Although I like to think of myself as a minimalist when it comes to buying toys, I’m also a bit sentimental when it comes to cleaning out the toy box. But things at our house were getting a bit cluttered, and – particularly thinking about the upcoming holidays – I knew I needed to do some de-cluttering.
After the girls were in bed one evening, I pulled a few things from the play room, things that the girls hadn’t played with in ages.
They got up the next morning and loved seeing a little more organization among their things. They played well, and I was proud of myself for moving forward…
…that afternoon, one of the girls said, “Where’s my ring stacker?” And shortly thereafter, her sister asked for their pull-toy telephone.
At first I tried to divert their attention, and then I tried to change the subject, but their demands for those specific toys quickly escalated. I retreated upstairs (where I’d put a bag of goodies in preparation to consign them next spring), and I brought down the toys in question.
Clearly, slipping my hands silently into the bottom of the toy box was not the best way to clean things up.
A few days later, I tried a different approach. A couple of my friends have younger babies, whom the girls adore. I asked if there were some toys they had outgrown that they would want to pass along to their baby “cousins”. Under this premise, the girls were pretty willing to part with a few of my suggestions – including the ring stacker and telephone.
At some point I’d like to introduce the girls to the idea of donating items they no longer need, but – just shy of three years old – I’m not sure they’re fully ready for that concept yet.
What are your tricks for keeping down the toy clutter? When can kids begin to really understand charitable donations?
Mandy, mom to almost-three-year old fraternal twin girls