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  1. #1

    Default How do you deal with all the toys and stuff?

    I count this as a homeschool issue because the kids are here all day and into stuff all day (and some days I'd like to send them off somewhere so I could clean and organize all this stuff) *sigh*

    So we have our "school" stuff in the dining room. It's all the games, puzzles, blocks, playdough, letter tiles and magnets, and all of the craft supplies and workbooks. And books. Tons of books. I'd like to move some of this stuff to their rooms so it's not sensory overload in here. We have 2 sets of small shelves and 2 giant bookshelves and it's a full-time job keeping this stuff organized.

    In their rooms is... everything else. A lot of it is stuff I can't remember the last time they played with, but of course they can't bear to part with. We have gone through this stuff a million times, putting all the pieces of various things back in one place (like pretend food) but I just left their rooms after looking in their closets. I'm just disgusted.

    I'd like to send them to school for a week so I could purge 90% of the old toys they don't play with anymore, but instead I came here to ask how you deal with all of the toys.

    Help?

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  3. #2

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    I don't. I ignore it. My DH asks me why I don't make them put their toys away every night. I don't see the point. Yes, our family room looks like a toy volcano exploded there. So what? I don't care. They have some stuff in their room, and I ask them to get it off the floor when I need to vacuum. Other than that - oh well. They are not allowed toys in the kitchen, dining room or living room. Family room and their room is a toy land

    My oldest comes up with most elaborate games and stories using all kinds of "crap". There are many times when it just HAS TO stay there bc "mommy, I can't keep re-building this rocket ship every day" or "mommy, this is your b-day cake, I can't take it apart, you have to eat", "I JUST finished this camp site - I am going camping tomorrow, it HAS to stay this way". So, there it stays.

    If I noticed that something hasn't been played with in awhile, I take it down to the basement at night after they are in bed. I might bring it up again a few months later to see if there is any interest.

    Books - well, they are ALL.OVER.THE.HOUSE. But we read them everywhere too. Yes, even in the bathroom. I do ask that books are handled carefully. Not stepped on. Not played on.

    The thing is - they are NOT in school.. their home is their home AND their school and in cold NH winter their playground. So, they can have their toys.

    Yes, for full disclosure I will say that I tool all board games and put them out of their reach. They can still see them, but they behind a locked door. They were loosing too many pieces and I am not willing to keep buying new ones. So, if they want to play a game - it's a library system here - take the game, play it, bring it back with ALL the pieces. Puzzles too
    Mom to 3 boys
    DS 7 who sings me the most beautiful songs and tells me amazing stories
    DS 6 a.k.a Monkey whose goofy faces make my heart smile
    DS 4 my little big man

  4. #3

    Default

    My kids never want to let any toys go either. My sneaky Superfluous Toy Extraction Method is to put the old toys into the attic when the kids are out with my husband. I make sure to hide them in a place where the kids won't find them accidentally. If they ask to play with something specifically, they can have it back. If they don't ask for a toy for a couple of months, it goes to my nieces, the church rummage sale, or is donated.

    We also try to put stuff away every evening. We have boxes or cloth bins to sort stuff by category (plastic food, Fisher Price people/cars, duplo blocks, etc) instead of dumping everything in one toy box. I help the kids clean their rooms by sorting everything that's out into piles so it makes it easier for them to get it all in the proper boxes.

    That's all I got.
    Mother of two monkeys...daughter age 10 and son age 11.5.

  5. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by snowpeople5 View Post
    I don't. I ignore it. My DH asks me why I don't make them put their toys away every night. I don't see the point. Yes, our family room looks like a toy volcano exploded there. So what? I don't care. They have some stuff in their room, and I ask them to get it off the floor when I need to vacuum. Other than that - oh well. They are not allowed toys in the kitchen, dining room or living room. Family room and their room is a toy land

    My oldest comes up with most elaborate games and stories using all kinds of "crap". There are many times when it just HAS TO stay there bc "mommy, I can't keep re-building this rocket ship every day" or "mommy, this is your b-day cake, I can't take it apart, you have to eat", "I JUST finished this camp site - I am going camping tomorrow, it HAS to stay this way". So, there it stays.

    If I noticed that something hasn't been played with in awhile, I take it down to the basement at night after they are in bed. I might bring it up again a few months later to see if there is any interest.

    Books - well, they are ALL.OVER.THE.HOUSE. But we read them everywhere too. Yes, even in the bathroom. I do ask that books are handled carefully. Not stepped on. Not played on.

    The thing is - they are NOT in school.. their home is their home AND their school and in cold NH winter their playground. So, they can have their toys.

    Yes, for full disclosure I will say that I tool all board games and put them out of their reach. They can still see them, but they behind a locked door. They were loosing too many pieces and I am not willing to keep buying new ones. So, if they want to play a game - it's a library system here - take the game, play it, bring it back with ALL the pieces. Puzzles too
    I think my issue is that we have a great room which is the dining room/living room/family room. The dining room is now "homeschool" area and if things could be contained there, it would be okay. As it is now, you can't walk or sit anywhere because of the *stuff*.

    Then I'm finding toys in our bedroom, the kitchen, the laundry room, etc. :/

  6. #5

    Default

    How do you deal with all the toys and stuff?
    I am a "mean" mommy. When stuff starts seeping into our room angry mommy goes on a toy rampage. They have a choice, help figure out what goes or I will. Every other month or so they help do a donation run. The more consistent we have been about purging(our stuff as well) the easier it has gotten and the less tear-shed/screaming fits we have endured. They have started to learn that there are certain places for their stuff and places for our stuff. If they want something to not get moved, then it should be in their room. I really only ask that their room is clean when guests come over, which is less than once a month. I am not fond of stepping on toys in the middle of the night! The picture is why they have to pick up the living room before bed. IMG_20130523_104923.jpg
    Exhausted Mom of 3 wild & crazy boys! Ages 10, 7& 5
    Our School website http://moonandstarscreations.com
    Owner and Director at www.accomplishedamericanprogram.org

  7. #6

    Default

    Snowpeople5, you are totally describing my house! Although I will say we pick up the little living room and dining room each night. By pick up I mean everything is thrown into the bedroom. My girls share a big bedroom that is for sleep and play. I do go through once a month or so and clean out all of the little shreds of paper and misc scraps that get a bit out of control. I just tell DD1 now she can have fun ripping up some new pieces of paper.

    Once this winter on a rare Saturday afternoon my husband and I went through the toy room and sorted and donated A TON of suff just before Christmas. We set the girls in front of the TV and worked as quickly and efficiently as we could. When we did hear a small protest, we pointed out that there was no more room for new toys, so unless we got rid of something we couldn't have any new or different toys to play with.

    School stuff goes in bins on shelves and gets picked up as soon as we are done with it. We spend most of our time in our living/ dining room upstairs which is only a 20x12 room, so I am pretty strict about keeping things at least kind of under control. The bedroom is a danger zone.

    Worse than the toys for us seems to be the laundry...
    Playing and learning as we grow! DD1 12/17/2008 DD2 12/15/2010
    Math: Horizons Handwriting: Handwriting W/O Tears
    Reading: All About Reading Science: Sassafrass Science
    Spelling: All About Spelling Art: Artistic Pursuits
    History/ Social Studies: TBD Language Arts: First Language Lessons/ Writing With Ease

  8. #7

    Default

    I purge. As they get older, it gets much easier. We have done a couple of purges this year, but two of them were nice sets that I let the kids sell (all their Duplos and all the wooden train track pieces) and split the money with them. When they were younger, I used to go in there and take stuff out when they were out. Maybe that's mean, but really, they never missed it. I was always judicious. I mean, I want them to have toys and they enjoy it more when they can find stuff and when pieces are together and when there's floor space to use for playing in the first place. Now, I don't need to hide, I just clean and say, "Can we put this is the VV bag?" Usually it's yes, sometimes no. I respect it.

    For me, the key issue is grown up space. The school stuff is in the dining room for us too. But my kids are older. It's mostly books and school supplies and a few math manipulatives. The board games are in the living room. Everything else. And I mean everything - is in the play room. I tell the kids if I find it in the main floor, I can take it. I do find stuff routinely, but then I just chase them up to clean it up. Having that grown up space makes having that messy play room bearable.

    One thing that some parents do is to only allow one toy box out at a time. So all the toys are in sets that are in boxes (I'm envisioning plastic storage boxes). Only one box can be opened at a time. The issue I see with this is that toys can be fun together. I mean, it's fun to stage a Lego Minifig vs. Playmobil battle. Another method is to take the toys and box them up and hide them away. Then, once every two months or so, go through and rotate the toys. The things that are "out" now, get quietly put away in a couple of months and "new" things come out. And that way, kids get excited about them again because they haven't seen it in awhile. And there's a manageable amount out.
    Want to read about my homeschool?
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    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

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  9. #8

  10. #9

    Default

    We've done the rotation approach since her first xmas. Her birthday is like a week later. Between us (her parents), Santa, and my family, she gets slammed with gifts at that time of the year. To deal with it, I packed up most of her old stuff (left a few faves), and stuck it in the attic. Every 3-4 months, I'd rotate anything she'd gotten bored with and bring down something new. I now have boxes and trash bags filled with stuff she hasn't played with in eons. Most of it will get yard saled, craigslisted, or boxed away for her own kids (assuming she has any). For her room, I went with lots of shelves; book shelves, cubical storage shelf, shelves under her loft bed (which we built from instructions found online). Girl has a tiny room and we have to squeak out as much storage as possible. Even her clothes are in bins (Lowe's & Target...those collapsible fabric-type suckers). The only hard rules I have are that anything taken out during the day HAS to be put away at night & her clothes have to be put away daily (I leave them washed, dried, & folded in her rocking chair). Anything left on the floor after she's gone to sleep gets confiscated...she has to earn it back. And I mean earnnnnnn. If the clothes do not get put away and they end up on the floor or mangled, she's stuck wearing the same set of clothes until she convinces me she can take care of her clothing. And I always make sure it's the plainest, blahest outfit I can find. Can't say that any of that would work for another kid, but it works for ours. She's got a 90% success rate which isn't too awful for a 7yo.

    School stuff is a little different. Most of her daily items are in her room on a single shelf and in a large bin on that same shelf. She also has a large plastic tote for scissors, pencils, art stuff, etc. Books for reading and various subjects are on the living room shelves and in her room under the loft bed. We call the zone under her bed 'the reading nook'...she's got her comfy chair, a desk lamp, and a few dozen books in that space and she's got a curtain (pink sheer for $2 from Goodwill) she can pull if she wants 'privacy'. She's responsible for putting her items back each day. IF something's missing the next day (it rarely happens), then there's a penalty (losing a toy, fave book, computer time, etc.) and SHE has to find the missing item(s).

    If I can't find a space for something, then I either get rid of the old or I just don't keep the new. Small house with limited storage means ya gotta be efficient with space. If I had a larger house, I can't even imagine how much junk this kid would have.
    Carolyn
    caretaker for quirky DD (hatched 2006)

    *************************************
    “My bed is a magical place where I remember everything i was supposed to do that day.” - unknown

  11. #10
    Senior Member Enlightened
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    Default

    It does get easier as they get older. If it isn't something that gets played with or isn't somewhat sentimental, it goes to the Goodwill. Any of the free stuff that comes from McD's, b-day party goodie bags and the like get tossed pretty quickly.

    Now, the bigger problem in this family is my husbands crap. I swear, he has NEVER voluntarily thrown away a piece of paper!!! I have gotten really good about purging mail before he sees it. We took over his family's home this last summer....40 years of his mother's crap along with all of our stuff....it was (and continues to be at times) a nightmare. He never puts anything away. Tools come out for use, get left on the shelf in the garage or utility room. In addition, the attic and barn are still full of my brother-in-laws "treasures".

    I hope my kids have not inherited the "never throw crap away" gene!

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How do you deal with all the toys and stuff?