Ok peeps…this is where it all got real. I was annoyed by the toy sitch and as mentioned in my previous post on this topic, I was willing to organize and rearrange.
But, that just wasn’t cuttin’ it.
So, I had to start thinking about letting some stuff go! But, because this felt super intense to me and like something I could potentially regret (though the insanity of all the toys and disorganization told me I needed to do it), I decided to do some research.
Here are the six websites/blog posts I felt most inspired by. Reading these posts got me excited and gave me hope that the freedom I was searching for in letting go of some of our stuff, would be well worth the effort!
Even as I went to each site to grab these posts for you, I got excited about this journey of minimalism that I want to continue on. I hope these readings will inspire you too!
What was really inspiring for me was that it actually worked! For the whole family! The kids didn’t hate their parents! In fact, often they didn’t mind that toys were gone and they were happier because of it! It sounded like the whole family was happier. That was what I was looking for!
So, as I felt all hopeful and inspired, I started the process of getting rid of toys and making the kid’s space as simple and useful as possible.
First, I made three piles: give away, throw away, keep.
It’s that simple.
Now, adding to each pile isn’t necessarily simple (especially the throw away pile). But this is what I had to come to terms with; just because something is in good shape or a particular person gave this toy to my child, doesn’t mean I have to keep it. It may mean I don’t want to throw it away, but I can certainly give it away. So, the give away pile can grow and grow and your toy load (and insanity) can shrink.
At this point, you have to decide if you want to involve your kids. I involved my four year old, but the others were too young to really care. I did my absolute best to keep their interests and special toys in mind, but I also tried to be as objective as possible. If my daughter told me she loved something but she hadn’t even noticed it for months and months until I held it up and asked if we could give it away, it was still probably safe to give away. And in the end, I promise not a single tear was shed. We kept what she truly loved and let the rest go.
Another option to consider is the toy rotation. Toys that might likely go in the give away pile could alternatively be stored and brought out in several months and current toys packed up and stored in their place. I opted not to do this. First, we have very little storage and I can barely fit our regularly used items in our storage spaces, so there was no room to offer to a rotating toy storage bin. Also, I am truly going for a simplification. I don’t want extra toys not being used by anyone. I want us to actually use what we have and not be always wanting more. I do not see the need to hoard toys when another child could be using and enjoying them.
Finally, with fewer toys and getting rid of toy bins that held lots of random toys, we were ready to set up our new space. And we kept it simple. Yay!
I hope these pictures give you an idea of what our minimalism looks like when it comes to toys. Everything has it’s place and we will not devote any more space to storing toys. So, we will work within these spaces and keep as few (useful and enjoyable) toys as possible.
And, I want to encourage you with something: As I’ve talked about minimalism, you may have been thinking my home would have a lot less in it. Well, take heart! Minimalism is totally personal. This is what minimalism currently looks like for me. It will probably look different in another six months or a year down the road. I want to continue to make my home comfortable and enjoyable for my family while challenging us to not give into consumerism, consider our needs versus our wants, and be content with what we have. Also, giving to those who don’t have their basic needs covered is really important to our family. When we have an abundance, we feel called to give. Minimalism is helping us make that a reality.
Please share your minimalistic journey with us or ask questions! If you have been thinking about heading down this path, you won’t regret it! I promise!