March 10, 2014

The Toy Wars

I fight pretty regularly scheduled battles with my kids’ toys.  The toys usually gain a slow lead all week long, but on Saturday mornings, I fight back.  They get sorted, put in time out and donated.  And I become known as “Saturday Morning Mom.”  It’s the first day of the week where I (if it’s a good day) have nowhere to go right away and I turn my sights on my house and the ridiculous amount of toys strewn about it. {pic from here}


In all actuality, our kids don’t have a ton of toys, but they certainly have more than they need.  They’re pretty good about putting their things away (we constantly have to remind them) but Louie, who’s now almost two years old, thinks dumping out all the toys at once is awesome.   A room in our house may look mostly clean, but upon closer inspection, there are little toys creeping out everywhere…  under the sofa, on the shelves, in the vases.  Sometimes I wake up in the morning to discover I’ve been sleeping with a transformer all night long.


{The toys are everywhere!!!  Always mixed in with randoms…  aloe vera gel anyone???}

So this weekend, after travelling and loving not having any clutter to contend with, we decided to try a little experiment.  We put the majority of their toys away in the garage.  (More than usual, because that happens a lot too.)  We left out the things they’re really into right now (legos for the bigger boys and the wooden train set for  Lou.)  I left their play kitchen out in the kitchen (I’m not a total tyrant, see??) their puzzles are still sored safely under the window seat and of course they have all of their books, but anything that isn’t seriously loved right now is put away.  (It kind of made me sad because I had to put away some of the really cute wooden things that I like to pretend they like.)

{Bye bye beautiful little toys}

But it is so much better!!  The boys feel good about donating things that other kids can use and there wasn’t any complaining as they cleaned up because there wasn’t much to put away.  (And because I’m pretty sure they thought we’d get rid of what little was left.)  There’s lots of empty room in their toy baskets and we moved a lot of things from closets – like luggage and extra blankets- to the storage cubbies under the window seat and there’s more breathing room everywhere.  When they miss some of the things we put away, we’ll do a little swap… and if they don’t miss them, they’re heading out.  I’m going after more this week- clothes, linens, pantry items, all of it.  Why not? Spring is slightly in the air.

When I step back and think about how things accumulate in our homes (which I think about fairly frequently) I’m just blown away by it.  There’s so much stuff constantly coming into our home that we don’t want or need.  It completely detracts from how a house looks and feels.  We put so much thought into the design of our homes but then life gets going and the junk tries to take over, and no matter how well-decorated the house is, if there is too much stuff in it, it doesn’t look or feel good and it keeps us from appreciating the things we have that we do care about.  This is something I think I wrote about in maybe my very first blog post however many years ago, but something I find I need to constantly remind myself of.  The busier we get, the easier it is to forget to fight the junk.  So today, is my reaffirmation of taking no prisoners in my household clutter war.  (And hopefully say goodbye to Saturday Morning Mom.)

Anyone care to join me?

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