Drowning in toys

(15 Posts)
1DAD2KIDS Sat 15-Oct-16 17:43:14

Yes I know this is probably the mother of First World Problems but I am drowning in toys. I have a 5 year old girl and a 18 month old boy. They are I guess very lucky kids. They are a big family and although they are not spoilt we are comfortably well off. So every birthday and Christmas they get toys. When we go on holiday they get toys. Eldest sometimes spends her pocket money on toys. Sometimes random toys from friends and family. And then there are the toys with happy meals, magazines and kinder egg (when did they stop being a very rare treat or was that just my childhood).

I am running of space. Its not like they get much time to play with them. My eldest don't get much time for toys after school and we normally go out and doo stuff at weekends or they go to see their mum. Also my little boy has plenty of toys his age but he always wants to play with what his sister is playing with. Also too many teddy bears. People get the kids bears and my daughter has acquired a large collection from my ex wife when she walked out.

So how do other people manage their toys. I don't want to get rid of these toys (apart from the ones that they have totally grown out off) as they are the kids things and people have been very generous. But there are way more toys than the kids can physically play with. So what is the etiquette of sliming down the toy collection?

Also I don't want to sound ungrateful by how do I politely reduce to toy supply from friends/family? I know people get great joy from buying them toys and I don't want to take that away from them. AIBU to try and reduce the supply.

AIBU to try and influence the type of toys? Mainly my ex's family (lovely people and love the kids) seem to think quantity over quality. They often by big toys but often not the best quality. I would prefer them to spend the same money on smaller quality toys that add to the current range of toys.

Currently literally every corner of the house has toys in. I don't mind because its the kids house and I know its a sign of happy kids. But sometimes its does feel like I am drowning.

Anyone know the feeling?

Any practical advise?

wobblywonderwoman Sat 15-Oct-16 17:45:48

I thin our toys out frequently (put in a bag in our wardrobe until I'm sure they have missed them) but mine are only 1 and 3. I have a lovely work friend who has a 9 month old and she gladly takes them or I donate to charity. Could you very gradually thin them out?

wobblywonderwoman Sat 15-Oct-16 17:47:34

Sorry I only get rid of unused teddies or bricks or toys they are passed the stage of (the six month old things and the electronic toys that are annoying - did not pass those to friends ) grin

everythingis Sat 15-Oct-16 17:54:29

This will only get worse they are so little!
Make lists of suggestions for the generous gifters - it's the only way.

Sort your toy storage so it's under control.
Be ruthless and declutter - anything like kinde toys get binned subtly after a few days once they are discarded. Donate lots they don't play with.

EsmesBees Sat 15-Oct-16 17:59:43

I do have sympathy, our problem is the amount of hand-me-downs that keep turning up. Could you ask the wider family to club together to buy something you actually want?

On the storage front, IKEA do some great cabinets. have a google for IKEA playroom ideas.

lljkk Sat 15-Oct-16 18:03:25

I banned most of the distant relatives & friends from sending toys. Well, I asked them nicely. I just couldn't stand it any more. Only the closest relatives allowed (grandies, and 1 uncle). Cards still fine.

LegoCaltrops Sat 15-Oct-16 18:12:39

I sympathise. We have a small house & my DH is a hoarder & very reluctant to get rid of things. But, he's just agreed to WooblyWonderWoman's idea of a bag in the wardrobe. Hurrah!

We tell DD that sometimes, other children don't have enough toys & that hers will go to them. And, that Santa will a) see how kind & generous she is, & b) only leave toys if he can see she has somewhere to put them... grin

DoItTooJulia Sat 15-Oct-16 18:17:10

I cycle the toys. So someone go away (loft/outhouse) and get them back out in 6 months and put something else away. Bit of a ball ache but it means that they enjoy the toys all over again.

1DAD2KIDS Sat 15-Oct-16 20:12:02

I am lucky enough to have a specific play room/book room. I have one of those huge 6ftx6ft Kallax storage units that you fit all the boxes in and the big toys on the floor in there. I have another deep 2 shelf shelving unit in the living room for many my 1 years olds things. But this doesn't seem enough. Plus the kids never play much in the play room. They always want to play in what ever room I am in and I find the toys migrating all the time. Plus my little boy just keeps getting toy box he can find and tipping it onto the floor that is getting annoying now. I really need to simplify. We all want are kids to have the things they like but I am really starting to suffer from our consumerist society. I envy the days when kids had a hand full of tough toys.

Plus how many baby dolls does a girl need. To be fair she care for them all so she would never part with them. Plus my little 1 YO boy was feeding one the other day so he enjoys looking after them too. The teddy's I don't think are going anywhere. Sad so many of them are my ex's as they always serve of a reminder of her. Some of which have come from all round the world when I was serving overseas. At least they come attached with happy memories, but still hard sometimes. But my kids love them.

One thing that is staying is Lego. We play with that loads and always building whatever comes into our imagination. I hate to brag but my little girl won the Lego building competition at Lego land (I did not help one bit as I was too wrapped up in building a Lego castle). Some of it is my from my mums attic and some was even my older brothers. So that Lego has a lot of family history.

1DAD2KIDS Sat 15-Oct-16 20:17:48

Oh LegoCaltrops I have used that line about other kids needing toys before when I have got rid of a few toys in the past. It seems to works well and she understands concept. So that would be a good line to use again.

everythingis I think that is a good idea to cull the Kinder/Happy meal toys after a week or so. There is a lot of them cluttering up my house.

Guess part of my problem is it seems almost wrong to bin and toys. I think I have a personal problem with that. I don't think I like how disposable the world is.

FireflyGirl Sat 15-Oct-16 21:25:39

DS is the only grandchild, so gets lots from 3 sets of GPS and our siblings. I also have a very big extended family.

I started doing a toy rotation. Get rid of all broken/incomplete toys. Plastic tat and outgrown toys can go to the charity shop.

If you have a lot of the same thing (such as dolls), gather them all together and ask her which ones she would like to keep. The rest can go to new homes.

I kept out his favourite toys (cars in our house! LEGO in your case, by the sounds of it), and sorted the rest into the bags so that there were eg jigsaws in each bag, two of them have shape sorters, there's a 'big' toy for each bag (VTECH Toot toot stuff, or Happyland sets). Then, when he seems to be getting bored I bring out a new bag.

It works really well, it's like having new toys. The article I found did it every week. This wasn't realistic for me, so I tend to do it every 2-4 weeks. There are always toys out, but this stops us being overwhelmed by them.

GailLondon Sat 15-Oct-16 21:32:38

One in / one out policy here.
We have our toy storage boxes and that is it - whenever the boxes get full up and a new toy can't fit in, something old gets binned/donated to make room. Never allow a new box or pile of crap to be started!

Clankboing Sat 15-Oct-16 21:51:21

Send unused sturdy clean toys to local nurseries or charity shops. Then organise the rest: a box of cars, a box of small play people, a box of animals, etc. Buy the children a soft toy hanging tube each for their bedroom and keep only that amount. Extras get sent away. Have a cupboard for board games and jigsaws and keep it in the dining room near a table. Put colouring books and activity books in the lounge with colouring equipment. I always stored dolls under her bed in sliding out boxes / drawers as dolls are big, with dolls clothes, baby baths and dolls clothes. At xmas you could ask for specific items to avoid rubbish and be honest: I'm sure everyone has experienceed that feeling of drowning under toys.

1DAD2KIDS Sat 15-Oct-16 21:52:08

GailLondon I don't think I got it in me to be that militant.

everythingis Sun 16-Oct-16 10:44:35

1dad - you might benefit from the Marie kondo method - it took me from sentimental hoarder to militant! But....I have a 4 and 7 year old with very genourous family and friends so I had the overwhelming you clutter. I was a lone parent until very recently. You have to get on top of this for your own sanity and the kids - too much is over whelming for them too.
We had a playroom in the last house and my kids did exactly what yours did - it didn't work. They don't have one now and just want to play in their room or the living room so I have toy storage by the tv which is draws divided up by category so it's easy to pack away and boxes of the vintage sylvaians from when I was a kid that they play a lot with. In their room it's big box for barbies, box for barbies clothes and so on.

If you can't bin give to a local charity shop. I choose the nearest one with parking!

Your Lego sounds ace - get more! Focus the toy sorting on Mali f room and play space for the things they really like.

I am overwhelmed with craft kits. Must start thinning....

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