View Full Version : I *need* to get rid of toys. How do I deal with the kids?

01-08-2009, 03:22 PM
We have too many toys. Some are even duplicates/similar items. The kids (David) won't let me get rid of them. I try to hide them away before getting rid of them to see if they are ever asked for. THEY ARE. We have two barns with little animals and I hid one away to get rid of later and just yesterday David asks, where is the other barn? I need some help here.... some of it has to go, we just don't have the room. :blush

01-08-2009, 03:27 PM
:hugheart :popcorn

01-08-2009, 03:28 PM
my kids react pretty well when I say "they are going to children that don't have toys/clothes/books/whatever.... how do you think that would go? kara wanted to SEE them go to the children, so I thought maybe the womens shelter?? :think

OR if you can have a garage sale, tell him that the money is his for new stuff???

01-08-2009, 03:30 PM
Id tell them other little kids who dont have any of the item need one of theirs, a lesson in charity.

01-08-2009, 03:31 PM
Agreed...just get rid of it and tell them it went to kids who weren't as blessed.

My big thing I had to get over....a negative reaction from my kids. I was terrified of them not liking me , not liking a decision I made , etc... When I started working OVER that it really changed things in so many areas.

Heather Micaela
01-08-2009, 03:46 PM
I have a teeny tiny house. This is what I do and suggest.

#1 Respect their ownership above all. Taking things away without their knowlege can cause resentment. This is not just my opinion, it is stated in organizing books as well. However...
#2 Dont be afraid of tears and the kids being unhappy. that is ok. You have the best interest of the entire family at heart. If you watch "Clean House" you will see even grown-up cry as they purge but 90% of the time they are happier after the fact. (Those that aren't have other underlying issues)
#3 Be firm yet gentle. Do not *ask* if we can downsize. Tell them it is downsize day. But so that they do not feel singled out, declutter stuff from other family memers as well.
#4 Set some concrete goals. It makes the task less overwhelming.
#5 Bargain and negotiate. Not only does it involve them in the process, but it helps motivate them
#6 Bribe and reward. Seriously. You dont have to do this for regular chores, but this is a hard process. We all like incentives and prizes for our hard work.

Now specifically, some ideas:
Get a box of some certain size with the goal to fill it to the top. Tell them when it is filled they can _______(Insert prize here). Some things I do is a fun day out, movie night, an ice cream, etc. I even reward with a new toy at times. Last time it had to fit in a craker box and be within a certain cost limit.
Separate like items together and tell them they to decrease by a certain amount. So if you have 15 and would rather have 10 tell them they need to find 5 to say goodbye to.

When going through stuffed animails or other very emotional items look at what you have and figure out how many you need gone. When they have let go of 3 out of the goal of 5 suggest some you know they are less attached to. But make it more than 2. Pick like 4 and say "Which two are going?"

Determine where certain toys will be housed. If they dont all fit ask the kids which need to go. Tell them there simply isnt room.

This is all easily (though emotionally hard) to be done with a 4yo. It will be a little harder cognitavley on a 22 month old, but he is most likely less attached overall. Up till three I sort of decide for them

Whatever you do, all along congratulate them for doing so well and how proud of them you are. I wanted to add that I too tell them they are going to kids who dont have toys, but in my experience that alone is not enough. I also wanted to say that over time you have to negotiate and reward a lot less. It becomes easier when it is a regular habit. And before holidays/birtdays they get no reward just the knowledge that they are making room for new things.

Heather Micaela
01-08-2009, 03:53 PM
I forgot to add that sometimes I do get rid of things totaly against their will. Jsut never w/o their knowlege and always with a reason.

"I know you like the Barbie Dream house but it is broken and way too big for your room. Plus you only have one barbie anyway. And you will naver have room for newer better things if you hold on to this. I know it makes you sad, be we HAVE to say goodbye to this."

Now these are the items that often get a special reward over and above the general prize for declutter day.

"Since I know this is hard for you, I am going to give you a special gift. I am going to let you choose an outfit for babrie. It takes up less room and you will use it more than you do the house anyway."

But that is only if I get tears and not a tantrum. Screaming kicking,etc gets a "Too bad - so sad" reaction.

I read the OP again
Duplicates are non-negotiable. One WILL go and there will be no argument. They can choose which, but one will leave at the end of the day regardless. If they cant choose - I will.

I know I sound mean, but I am not. There is a lot of hugging and gentle talk. If you have cable I reccomend watching an episode of Clean House (but without the kids, sometimes there are some inuendo jokes - especially about what cant happen in the bedroom because of clutter). I am much like the people on that show, Firm but with a kind voice, pushing enough for the kids to on their own relinquish thigs

joyful mama
01-08-2009, 04:03 PM
i agree to be firm about it... yet understanding. for me, i do something like, 'ok we have 10 stuffed animals, we need to give 5 away to those who have less than us ( or something similar)... and I have them pick the 5... it works well for us.

01-08-2009, 04:19 PM

01-08-2009, 06:35 PM
I dont know if it was mentioned, and I'm sure it's obvious but I thought I'd throw this out there.

I always have them ch oose which is to go. I choose 2 similar items, and have THEM pick. so liek w/ the barns, have him pick his fave.. then same w /the animals that comew/ it if he wants to. Maybe he only thought about the otehr barn cuz teh one reminded him. not necesarily because he wanted to play w/ it? but that's just an idea. :shrug

01-08-2009, 07:15 PM
I give mine a bare minimum of what has to go (fill this box, etc.) and a timer. We've done this since they were 3-4. They still complain and ask for things they miss. I tell them if they miss it that much, they can save and buy another one. ;)

01-08-2009, 07:16 PM
in addition to what's been mentioned, sometimes i also just show them X amt of space and say we have this space for these toys, not all will fit; let's choose together which ones we will keep. i also have basic rules about no keeping duplicates (so if they are given something they already have, they know we won't be keeping both), not keeping junk toys very long (like toys you find in Happy Meals), no broken toys. of course there could be exceptions but having a general plan seems to help.