I have always been a less-is-more kind of gal. And as I get older, I’m discovering more and more of an urge to be a minimalist. Don’t get me wrong, I love stuff, but I do have my breaking point.
Over the last three-and-a-half years we have accumulated A LOT of toys. There are some that are obvious giveaways after time, but then there are so many that have special meaning, and are really fun. We have no official playroom at our house and our basement is unfinished, so there is no catch-all place for the toys or real rec room. Any place that there are toys is also doing double duty as another livable spot. Boy, can the toys pile up! All the extra stuff was starting to stress me out (this happens easily in my case).
I still remember my grandma, who grew up in Ireland, telling me that she never had any toys when she was little. I must have been about 10 when she told me this. I think my response was something along the lines of: “Excuse me…What?! How?!” “Grandma …WHAT DID YOU DO??” Her response was that they played with the goats.
We don’t live on a farm, Irish countryside-style, we own no goats, but our kids can certainly get by with less toys, right (thrive, even)!?
About a month ago, I did stage 1 of a toy cleanse. It was nothing dramatic, but I took all the excess toys down to the basement and put them on an old Target box-shelf. Nora did not even notice the missing toys until she came down to the basement with me one day and was like, um, what’s all this? On the fly, I said, “oh yeah, this a toy store for you (occasionally I have a clever thought).” She thought it was so cool.
So now, when the toys pile up around the house we take a bunch down to the toy store. She can bring up things that she is interested in, and put back stuff that she wants a break from. It’s an easy concept but the less there is to play with, the more fun she has. She has been more engaged with the few toys that are out than she ever was with the piles that were there before. She has even come up with some pretty creative games, like self-sufficient limbo, balancing a broom between two chairs (party time).
The toys that she does play with for hours on end are: the kitchen, cars, the road rug, and old school “little people.” That and singing and dancing to Frozen, of course.
Would you ever do a toy cleanse?