Toys! Lots and lots of toys! We have three boys and the toys just add up. When birthdays and Christmases roll around the grandparents love giving gifts. Their gifts are great and the kids love everything they get. But, the toys pile up and they end up getting bored with having so much.

So, I took it upon myself to purge all the toys. We began by gathering four large boxes. We labeled them “Keep”, “Toss”, “Donate”, and “Save For Later”. I asked all the boys to help me so they could see what was being done and give an opinion (without whining).

The items we kept were big ticket items such as Legos, wooden blocks, Matchbox cars, puzzles, trains and tracks, and plastic animals. There were a few other things like dress up clothes and random toys. We put all of the “Keep” items in organized bins and everything has a place now.

The “Toss” pile was filled with broken toys, puzzles with missing pieces, kids meal toys, and cheap junk toys. We actually had three trash bags filled once we were done. We recycled the toys that we could and threw the rest away.

As we went through everything, the boys decided that there were some toys that they simply didn’t play with or want. Those items went into the “Donate” pile. There were so many toys in the “Donate” pile that the boys couldn’t believe it. We took them to the DAV (the thrift store for Veterans) and dropped them off together. We talked about how other boys and girls could enjoy those toys who couldn’t afford to buy new.

Now, the “Save For Later” pile is mostly for my three year old. Some toys are too “young” for the older boys and too “old” for my youngest son. We put them in a plastic box and stored them in the attic until we need them.

Purging toys isn’t as bad as it seems. Some parents do this when the kids are away thinking that the kids will hate participating. My children would hate not participating. Involving them in the process allowed them to voice their opinions (although they were a lot more compliant than I expected) and gave them a “job” to do. It made them feel like they were part of the decision.

Guess what?! My children survived and are much better for it. They have even asked to do it again.

Here is a great resource for digging deeper into organizing your home: Secrets of an Organized Mom by Barbara Reich.