My kids are four and seven. We have reached peak toy season in our home. Both my son and daughter own their own toys, love their toys, and have zero desire to get rid of any toys.
My toy decluttering strategies of the past no longer work. I’ve tried bagging toys up and putting what I view as excess away. They quickly ask where they went and ask for them back. I’ve tried a toy system where I encourage my kids to take one type of toy out at a time. They pleaded with me to not do this. They love to combine their figurines, with the Magna-tiles and the trains and the wooden blocks. I have to admit, they create some pretty epic and creative games when all of these things come together. And they play with these setups for days.
The reality of the situation is my kids play with each and every one of their toys. They are using them in extremely creative ways and the only one who seems to be overwhelmed by the number of toys we own right now is me.
I know this is a season. Just like only a few short years ago our home was filled with baby stuff that now has a new home. At some point, the toys will be gone too, and maybe I’ll miss them. Someday those kids playing with the toys will be grown and gone and I will definitely miss them.
I think I’ve finally come to the realization that the best thing for all of us is for me to know I’ve done my best. Our kids have open-ended toys they use in imaginative ways. They play with each other independent of me for hours using these toys. They play with every single toy they own. Each toy has a designated spot it lives in and the kids are slowly learning to manage the toys and put things back where when they are done with them.
As I’m writing this, I see that perhaps there really isn’t a problem. Maybe I’ve created an idea in my head of what a minimalist’s playroom should look like. But minimalism with a family doesn’t work like that. It’s not one person’s opinion and say. I’ve set values and standards for toys we want to have in our home and the kids are meeting them.
I’m sharing this for all the parents out there trying to embrace a minimalistic lifestyle and feeling like they are failing because their playrooms don’t match the ones on Instagram. Minimalism is going to look different depending on the season of life you are in and the people you are living with, no matter their age. If you are making purchases intentionally and the kids are getting value out of the toys they own, you are doing well.
So, for now I’m going to sit back, relax and enjoy watching my children as they play with their adorable toy creations.
About the Author: Nikki Cox is a mommy of two striving to clear away the clutter both physical and emotional so she can live life with intention and clarity. Find her at Lovelylucidlife.com.