At some point we determine that our kids have too many toys & gadgets. Of course they may not agree and insist on keeping all of them, even the ones they no longer use, play with or need. This can be an emotional situation, so take it slowly until you see their reaction.
Some kids are willing to let go of a “few”, but not nearly enough to make space to navigate in their room. It may take a few sessions of purging at first. However, sometimes they are more willing to let go on subsequent sessions. If that is acceptable, depending on your child’s attitude, sensitivity and creativity, that may be your plan. Bit by bit you can do it!
Here are a few tips to move the process along:
- Sometimes there are younger sibling or a relative or a friend who would enjoy the toys. This may make it easier to let some items go. Let your child help decide. Offer options and let it be their decision. This may be the first step.
- Are some toys, books, CD’s or DVD’s that are no longer age appropriate for your child? You might try saying…“Now that you are growing up, do you need this? So how about sharing it with _______?”
- There are many charities, churches and schools in need of toys and books? Talk with your child about sharing some of their things with children who do not have such nice things. If possible consider taking your child with you when making the donation. Your child may not be comfortable filling a trash bag with their precious stuff and leaving it at the curbside for a charity truck pick up. It almost feels like throwing it away. So an in-person donation may aid in moving the process along, helping your child feel like they are personally helping someone.
- Another plan may be to help your child decide to place items, they are not sure about, into a box to be stored in the garage labeled with a (later) “look at date.” When the date comes up and they have not had to access anything stored there, letting go may be easier….or not. It depends on your child. Let them decide and re-label the box if necessary.
- You may also consider the “one in and one out” method of reducing the clutter. For every new book or toy coming in…one must go out. This may work.
- On the other hand, there may be a toy or book with special meaning to you or your child. By all means, keep these things and continue to use them, recalling the special occasion or person connected with them. Or you could display them on a shelf in their room as a reminder.
You and your child can do this and it may take time and patience.
©Ann Gambrell March 2014