Thursday, September 23, 2004

Thursday, September 23, 2004 - Too Damn Much Stuff

I think I've posted on this topic before early in my blogdom (I'm too lazy to check), so bear with me if it's all the same stuff to you.

My kids have too damn much stuff. Their toys tend to migrate downstairs into the living room over time, and while I have the location controlled to an area behind the couch, the amount of junk they have accumulated is just staggering.

Stange thing #1: I didn't buy very many of these toys. They just accumulate - gifts from relatives, donations of old toys from neighbors, stuff Ironwolf brings home from work, and non-toy items that somehow get turned into toys. Sure, some of the toys are little garage sale purchases, or Happy Meal toys, but I'm just stumped as to how they have acquired so much.

Strange thing #2: I got rid of several garbage bags full of old toys just a few months ago! How could there possibly be so much more stuff that I am sick of looking at it again?!

Blast it all. I don't want my kids to grow up overly materialistic and unappreciative of what they have. But I'm not quite sure what to do. If we end up moving to Hong Kong we'll just get rid of most of it out of necessity, so I guess that's one way out. I suppose I could tell them that if they want a new toy they'll have to donate an old toy to charity. I don't know. Any suggestions?


Blogger ShadowAngel said...

Yes, yes, I have too much stuff too, I know it!

9/23/2004 11:18 PM  
Blogger wendy said...

Living in an apartment, we have limited room. Even though I've only got one kid, the junk does pile up quickly. I periodically go through and toss the fast food toys. They aren't worth keeping or giving away. Kyle and I go through the rest of his toys together, usually 2x a year, and he pulls out the stuff he's too big for. We either give the toys to a family we know that has some younger kids or to Goodwill.

Rubbermaid totes were life savers when he was younger. You can sort and box up many of the toys and leaving a smaller number in rotation. After a month or so switch out the toys. You'll have fewer to trip over and when you pull out something the kids haven't seen in a while, it'll be just like Christmas. In the meantime, the totes can be stacked neatly away.

9/24/2004 12:37 AM  
Blogger Jade said...

I hear ya on that one!
One way I deal with it is that we donate twice a week to charity. The kids get to dig through their toys and find the stuff that has all the pieces and we donate it to a child in need. The kids really get into and are actually enthusiastic about donating!
Also, your move will help out. That will give you a chance to clean out everything!
Another thing I do, because 98% of what the kids have I did not buy either, they were bought by relatives and donated by neighbors, I will put up some stuff. I will rotate the "good" toys every six months. It's like x-mas for them because they don't miss it, they don't even realize they had it, then one day while they are at school, I will swap everything out. After a year's time, around x-mas time, we clean out everything and donate most all of it to make room for the new.
I will also periodically, when they aren't around, throw away any toys, games, whatever that is missing pieces or broken. It helps out alot.
Stuffed animals is another problem. We clean those out every few months and donate them to the cancer ward at the hospitals.
Just a few thoughts!

9/24/2004 7:04 PM  

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