changes · cleaning · faith · life is messy · parenting · simplicity

Toy Purge: How Do You Know?

Little Man’s 4th birthday was Saturday. Christmas was, obviously, just a few weeks ago. So we suddenly have an influx of new toys.

Now, I am pretty hardcore when it comes to gift giving and my little one. I send out “wish lists” to the family and suggest things that we need. We don’t have a gazillion toys. We stuck to our four gift rule and Little Man received a number of nice non-toy gifts.

But, still.

Our house has become cluttered again. So the purge has begun.

The question is: what do you keep? And not just, what do you keep to play with, but what do you keep in case there’s another child? And what do you keep in case you keep a little one for any length of time, or become a foster home, or…?

And then, what do you do with the excess?

For us, Keith and I decided to just give most of it away. Unless we have some really deep sentimental attachment to it, or we spent a lot of money on it, we are giving it away. Some of the toys I have given to other families, but most of them are going to the local food & clothing ministry at church. I suppose we could sell a lot of these toys and make some extra cash, but we figure people could just use things for their kids, and hey, we can share.

We also figure that if God blesses us with another child He’ll provide more stuff, too.

But it’s bittersweet. I do love cleaning and seeing more space open up. I love being organized and seeing Little Man enjoy the toys that he does have (right now he loves cars, trucks, planes, nerf, play dough, blocks, and anything active). I also love knowing that a mom might be able to give her child a gently loved toy that she couldn’t otherwise afford (and let’s face it, we have received and purchased a number of gently loved toys ourselves; I have nothing against gently used stuff!!).

However, I feel bad getting rid of things that I know family members purchased with love in their hearts. Things that were bought specifically for Little Man that he either didn’t enjoy or outgrew quickly. Things that were quite pricey. I guess I could offer them back to the giver? I don’t know. I certainly don’t want to store them on the off chance there’s a sibling some day…I guess that’s the really bitter part of the whole deal.

What do you do? How do you purge? How do you decide what to keep, what to give away? I’m curious!!

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