How to Simplify & Declutter the Toys

I was wondering if you have any thoughts, tips, ideas on reducing toys! I have a 6, 3, and 7 month old. I’m trying to figure out what to keep and not keep. I feel like we have a lot of toys that they don’t play with, but we don’t have a ton of toys to begin with either. I almost want to start all over again and let them fill one box each with toys they want to keep and donate the rest. I think there is a part of me that holds on to them “just in case”. Just not sure what to do. We have 2 boys and a baby girl so I’m already trying to prepare myself for the girl toys. -M

I find it hard to clean out my kids’ toys too, mostly because I’m sentimental about things from their childhood. What if I give away something they like? It’s hard to make decisions for other people.

I decided to teach my kids how to clean out their own toys, starting at age 3. The first time I let my three-year-old daughter reduce her toys, I was shocked by how many she didn’t want anymore. She let go of more toys than I would have if I had done it for her.

The kids decide which toys they are finished playing with, and I decide whether those toys go in the donation bin or the storage box.

At ages one and two, I clean out their toys for them when I see the toys are being thrown on the ground instead of played with. By ages two and a half or three, they start letting me know their opinions. I still second-guess them a little, but things can stay in the giveaway basket for a few weeks to give our decisions time in case they change their minds.

The biggest challenge is to not let myself get in the way of their willingness to give things away. When I ask them if they want to keep something and they say no, I stay very impartial in my reactions. I don’t say, “Oh, but you used to love that!” or “But your grandmother gave it to you!” Instead I say, “That’s fine. You don’t have to keep it. Can you tell me why you don’t want it?”

Things to Say:

  • “I understand you’re bigger now, so you don’t have to keep the toys that you used to like.”
  • “Thanks for telling me you don’t want this toy. That really helps me to know what kind of things you like.”
  • “It’s going to be a lot easier to keep your room looking beautiful when there’s not so much stuff in it.”
  • “Some of the toys will go in a storage box so we can play with them later, and some toys we’ll give away to kids who don’t have very many toys and need some more.”

Stuffed animals are not exempt even though they have names and faces. I noticed my two-year-old son wasn’t interested in two of his bears.

Me: “Tom, do you want this bear?” (What I don’t say: Who gave it to him. How nice it is.)

Tom: “No. Big.”

Just to be sure that he understood what I meant, I showed him a smaller stuffed animal that I know he likes. “Do you want this one?”

Tom: “Yes. Small.” So that helped me  confirm his preference for the smaller ones. Since he’s only two, I didn’t go through all of his toys with him. I just asked him about a couple, and before putting them in the donation box, I offered them to my other kid.

Me: “Do you want these two bears?”

Lane: “No, those bears are boys. All my stuffed animals are girls.” Okaaay then.

The stuffed animals to keep go in a basket, and the ones that don’t get played with go in the giveaway box. I explain to my oldest that we’ll give them to another family, and she lights up and gets excited about that.

I don’t keep all of the toys immediately accessible. The ones that aren’t age-appropriate right now are in a storage bin that I lined with poster board so the kids can’t see what’s inside, and I put it in the closet. The puzzles and games are kept in a cabinet in the living room which helps to keep them organized. We’re trying to teach the kids to get one out at a time and put it back before they get a new one.

They also have a bunch of little plastic toys, prizes, and trinkets, and they LOVE this stuff. I don’t mind if they have it, but it all has to fit in one basket so there’s a limit. They pack their backpacks with it and go on adventures.

Since my kids both have summer birthdays, it’s rare for them to get new toys apart from Christmas and birthdays. At Christmas we buy each kid one special toy, but not a lot else because we know they’ll receive more gifts from relatives.

I also try clutter-prevention by not browsing at Target with my kids and avoiding the toys that don’t give kids anything to do other than collect more.

We try to foster the idea of “family toys” that they share. Most of our toys so far are gender-neutral. When I bought a play kitchen, for example, I didn’t buy the pink one.

When we went to Italy for three months, my kids shared one backpack of small toys. I still had to pick up things every day, but they enjoyed all of their toys, and that was nice.

Cleaning out your kids’ toys can be a big project, but it can also be as simple as saying, “Hey, can you find two or three toys in your room that you don’t want anymore?” Little efforts count. Do you need to tackle the toys?

clear the clutter

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. do i EVER need to tackle the toys. we have 4 boys (and 1 more on the way) and live in a 1100 square foot home. i feel like the toys take over the house and we have gone through them so many times already! being in the homestretch of this pregnancy, i don’t feel like i have the energy to clean out the toys like we really need to, but i do like your idea of asking for 2-3 things that they don’t want anymore. i think i could do that a couple times with each kid and it may make a difference. toys are always the hardest part of simplifying for me. anyone else feel this is true too?
    charis´s last post…randomness

  2. I actually just tackled Eleanor’s toys 2 weeks ago as part of Simple Mom’s Project Simplify. I rotated things into boxes in the closet, and different things out on the shelves. She’s been playing with the “new” toys like crazy.

    The thing that gets me is the stuffed animals. They’re in a large wicker hamper…and they’re overflowing around the house. The grandmas just keep buying ‘em! Since E isn’t 2 yet, I think I can make a few of them disappear without her noticing. I feel bad since most of them are pretty new, but they’re getting out of control. :)
    Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm´s last post…The Confession: A Book Review and a Bit of Bragging

    • Rachel Meeks says:

      I’ve given away a few new stuffed animals that were like token gifts that the kids didn’t get attached to. I just want my kids to have a few special stuffed animal friends that they love, instead of a bunch of stuffed animal “acquaintances”.

      • I like that philosophy a lot! There are definitely some animals she gravitates toward far more often than others. I’ll sneak away some of the “acquaintances” someday soon.
        Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm´s last post…The Neverending To-Read Pile

      • Ohhhhh, the stuffed animal problem! I am overly sentimental about them, which doesn’t help, especially if one was given to her as a baby or by a relative *I’m* close to. I am trying to remind myself that they are only *things*. I like the idea of asking my daughter to pick two or three that she would be willing to give away, because she gets frustrated if a task seems too big.
        Jennifer´s last post…Frustrated

    • A few years ago, we had someone who was always giving us stuffed animals and we were drowning in them. I put them in a closet since our daughter was just a baby and of course too young to see what came in and out of the house. That Christmas, I made a huge donation to Toys for Tots with everything that hadn’t been touched. And then we moved halfway across the country so we don’t have the constant inundation of toys anymore.

      Grandmas, though … that’s a little more tricky. A wish list, perhaps? “Instead of stuffed animals, could you get ___?” Puzzles, maybe?

      • My daughter’s stuffed animal collection had taken over her bed. We took a few minutes for her to choose four special friends who could stay with her in bed, and the rest needed to live in the other room or go stay with some other kids who don’t have as many toys. WE GOT RID OF 12 STUFFED ANIMALS. She was sleeping with 16 stuffed animals total. Cracks me up. She could barely move in that bed!
        Katherine@YeOldCollegeTry´s last post…It Ain’t Rocket Science

        • Ha! See, that’s what I’m afraid of.
          Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm´s last post…The Neverending To-Read Pile

          • My daughter and I went through her stuffed animal shelf a couple of months ago. She sleeps with 2. She has a huge box in her closet of the ones we couldn’t get rid of. And we gave away a big bag of them too.

            Mardi Gras is a big problem for stuffed animals. They are the absolute most prized throw for kids, and they are thrown pretty freely. Little cheap ones, sometimes used. Doesn’t matter. It’s the thrill of the catch! So we end up with tons every year. We try to donate them to the school fair parade of prizes, but then so does everyone else and we take home just as many!

            I figure it’s her closet, so she can keep whatever fits. Luckily we have enough storage space.
            Catherine´s last post…Shadow Artist No Longer

    • As a mom of 4 grown kids, I remember being overwhelmed with the stuffed animals! And it wasn’t just grandmas who bought them, lol! My youngest especially had a fascination with ALL kinds of animals in general, so we had a puffin, giraffe, red panda, etc. I think we still have a bag in the attic (which would of course be no good now!)
      As a grandmother now, I try very hard to give my grandkids gifts they will use and play with a long time, such as blocks or puzzles, craft supplies, or even dress-up clothes.
      Bernice @ The Stressed Mom´s last post…10 lighter ways to feed your chocolate cravings

      • I feel like I should defend the grandmas a little bit. The “problem” is that Eleanor has 2 grandmas and 2 great-grandmas who live within an hour of us. Obviously an abundance of grandmas is a good thing…but I think each of them has gotten her about 3 stuffed animals in the last year and a half…and well, now there are a dozen new animals!
        Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm´s last post…The Neverending To-Read Pile

    • “She’s been playing with the ‘new’ toys like crazy”

      EXACTLY!!!!! This is my very best tip for dealing with the toys that stay, but even so, in our consumer and affluent culture regular decluttering of toys is a necessity for most of us.

      Rachel, I love your dialog examples. I found that very sort of thing to work well with my children, and they have grown up to be generous, most non-materialistic young adults. It’s worth the effort it takes to work with them on this when they are young.
      Lori @ In My Kitchen, In My Life´s last post…Balancing Balance Part XI: When Changes Come – Staying Light on My Feet

  3. This is something I need to work on. I can relate to the reader’s comment about just wanting to get rid of all the toys and start over again. I like the idea of one container each for all the little, cheap plastic things.
    Audrey @ Mom Drop Box´s last post…About babies, infertility, and sensitivity

  4. This has always been a problem for me. When my oldest, who is autistic, was a boy, we bought toy after toy hoping he would be engaged by them. He wasn’t interested. We overwhelmed him. Guess what? He’s grown now (ouch, it hurts to say that!) and we still have some of those toys! I think I need an intervention on this one. ;-)

    Dixie

  5. Thanks for the great ideas! I especially like that you shared your dialogue to help your children make decisions.
    Our Learning´s last post…The Baby’s Book of Baby Animals

  6. Boy oh boy do I need to tackle this! My son is learning, though. He just told me today that we needed to get rid of some toys to make room for his birthday toys. I was soooo proud. Now to actually do it!
    Elizabeth@ReadySetSimplify´s last post…Hi There, Kitchen Counters!

  7. We have a ton of toys. And I want to purge. But they are all really “educational toys” (i tell myself) (magneatos, legos, lincoln logs, lots of blocks, memory, balls, puzzles, etc). I feel like most of these will last him for several more years (DS is 3) and then they will be ready for the new baby (on the way). I try to purge the “crap” toys (is that a category??) right away. And I try to put everything in it’s own basket or box (in cubbies). I wish we had less, though. We are “doers” – always on the go on “field trips” and then outside playing when we are home. We can go weeks (literally) without pulling out a single toy. Not really sure what to do about it. Continue to feel guilty about having to much, not using it, and also guilty about trashing or selling it. Toys are one of those areas where I am frozen into inaction and live with the guilt.

    • Rachel Meeks says:

      My kids only spend a small part of the day playing with toys because there are a lot of other things to do. I wouldn’t worry about keeping them if they’re not in the way. In my experience kids become more interested in toys from ages 3 to 6, so I bet they’ll get more use.

  8. Oh, one more thing. BOOKS are another category of “toy” that kills me!!!

    • Me, too! I have the hardest time getting rid of books. We have three kid bookshelves (the forward facing kind) and they are overflowing. But they’re all great books!!
      Kate´s last post…Miss Mouse, Track Star

    • We had TONS of books when my kids were younger! We had a family of 3 avid readers and 1 one struggling reader, so we had an abundant supply of reading material.
      One thing I tried to do was to keep out or weed out the “fluff” books. That definition will be a little different to everybody, but so many of the kids books out there have no substance or character to them. So I would cycle those through to goodwill.
      As my kids outgrew books, I would pass on, or save the best, as I had grandchildren at a young age, so I did save some of my best for them. My oldest daughter now has quite a collection of her own books for her brood of 6!
      Bernice @ Living the Balanced Life´s last post…Life lessons from the Lorax

    • One thing that helped me with books, and this was my HARDEST area to declutter, too, was when I started reminding myself to let the library store most of our books for us. Really, library trips were a pleasure to all of my kids and me, so why not think of it that way and enjoy regular trips there to borrow books?
      Lori @ In My Kitchen, In My Life´s last post…Balancing Balance Part XI: When Changes Come – Staying Light on My Feet

  9. We have been doing this constantly for ages,and it’s not so bad. BUT two new pet mice have entered the bedroom domain and that’s a whole new caper.
    Tasmanian Minimalist´s last post…321-stop.com GIVEAWAY

  10. My Mum was always brilliant at this! I have no idea what age she started us doing it but we seemed to often give our toys away.

    I always remember it being easier when it was considered as a gift for a little girl just like me but who only had one or two toys to play with. And my Granny always seemed to know a girl down the road who would be happy to have it if I was bored with it (although I never did meet that little girl – lol).

    As always I was delighted when your new post popped into my email :) & I Luuuuurved your ebook!!! Have you thought about writing other stuff? I’d read it for sure :)

  11. I recently went through all of my kids’ toys for project simplify. It was awesome. My kids are 3 and 19 months. I ended up packing up most of their toys and putting them upstairs where they don’t really see them. Out of sight out of mind, and they seem happier for it. You can read about it here http://www.townsend-house.com/2012/03/project-simplify-kids-stuff.html
    Heather´s last post…Garden Happenings!

  12. I have NO idea how my son would do (at age 3 1/2) with self-editing his toys. I’m really curious and think I just might try it! In the past, he has been tearful when he knows I’m giving anything away. Just today I was paring down my own closet when he said, “But I really like those pretty clothes and I want to keep them.” Oh boy! I guess I better get teaching now, before it’s too late! haha

    Also, I have noticed that the toys my boys play with the most are ones they can build with. Legos, wood blocks, train tracks. For what it’s worth to the other moms! :)

  13. What a timely post. Today I moved almost all of my daughters’ toys to a little-used downstairs room we a converting to a playroom. I am reclaiming my living room and it feels great. I, too, struggled to let go of some of the toys. Now that they will have a playroom and the toys can be (hopefully) kept somewhat sorted and organized, I’m curious to see if everything will have renewed appeal. I’m so glad to hear you let them keep the little free/cheapo trinket toys. They drive me crazy and I don’t see the value in them at all, but my kids DO love them.

  14. Good suggestions! I really appreciate the dialogue approach.

    At the moment the toy level isn’t so bad… I’m pretty careful about weeding things out and trying to keep to quality. And since we are planning for more children, I like to keep the good toys for the future.

    I laughed at your comment about all the plastic bits and prizes in a basket. That’s what I do… and the girls spend all their time packing it into backpacks and going on adventures! :)

  15. We tried to have my three-year-old self-select a few stuffed animals to part with but it didn’t go well. She chose too rapidly. She just pointed to them at random. When I explained that they were going away, she then wanted them all and cried. I’m not sure how to approach it differently next time but Round 1 definitely didn’t work.

    • Rachel Meeks says:

      Maybe just try storing them away for a while instead of sending them out the door? After a while when you return those toys to her, she’ll either clearly not be interested in them or they will be fresh and exciting.

    • My 6 yo daughter had too many stuffed animals in her room. They were exploding EVERYWHERE. I went through a sorting process with her of what she needed to stay in her room, what could move to the basement, and what could be given away. Half stayed in her room, half moved to the basement (including a ridiculously large giraffe), and maybe only 3 went into the give away pile. But it felt like a success – teaching the process of sorting out what is most important. I’m hoping that moving to the basement means that later one they can go bye-bye when the attachment isn’t so strong.

  16. love this post! our son is 7 months old, and i’ve already weeded through his toys once, packing up stuff he’s not interested in anymore (not a rattle kid, for instance) to save for the next baby! we plan to do purges a few times a year as a family, so these tips will be super helpful for his stuff!

  17. You said, “I also try clutter-prevention by not browsing at Target with my kids and avoiding the toys that don’t give kids anything to do other than collect more.”

    So true! I’ve saved thousands of dollars over the years by not browsing through Target and buying toys and housewares. Also, someone told me never to start a collection for my kids. They won’t be interested in it, and they can start their own collection in whatever they ARE interested in.

  18. I have a 3, 2 and 1 year old. We have TOO many toys. I have half stored in the closet right now and still feel like purging. One thing I do sometimes (but should do more consistently) is say, “Feel free to keep the toys you pick up.” Then I wait a bit. If they are still there I quickly gather them up and put them in the closet. I keep them for a couple days. If they don’t ask for them – I just keep them in there. it’s been a good indication to what they like and remember playing with. Obviously the 1 year old is exempt. She’ll get to use her voice soon enough I think.
    I appreciate the tips shared – now to DO IT!
    Debra Bell´s last post…Celebrate a Life: Yours!

  19. This is a huge struggle area in my house. My 9-year-old seems to remember every single toy he’s ever had, and will spend hours searching in the basement for just the right one. I have found though that he does well with having the toys out of his room, as it helps him keep it cleaned up better. My 3-year-old is just now getting really interested in toys, so how she deals with them remains to be seen!
    Robin´s last post…The Blessing of Adversity

  20. Great post. Another tip I can add is to “rehome” some toys to relatives and friends that your children visit often. For example, when we’re decluttering toys, some are obvious candidates for donation, but others are not used so much anymore but are till hard to let go of. We ask grandparents, or an aunt, if they would like to have these toys at their place. The kids can then still play with their toys, but we don’t have to house them anymore.

  21. I was just writing about this since my son and I have been going through his toys and purging. I’ve been teaching him that, while he likes all of his toys, he really needs to keep the ones he loves, the good quality ones and the ones he simply can’t bear to lose. Stuff like that. I posted a picture of him getting rid of HALF of his stuffed animals (“Noah’s Plushie Purge”) and I need to post a picture from today of his progress in getting rid of toys. Kid has way way too many.

  22. When my daughter was 4 y/o we moved across the country and really couldn’t afford to move much. We had a yard sale and I was shocked at how involved my daughter got. She was demonstrating toys, she caught on to haggling over prices and gave some toys away to a few of the kids she noticed yearning for a particular item. It was touching and hilarious. During the sale, she decided what she couldn’t live with out and she didn’t keep much. I was afraid that she would be sad later but she wasn’t, she was very proud she had done her part.

  23. My 3 year old daughter is a curious case – she often does not want the new toys she gets. She will say that she doesn’t want it and wants to give it to another child. And that she likes the toys she has, but not new toys. (Which is not entirely true, I gave her a handmade bunny girl with vintage clothes for Christmas and she was delighted with it and it’s become one of her favorite toys.)

    We have been in a toy store and she just wanted to leave. We have been offered a bunch of duplo lego animals that she was playing with at my sister’s house, and she refused persistently. She was once offered a pick for free from a box of stuffed toys at a flea market, and she refused.

    We still have what I feel like is plenty of toys, and some stuff that she actually doesn’t play with, but are sentimental to ME haha – a couple of my old toys, made by my mom and grandma, and a couple of heirloom quality mohair toys made by myself (she plays with the bears but not the elephant and monkey). I want to keep them because she might like them later or we may have another kid who likes them, and they are just really nice looking sitting on a shelf, and visiting kids like to play with them.
    I feel like it has been ME who has had to stop myself from buying and making more toys.

    Also, if she refuses to help in putting away her toys, we will say that we will take them to the attic (and then do it). But it doesn’t work so well because she just says “you can take them away, I don’t want them anymore.” LOL! I think she will end up with one small basket of toys soon and everything else in the attic.

    We have a lot of books, and we read TONS. Already this year we have read about 1500 pages of children’s novels, plus piles and piles of picture books. We do have some that she never picks to read though.

    We are planning to move in the near future and I’m thinking that I will involve her in the packing, so that she can pack her favorites that she wants to keep and then I will decide what to do with the rest.

    Her birthday is close to Christmas, and we don’t buy toys just because (well, she doesn’t even want them so it’s easy!) so it will be a long time before any new stuff comes in. Her close family has noticed her tendency to not like a lot of stuff, and we can just ask for books, a game, craft supplies (she is an avid crafter!) or money in the bank from grandparents. I know that’s the easiest for my dad anyway…

  24. 1. My two boys have always known the in and out rule here. When they get toys “in” at Christmas or Birthdays now, they know what to do with the box in the playroom! I help select toys they’re not really playing with and we fill the box to go “out”! I usually put the box away somewhere (like the back of my car) for several days in case there’s any true changing of mind. Often, b/c the box is out of sight, they don’t remember what is there.
    2. A patient of mine told me what she did when her children were young (grown with their own children now)… She asked family and close relatives for savings bonds in place of gifts for special occasions. They still had toys from some friends and here and there from other times etc. but it cut down in the “in” part. Each person wrote a special note to go with each bond. She said her kids were overwhelmed as they entered college to have such a sizable sum to start life with and cherished all of the sweet notes. Toys don’t usually last that long. I am talking this over with my family and we may try this too!

  25. Off the toy cleaning topic, but do you mind sharing what the paint color is in the room with the toy shelf? It’s beautiful!

  26. Yes, decluttering my son’s toys is the hardest part of decluttering for me! I have tried to go through his stuff with him (he is 7), but then he wants to keep almost everything. So mostly I declutter when he is away. Some broken things I toss right away, the rest I put in a box out of sight and toss/give away after some time (when he hasn’t asked for it).

    Because I want to teach him about letting go of stuff, once in a while we declutter together. One easy way for him to let go of something is if we give it to a child we know. For example, a few months ago I put away all his cooking toys, pots, pans, spoons, wooden fruit and vegetables etc. When a little boy we know turned 2 I suggested we give this to him. My son was really happy to give him such a nice present.

  27. Hmmmm. I thought I commented yesterday. This is a major issue for us, and my son is almost 19. ;-) He has autism and we bought a lot of stuff when he was little hoping it would catch his interest. We need to clean out a lot of stuff, but keep the first things that were real playthings.

  28. i rarely disagree w/you, rachel, but i’m going to do it today. once a toy that belongs to my youngest child goes in the discard pile, it goes out the door. nothing goes into storage to be retrieved later. it is totally okay to get rid of a toy that was expensive or given by a loving relative. if the kids are able to let something go, i make myself let go of it, too. [please correct me if i'm misunderstanding what you meant about putting toys into storage.]

    • by the way, we are done having kids. no future baby to consider when we get rid of toys.

  29. With the toys, sometimes less really is more.

    Especially when you’re the one who has to clean them up!
    Eliz´s last post…Serene Resort On Mauritius’ East Coast: Long Beach Hotel

  30. When my daughter told me”No, more stuffed animals” for her two daughters, I listened. I rarely give toys to my grandchildren any more unless I have been told something specific that they want.
    If grandparents giving toys are problem, maybe you just need to tell them them-’no more toys”! In a nice way, of course.

    My children also hinted that money for the college funds would be much more appreciated, so we do that instead.

    • You are such a great mom/grandmother. My mom went overboard and now and I had a conversation with my mom about it. She was just like you and on board. If she wants to buy a gift without us shopping together or consulting, she knows it may need to stay at her house. Then before major events (birthdays and Christmas), I make a list of items for her to choose from like a menu complete with links for purchase so she can still have the joy of giving (which she loves) but I can also know the gift will be much more likely to be appreciated and used (like art supplies, special bubble bath, or new legos).

  31. Such a great post! I love the idea of asking them to choose just 2 or 3 things to give away…Doing more than that would be too overwhelming at this stage (for them AND for me!). I find that I’m often more sentimental about things than they are, so I need to get out of the way (love your dialogue tips)!

  32. Morning Sunshine says:

    We have a 10yoB, 8-yoG, 5-yoG, 3-yoB, and an unknown baby in the way. Mostly, we only have “group” toys out: duplos (a lot of those!), train tracks, puzzles.
    the kids read a lot (books are our clutter problem), craft (my mom gave us 5 boxes of paper, so the paper crafts they have created in the past 6 months is amazing), and run around outside.

    as far as gifts from relatives, well, we said early on “no battery toys for the kids.” One Christmas my sister gave my 2-yo daughter a useless fluff toy that danced to music – and took batteries. I left it at my mom’s house. No one ever gave my kids a battery toy again. instead they give magazine subscriptions, which is great cuz then they get a new “present” every month. and they will tell grandma about the cool things they learned from the gift. or they get a “Aunt date” where they go out to lunch and a fun activity just the child and aunt. they talk about those for months. long after they forgot who gave them what toys at a birthday party.

  33. We do a lot of rotating toys at our house so that it seems like there aren’t too many and they all have a purpose for playtime. They key is to find things that can be used in multiple ways too. We recently shared our ideas for both babies and toddlers and preschoolers. Along with how to create your own storage bins. http://www.theeducatorsspinonit.blogspot.com/2012/02/baby-time-ideas-for-creating-and.html

  34. This is on our spring break To Do list. What will probably work best for my kiddos is to set out a box for donating toys, and let them know that once it’s filled, we’re done with the job. That gives them a clear expectation, and also a clear visual of how close we’re getting to the completion of the task.

    Of course, there will be some rebelling, I’m sure.
    rhonda´s last post…Spring: Give Me a Break

  35. I thought we had toys down to the bare minimum – there just isn’t space for more… or so I thought!!! We only have se7en types of toys (lego’s, duplo, zoobs and so on (http://www.se7en.org.za/2011/01/22/se7ens-take-on-the-best-toys-and-sharing-and-caring)) And we have pretty much done with toy buying forever!!! Well my kids were battling to keep everything tidy – everything was always out all the time… so I got them to put everything back in their boxes and just took them out of their room for a couple of days. They just have not missed them at all!!! I would never have guessed that I could remove all toys and they wouldn’t notice!!! Turns out there is a wild scatter every morning when they wake up and then it is just too crazy to play so they head to the kitchen where they craft or outdoors to construct… and then in the evening when they normally tidy up for ages I have been reading to them… Who knew!!! I am thinking in the winter I will bring in the lego but that’s about all we are going to need!!!

  36. I’m really glad I decided to simplify before we have children. I want to stem the flow of toys before it becomes a problem. I’ve even been able to decide what I want my baby shower to look like so I don’t get too much stuff (though I will get lots of books!)

    Most people are shocked when I tell them that we will stay in our tiny apartment and we won’t buy an exersaucer or a changing table, and they tell me I will change my mind once I have a baby, but it’s blogs like this that make me think that I won’t need to shower my kids with toys to love them properly.
    Jennie´s last post…Creating Memories Before My Children Even Get Here

  37. A friend of mine would keep half of her children’s toys in their rooms and the other half stored away, and then switch them out every so often. She stayed sensitive to special toys, but the kids generally liked it as they would have renewed interest in some of their older play things.

  38. Once in a while my bigger kids get a decluttering urge all on their own, which is lovely, but my youngest despises change of any kind. Nonetheless, I set some rules about getting rid of some stuff a couple times year and we work through the pain! A couple weeks ago we bagged up at least half of our dress up clothes including all my (almost 16) year olds’ play hats…. that was hard on me. I love decluttering but there was something heart-rending for me in this. So many memories of my son refusing to wear anything around town but his batman costume or hard hat.
    Kika@embracingimperfection´s last post…Nurturing Creativity – And A Giveaway!

  39. No kids, but I have some of those natural colored baskets. They work great and love nice.
    Donna´s last post…Got My Crochet Groove Back!!

  40. “look” nice… :D
    Donna´s last post…Got My Crochet Groove Back!!