All it takes is one look into my son’s closet to realize there is a problem—a problem of too much, or simply put, way too many toys taking up the space that’s already bigger than it needs to be. Know what I mean? Keep reading …
We don’t need to look any further than the mirror—or our own closets—to realize our children’s excess is usually a byproduct of our own habits, or the result of spending choices we make.
While my wife and I consider ourselves somewhat frugal and try our hardest to keep clutter away from our home, there are outside factors that determine the amount of “stuff” that ends up in the hands of our son.
Every few months, we go through his closet, and make decisions about what to do with things that are unopened, may have been played with once, or are there because we simply don’t want to let them go. Houston, we have a problem.
Sound familiar? It’s called toy minimalism.
What is Toy Minimalism?
Toy minimalism is the intentional removal of toys from a closet, a room, or a house—with the intent on giving it away or sending it to someone who will actually find it useful, while keeping a few things that have value.
I thought it would be fun to see what other parents had to say about the topic of toy minimalism. Here are some thoughts from moms and dads just like us:
1. Denaye Barahona — Simple Families
“I got rid of the toys because because I feared a future of Legos jammed into my feet. I feared myself turning into that Mom who screams at her kids everyday to clean up their toys. I feared that I was going to have kids begging to buy every toy in sight when they went to Barnes & Noble. But most of all, I got rid of the toys because I knew how much my children would gain in the process–I wasn’t the least bit concerned they would be ‘missing out’ without heaps of toys.”
2. Tsh Oxenreider — The Art of Simple
“In the past, I typically pick a day or three a la my Organized Simplicity method, and I work through every square inch of our kids’ toys with a simple declutter-clean-organize routine. I ask, “Is this truly beautiful or useful to someone in the family?” (this quote is our guiding principle), and if it is, we keep it—so long as it has a definable home. If it’s not, then out it goes.”
3. Joshua Becker — Becoming Minimalist
“Wise parents also think about the number of toys that children are given. While most toy rooms and bedrooms today are filled to the ceiling with toys, intentional parents learn to limit the number of toys that kids have to play with. I’m not anti-toy. I’m just pro-child. So do your child a favor today and limit their number of toys. (Just don’t tell them you got the idea from me.)”
4. Allie Casazza — Allie Casazza
“One of the most valued goals my husband and I have in raising our herd is to guide their focus to the right things. By over-indulging them, we are doing them a disservice. Not only are kids who have a ton of toys less artistic, more overstimulated, and more likely to be materialistic adults, they’re not very fun to be around.”
5. Rachel Jonat — The Minimalist Mom
“When I think back to my childhood the best fun and games were never attached to a toy or something bought at the store. Our fun was based on make believe or around a neighborhood wide game of Becker Becker (similar to hide and seek). We climbed a lot of trees and built a lot of indoor forts out of chairs and blankets.”
6. Rachel Jones — Nourishing Minimalism
“Limit the toys and games to a very minimal amount. Don’t worry- you are not depriving your children. Really, you are giving them freedom … This doesn’t mean we’re going to take all the toys away—it means they’ll have less physical toys, but more imagination.”
7. Caroline Edwards — Chocolate & Carrots
“To top it off, the most beautiful part of this toy organization method is that clean up is manageable. At the end of the day when it’s time to clean up, the boys are completely able to clean up their toys and put them back in the box all by themselves.”