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Old 12-31-2012, 06:14 PM   #1
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She's Looking for Her Toys!!!

Crap! Hope I can say that here.

Was playing w/ my daughter in the play room today. We were making music with the ukulele when she thought that we should get more instruments. She went to look for them and they were gone. I've been using 2 hard-to-open play room cabinets for rotated toy storage. I scurried to pull out the bin of instruments when she came running over. I was flustered, so her xylophone and a stuffed animal that she got for X-Mas and already forgot about spilled out. At that point I couldn't shut the doors and she saw her huge stuffed animal and yoga mat. This meant they all had to come out. I threw the new stuffed animal on a higher shelf. Then my daughter was saying, "Where are the Little People?" I changed the subject as fast as I could. Is she going to hate me for this some day? I usually only get rid of stuff she doesn't use any more, but now she's remembering what's gone, even if she never uses it. The instruments were only in rotation, but she still remembered those and the Little People w/o seeing them to remind her. Do other people's kids remember things after they're gone, too? How do you handle it? I have been involving her in the decluttering process some of the time, but the things she doesn't use at all, I've been getting rid of when she's not in the room.

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Old 12-31-2012, 06:27 PM   #2
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Re: She's Looking for Her Toys!!!

Yes...this is a huge issue for me, which means we are so utterly overwhelmed with the toy situation. I have stuff "stashed/hidden" but haven't gotten rid of anything because she remembers everything so what I usually do when she asks for something, I wait until she's in bed and haul it back out and try to put something else into storage. Either way, we have too many toys that I'm afraid to get rid of b/c she doesn't forget a single thing. I've tried discussing it with her that if we part with things it means other children who don't have any toys will get to have some but I think she's just too young to get it. I can't wait to see some of the replies you get - sorry I'm not help since I'm in the same boat as you.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:44 PM   #3
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Re: She's Looking for Her Toys!!!

As a person who has been sneaky and NOW has girls who panic if they see me pick up something in my "cleanings" and walk towards their door, I would say come up with a plan to talk things through with her now...

Here is our new arrangement -

1. First I ask if there is anything they are ready to be done with... many times they will volunteer an item or two on their own.
2. Next I say we have 3 things that are like "this" which one is your favorite? How bout we keep that one and then "sell/share" the other ones... 80% of the time this is ok... sometimes not, and I try and respect that. Imagine someone coming into your room and saying/doing what we are doing to them.
3. If they aren't ready to part with it, but we need to make room, I ask if I can keep it in my space (Laundry room shelf for things that are being sold or off to Goodwill)- and after a couple weeks if no one has asked for it or played with it, I ask since it's not been missed if we can sell/donate it, lots of times this becomes ok (or we rotate out something less desirable)
4. My kids are motivated by moving things on to get money for other things they want - I will list things they want to sell on local sites for them and let them have the money. I have also "bought" items from myself and then donated (usually a couple of dollars will do the trick).

If all is really out of control and they aren't taking care of their things then that is another motivator- they get "X" amount of time to clean up all the things they really want to keep and the rest goes in my bin to be disposed of as I see fit.

If I have gotten rid of a "trinket" toy and it is asked for usually I will just say it's around somewhere out there. But this is usually the party favors from birthday parties and the like, not "big" things. My kids are 4, 7, and 10 and they are learning to share more- before Christmas the girls cleaned out enough things to have two empty squares on their Expedit shelf and 2 bins on their other toy rack, my 4 year old got rid of 5 items from her smaller "special" toy box, and my son sent a few things on their way as well.

I try and model and them see me making decisions (verbalizing my thoughts) and letting things go "keeping the memories" and letting the things go.

My middle daughter has the hardest time... things are associated with people- i.e. she has American Girl dolls, but also a Les Cheries 14 inch doll Grandma and Grandpa got her the year before she got her AG doll- I asked her if she'd like to sell the Les Cheries and outfits (she got a 2nd one and a few outfits over the last year) to put towards the American Girl items she wants, but she says she could sell one, but not the one that came from Grandpa (he passed away this fall). Similar issues with other things that are "special".

*** Oh also remembered this- we sometimes pass things onto our church kid's class so they can still see it once a week, or to my sister and her family so they can see it there for a bit (she purges often as well )

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Old 12-31-2012, 11:47 PM   #4
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Re: She's Looking for Her Toys!!!

I didn't read what others said, but we go through things together. When we come up to something that I want to get rid of, but they don't, we set it aside until we've gone through everything. And then we go back to the iffy stuff. We negotiate. I know that chances are, when we go through things again in a few months, they'll say to get rid of it. 90% of the time, that's what happens. As we don't bring new stuff in very often, this hasn't been a problem in our house.

Some things we don't completely get rid of, we just cut back on. That seems to make it easier for them. For instance, if they have 10 My Little Ponies and I know they really don't play with them anymore, but they really want to keep them, I will let them pick 5 and get rid of the rest.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:54 AM   #5
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Re: She's Looking for Her Toys!!!

I have the oposite problem where my kids want to get rid of everything. It is just as frustrating and I have found we just keep a "limbo" spot and toy generally stay there for 2 or 3 months to be sure they don't want anything specific back. We also rotate out their toys. We keep a locked closet with 75% of the toys in it and they get to trade out what they want. It has helped a lot with the visible clutter. I don't mind keeping some stuff, but I don't want to look at it.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:40 PM   #6
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Re: She's Looking for Her Toys!!!

I don't know what I'll do when my little one is older and this becomes a problem.

But I was so sad for my nephew when he was 5 and visiting. We were all going out for ice cream as a huge treat. A huge treat as in he isn't allowed to have sugar and any sort of treat is a big deal. A year before, yes an entire year, he had been working on his ice cream cone very slowly. His mom just couldn't handle him eating that much sugar and tossed it in the garbage when he was distracted. He didn't say much or notice it at the time. But going back a year later he was the saddest little boy ever. Telling us all about how he didn't like it when his mom threw his ice cream away and how he wanted to eat it and he wished he still had it. And I've heard him mention it several times when we've walked by there.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:19 AM   #7
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This has happened a few times to us to, but if you've been up front about donating and getting rid of toys, then it doesn't take long for them to get over it. If they ask for something that I donated, I'll say 'i know you liked that toy, but I decided to get rid of it. You didn't play with it that much, and there are still many other toys to play with. I'm sorry, I didn't know you still wanted it.' I try to be respectful of her feelings but gently redirect her to other toys that might be similar. She may cry for a minute or two but hasn't thrown a tantrum or gotten too upset.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:28 AM   #8
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Re: She's Looking for Her Toys!!!

Haven't had this problem yet, but we've only cleared out toys twice (I don't open all of their "presents" immediately, helps with the clutter). And with two about the same age every toy gets played with. Most of our toys are books, trains/cars, and play house items (play food/dolls/dress up) so they cover a wide variety of ages and relate to everyday life.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:38 AM   #9
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Re: She's Looking for Her Toys!!!

My daughter does, but she's usually involved in the purging of her toys. I just remind her we gave it to the rescue mission to give to another little girl to play with and then I divert her with "why don't we play with X".

Usually then she's okay with it.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:38 AM   #10
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Re: She's Looking for Her Toys!!!

My daughter does, but she's usually involved in the purging of her toys. I just remind her we gave it to the rescue mission to give to another little girl to play with and then I divert her with "why don't we play with X".

Usually then she's okay with it.
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