffocating it if there are simply too many of them.
If you’re like me, you probably have trouble letting go of items ‘just in case’ you need them later. This is why I have developed 4 questions I ask myself when weeding thru the overwhelming piles.
And remember– Be RUTHLESS moms. Your joy depends on it!
1.How much do I hate this toy?
Sure, toys are for your kids; but you have to live with them too. I have a rule. If a toy makes noise, but does not have a volume control or on/off switch, I say: “Goodbye. It’s been nice knowing you…”
2.Is this a ‘one trick pony’?
In other words, how many functions does this toy have? And does the function justify the size it will take up in our closet? Generally, the answer is ‘no.’
3.Do we have a similar toy?
If the answer is yes, chances are you don’t need another. Pick the better or smaller version and say ‘adios’ to the other.
4.Will this become useful again in the future?
Kids are constantly changing– along with their interests. It can be frustrating to try to keep up with this fickleness. When cleaning out your child’s existing toys, consider the likelihood they will return to that toy.
If it’s a more advanced toy, ask yourself how long will it be before they will be interested in it?
A month? A year? 3 years?
Weigh that time against the space it consumes before deciding whether or not to keep it.
Keep in mind, the less space you have, the more vigilant you need to be.
Feeling unsure about whether or not to keep a toy? Hide it (when your kids aren’t looking) and, if they don’t ask for the toy after 2 months, it’s safe to say you can get rid of it!
Obviously, the older your kids, the more attached they get to their toys. I haven’t hit this point yet; I just clean out the toys when my daughter’s not looking.
As she gets older, I plan to teach her how to sort and give away toys. (We’ll see how it goes!) I think it could be a good opportunity to discussing giving, sharing, donating and organization. (But then again, I haven’t done it! So for you more experienced moms out there, please share your thoughts on how realistic this is! Kids and their toys have a special bond). 🙂
Got an idea for managing ‘toy-splosions’? Please, share below!