Monday, November 17, 2008

Toy Clutter-Free

My girls have a lot of toys. Too many probably. But they don't usually play with them. Typically they find a box of toys, dump it out, and then move to the next one. Occasionally Grace will use her imagination and play with her animals, but really it just turns into a mess.

Then comes the fun part- I tell them that they have to clean up if they want to watch a movie or play a pc game. Liliana typically just refuses and continues doing what she wants. Grace instantly turns whiny and complains that she can't do it herself, that Liliana isn't helping, and she doesn't know what to do. I instantly get mad, since I sure as heck didn't make the mess and don't feel like cleaning it up. Eventually I'm on the floor "helping" which progresses to me doing it all since I just want it done (and Grace is the SLOWEST cleaner-upper ever).

Well, I ended that last week. I boxed up all the toys in plastic containers and removed them from sight- into the laundry room. They are stacked up there against the wall. I think I did this last wednesday or so... and they haven't been touched since. The girls haven't even asked for them. I offered to get them out and they turned me down. The balls that I left out have turned into the coolest toys ever. And currently they are dancing, together, to Christmas music (yes, it is already on at our house).

It makes me wonder why I didn't listen to my mother earlier- she's been saying for 2 years that Grace is overwhelmed by the amount of toys. I believed her- kinda. How were they supposed to play if they didn't have their options? But she said it again last week, and I decided to try it. I can't tell you how much I LOVE not picking up the stupid fake food every day- or not putting the My Little Ponies back on the shelf. And my girls are fine.

Which leads me to my next wondering- how many toys do kids really need? Kaylon's grandma grew up with one baby doll. My girls have 3 stations of toys (one for each floor). They have 2 nets with stuffed animals (ok, some of those are mine). Why do I hold on to so many things for them? And then we're gonna buy them more for Christmas? Maybe I need a better recycling plan... more trips to salvation army.

Maybe in a week or so they'll want some outlawed toys back to put their energies into, but for the moment, we are toy-clutter free.

And I'm lovin it :)


Allison said...

Good idea! I agree, my kids hardly play with their toys these days. Except for Adam - he would have a cow if I put away the cars or trains.

Do you know what you're having, or is it a surprise?

Katz said...

I need to do that. We always end up with Mega Blocks all over the living room floor.

Debbie's said...

I did the same thing last week... it's like a new freedom! Sounds like you put even more away than I did... good for you :D

The Druhe Fam said...

So smart! And how awesome that your girlies don't seem to mind!

Dee said...

I swear just change the names and its my post! I need to box up the toys and donate them too. The description you gave of how the toys get cleaned up is exactly how it happens at our house too. I told Keira I was going to throw away her Ariel doll first if she didn't help me and it worked for a little while. Now not so much. BTW Yes the picture of Paije is exactly what Liliana will look like with long hair. I still cant get over how much they look alike.