Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

the ongoing clutter battle, kids edition

I was completely inspired by this story:
I took all my kids' toys away

In the story the mom kinda snaps because her kids have 1) too many toys and 2) can't go anywhere without them whining about the next thing they're going to GET to take home. Like hey seriously, you're at a restaurant surrounded by dinosaurs, that's awesome! Why are you so focused on the gift shop?

She writes in the post that once the toys were gone, the kids played hide-and-seek, made forts, loved their space... basically, they survived.

I haven't taken away all josie's toys. but I'm temped. and I've been much better about the clearing out.

I've always rotated toys. I read long ago that babies little developing brains loved seeing new things, but that didn't mean you had to buy new things all the time. a toy that's been hidden away for a few weeks? new! old toy in a different room? new!

so periodically I would bring up a plastic bin full of toys from the basement, empty it into toy shelves, and fill it full of toys that were up there. If Christmas or a birthday was coming, I'd sneak toys away for a few weeks before too, so the shelves had some space ready to go on them.

but it's not perfect because toys still seem to regenerate, or reproduce, or something. we have totally goodwilled toys.

I want to garage sale a bunch too but that will have to be really sneaky.

josie's memory keeps getting better and better. we were at the library and she picked out some book that I didn't want to take home, this'll sound awful but it was just way too long to read in a casual setting, it was about elephants or something but might as well have been "war & peace: for toddlers!" given the word count. so after we had our PILE of books we were taking home I snuck that one out before checkout. SHE KNEW. she checked the bag when we got in the car!

when she was tiny, we'd let her throw stuff in the cart but then wouldn't buy it, by the time we got home she'd forget. she was around two when that had to end.

at age three, she's also caught on to the fact that we look for deals on stuff, she'll find something at a store and hold it up and ask me, "Is this on sale?" and sometimes I just say no, other times I try to say "That's not on our shopping list today kid" because that's really how I try to keep myself from buying junk all the time.

it's just a never-ending battle, fighting the stuff. teaching our kids to fight the stuff. they want everything.

I recently cleared a lot of toys out of Josie's room, even rolled up her big solar system carpet to sweep under it, and she loved her room. we played music and she danced and spun around, appreciating the new-ness of the space. clutter-free! she loves it, she just can't support it when she sees some new toy someplace, and it's only a dollar but I'm saying "no!" because I'm thinking of our house, novelty preference, Chinese factories, everything else that complicates it.
Tags: parenting
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