I know it’s only November, but the holidays are fast approaching and all I can think about is the fact that I am currently DROWNING in stuff. My house looks like a rainbow factory threw up plastic multi-coloured toys all over every single nook and cranny. I only have one kid… what the hell does multiples look like?! I’m honestly scared to imagine.
No matter how much I tidy up, how much I reorganize and rearrange all the crap I see lying around my house, I still can’t seem to rid myself of the feeling that the walls are closing in on me, and that at any moment I’ll be crushed under a mountain of useless, half-forgotten toys. This is a sentiment coming from someone who isn’t even the slightest bit claustrophobic, just so you get a sense of the urgency here.
I’m fortunate enough to have family that had children before we did – that means I was very fortunate to get hand-me-down toys from both my husband’s side of the family, as well as my own. That would have been more than enough toys to last my child from birth to 5 years old, but it obviously didn’t stop there. Every member of my family, myself included – I am guilty and totally adding to the problem – seem to be incapable of ceasing the spending when it comes to my little munchkin. So, now it’s not just a load of hand-me-down toys we’ve got laying around, its mountains of new toys – played with and soon forgotten until a much later time. Poor forlorn and forgotten toys, I almost feel bad for them.
I’ve even taken it upon myself to gather up the ones I haven’t seen him play with in a while and donate them, or hand them off to friends willing and thankful to take them for their own children. It has yet to make a dent. For every single toy I get rid of, a new one seems to show up in its place, like a little freaking plastic and plushy army that’s conscripting directly from the factory.
It’s such excess it very literally makes me uncomfortable, and yet every time I see something that I know will make my child smile that big goofy ‘I can’t believe you got me this’ smile, I buy it without thinking twice. Pretty sure that’s the same problem the rest of the family is facing when it comes to their purchases.
To add to the insanity of all the buying, I have a hard time throwing things away that are no longer age appropriate. If none of my friend’s need the items for their own kids, I can’t seem to toss/donate them. I constantly have that nagging ‘what if we have another kid’ feeling, where I am scared to get rid of something for fear of one day needing it again. I think this is how hoarding starts. To be honest, the root of it is the fact that I really don’t want to go out and spend money all over again if we ever do have another kid, that would suck big time. So, when no one needs to borrow my stuff, I just put it away in storage… and there it sits. It’s a horrible habit, but my sense of thriftiness (clearly forever warring with my inability to say no to my child) won’t let me get rid of it.
I think I’ve finally reached a point where the insanity just has to end. The copious amounts of toys are starting to outnumber us by the thousands, and frankly I don’t want to find myself waking up to a mass toy revolt led by the cast-aside-and-forgotten plushies. I’ve decided to stop, I’ve told family that if they wish to make a purchase, let it be a book (because I’m obviously not done fostering the same insane need for literature that I have in my child), let it be an article of clothing he actually NEEDS and that is seasonally appropriate (I know that t-shirt is adorable, but he doesn’t need a t-shirt in the middle of winter), or hell, better yet put the cash you would have spent in his savings account, University ain’t cheap.
On my end, I’m going to perform a mass evacuation, or exodus if you will. I’m going to sort through and force myself to get rid of toys that haven’t been looked at in months. I hope they’ll be handed off to friends so they can make their way back in the event that we ever need them for the next kid, but I’m also not going to hold on to useless things, they’ll be donated so that someone else can get use out of them.
Happy fall toy evacuation everyone! (Yes, that’s something I made up – it’s like spring cleaning, but for toys).