Toy Story

I took out a bin, sat on the floor and sorted it as quickly and resolutely as I could. Donate pile here. Keep pile there. Trash bag here. Parts pile there. Keep only if all parts intact pile here. When it was empty, I got up, grabbed another one, and did it again. I did this for almost two hours and still didn’t finish the two storage towers I keep in the storage closet. I hadn’t even gone near the play room. I’m tired of toys. I’m tired of finding them all over floors. I’m tired of pieces everywhere but together where they belong. I’m tired of game boxes being opened seemingly only for the purpose of strewing the parts everywhere. I’m tired of toys being used more as projectiles than imagination encouragement tools. So. Bleeping. Tired. Of. The. Toys.

The really overwhelming thing is, I feel like I clean them out way more often than I hear other Moms mentioning. Seriously, just a few weeks ago I huddled the kids in the playroom. We counted 75 plush toys. They got to keep 30. I put 45 plush toys in a bag for Goodwill. And then, I found more– in their rooms, in my room, in the car, in the living room, even in the kitchen. It never ends.

The other overwhelming factor is that I actually went through a major effort to put some organization and control in place. Especially in the past year, motivated by major life changes, I have purged  and purged over and over again. I’ve rearranged furniture and donated even more toys. I’ve thrown away bags and bags and bags. But then Christmas came.

My biggest problem, my doozy if you will, is when I purge toys, I’m often bewildered. My kids are in three very distinct stages– the six year old boy likes video games and action figures, the three year old girl likes dolls and dressing up, and the baby just likes to throw stuff, or eat it, or even suck on it first and then throw it, and at times, throw it to then chase it down and proceed to eat it. And what about books? As much as I think reading is a really important thing and encouraging a love for books is super duper important, there are books all over the place! Do I really have to let some go?

But now, as I’m all fed up with the toys again, I’m back to purging and reorganizing for what feels like the billionth time in a twelve month period. My motivation is the same motivation I have every time I set myself to this arduous project– create a welcoming environment that encourages my kids to play happily and creatively. I always feel like I come close, but never really quite get there. If you have ideas or suggestions on the purging process or the organization process or the storage process or the stay-sane-when-you-step-on-that-bleeping-microscopic-but-surprisingly-painful-GI Joe-gun process, please do share.

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