If you’ve ever been to my house, you know that I’m terrible at yard work. So, this post is not about the kind of weeding you do outside, it is the kind you do inside.
With birthdays and Christmas coming up, I’ve been realizing we have too many toys. We really don’t need any more, but no matter how much I explain this fact to my family, we will get more toys. So, I am going to spend this weekend weeding out toys. Here is my plan of attack:
I have a large laundry basket (I also have a back up one if I need it). There are three rooms in our house that have toys in them. I will go to each of those rooms and pick up any toys that are broken, need new batteries, are no longer played with, are missing pieces, or that I simply do not like. These toys will go in the basket.
Once I have completed all three rooms, I will separate the toys into three piles: toys to throw away, toys to donate or give away, and toys to fix and put back in their room. The toys to toss or give away, I will hold onto (in a secret location) for a week. If they are missed, I will give them back, if not, away they go.
On other occasions I have had Joe help me choose toys to get rid of, and I think this is an important skill, and would encourage parents to use it when they can rather than just weed on their own. This gets more important as children get older. It helps them to let go and prioritize. However, this time I totally need to just spend an afternoon doing it on my own.
Why not keep the toys? For us, there simply is not enough room for the amount of toys we have. Also, having less toys actually will allow the children to play with a wider variety of toys successfully. They will be better able to see what is available to them, and will not feel overwhelmed by the choice of what to play with. In our house, I also have a storage area for toys that we just don’t have room for. I try to rotate toys in and out of this area to keep the boys interested in what we have.