Just before we had Emma I started de-cluttering. We were literally running out space and babies come with a lot of stuff, so I needed to clear out all the unnecessary stuff we had. Now, every 3-4 months, I do a big clear out of stuff we no longer need or use.
It is amazing just how much stuff we accumulate without even realising it.
Kids especially seem to collect a lot of stuff. We don’t generally buy toys for the kids but with blog drops and grandparents, they never seem to be wanting in the toy department. While we do have a dedicated space for their toys, I still felt there was just too many boxes of toys that they no longer played with.
We are also trying to move to a more minimalistic lifestyle where we aren’t drowning in stuff that doesn’t bring us any joy. On top of that, toys are not the most environmentally friendly so we are trying to move away from spending money on toys that the kids will get short lived instant gratification from.
So I ruthlessly got rid of them.
No, not all of them but nearly all of them. It took me two weekends to go through everything but it was the best thing I could have done.
I started throwing out all the broken toys. There were so many legless superheros, cars without wheels, dolls without heads (don’t ask because I don’t have the answers).
Once the rubbish was all gone I separated all the baby toys and the other stuff Emma was too old for. I washed them and donated them. Slowly but surely my pile was getting smaller and smaller.
The next things to go where the toys my kids no longer played with. This was a pretty big box of stuff, in fact it was about 3 boxes of stuff. Both the younger kids are pretty specific about what toys they play with. Jack is into Lego and Superheros and Emma is all about her dolls and their accessories. So when I was sorting through the remaining toys, I kept these and then donated everything else.
I also kept all our dress up stuff. Over the years we have collected a lot of different hats, costumes, bags and more. Both jack and Emma love playing with the dress up stuff, it still comes out at least once a week.
We also kept all the Lego and most of the Duplo.
When I was done we had FOUR boxes left. One box of Lego, one box of dress up clothes, one box of dolls, clothes and accessories and one box of superheros and some cars etc.
The kids, naturally, did try to unpack boxes and some may have also tried to take stuff out of the bin. Once it was gone, they were fine and no one has asked me for the toys that were donated or thrown away.
The best part is that they now actually play properly with the toys they do have. They can actually see what there is and the toys that are there are the ones that appeal to them.
We are also now very intentional about what we allow into our home in terms of toys. Now that we are homeschooling I try to make sure we chose educational items or items that are going to last. I also go through the boxes regularly to make sure all broken toys are thrown away.
Children don’t need a mass of toys, in fact they get more value out of fewer items that encourage engagement and play.