Ah, toy clutter. The bane of every parent’s existence. But whenever we try to get on top of it a few inevitable things happen.
Last week when my boys were out for the morning with their grandparents, I thought I had the perfect opportunity to sneakily toss out a few of their discarded bits and bobs. I mean for crying out loud, some of them haven’t been played with in months and my living room looks like a plastic jungle! But alas, I was reminded of why I can never get on top of their toy collection, or bring it down to a healthier/tidier level.
Because the following happened. And it happens every single time I attempt this. If you are also embarking on a ‘clear the toys’ mission, I’m sure you’ll relate to these six things that are guaranteed to mess with your grand tidy up plans.
1. You will run out of time
I made the mistake of trying to clean before tackling the toys. How silly! Project toys is always a beast of its own and there simply isn’t time to vacuum as well. If the kids aren’t looking while you do it, then we need to grab that window and toss, toss, toss! Quick sticks. Time is of the essence and I ran out of it. My kids returned home before I had finished and caught me in the act.
2. They will discover your charity stash
I thought I was clever and hid the toys labelled ‘Salvos’ in a box placed up high, but kids are like sniffer dogs when it comes to toys. As soon as my four-year-old scampered onto the dining room table to check out it’s contents, it was game over for me. Pretty soon all the puzzles I’d made sure had all the pieces were all over the floor again. Fail.
3. They will BEG you not to throw anything out
Oh and if they DO discover your toss-out stash, you can guarantee they will instantly be in love with whatever you were about to give away. Like overly in love with it. Like it is the best thing they have played with since discovering that dirt mixed with water makes mud.
4. You will curse a lot
While frantically sorting ‘plays with it occasionally’ from ‘he will cry a river if I throw that out’ toys, you will curse. You will swear under your breath at Aunty Julie for buying that annoying ball popper that has a thousand pieces to find before you can confidently give it away to charity as a set. You will also hate the makers of Lego, because really, that stuff goes everywhere and who can possibly keep it all in sets?
5. You will vow to be a minimalist
Kids need less toys for their development, but you know this. They also need less toys because it’s actually wrong that they have so much when there are children who have so little. And god knows you also need less toys in your house for your own sanity. Oh yes, this year you will become a minimalist and reduce, reduce! But oh wait, is that the car I hear in the driveway? Crap, they’re home. Game over.
6. You will shed a tear
You’ll try to throw out the poor little fraying finger puppet you found limp at the bottom of the toy box but the memories of you having it sing and wiggle to your baby as you changed his nappy will stop you from being able to. And you know what? This will happen in years to come when you find it again, too. Awww, the nappy puppet!
How do you stay on top of toy clutter?