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Minimalism – I can’t believe we ever had that many toys

Recently I was going through some old phone photos and videos. They were from a few years ago when my younger daughter was still a toddler. Taken in our old, supersized house, I was staggered to see the amount of toys we had all over the place. It was in no way a small house and there were toys everywhere. I was stunned. I showed my husband and he was stunned. Neither of us could believe we ever lived in a house that was so full of kids toys.

Looking back, the toys were excessive but so was everything else. Years of accumulation meant we had just too much of everything.

What’s so ironic about seeing these photos and videos is that with Christmas coming up, I was starting to think about how my younger daughter still has a number of toys she’s grown out of or doesn’t play with and it’s time for a bit of a clear out. When  I saw how many toys she used to have it really hit home how far we’ve come in the last few years.

I’m still going to help her clear out some more of her toys, especially with new ones coming for Christmas, but I know that things aren’t really that out of control now I’ve seen what it used to be like and regained some perspective.

Clutter creeps up on us and excess becomes a normal way of living. I could never have as much stuff as I used to have now but back then, it just seemed like the right way to be. My life is simpler now. I only ever need to pick up one or two toys, not baskets and baskets of them. I had a whole organisational system of tubs just for my older daughter’s toys that caused me endless stress. My kids aren’t any less happy with less toys, they still do lot of playing. Today, we all benefit from living with less. For one thing, there’s a lot more space to play, even though the house is half as big.


    • Kids toys are a struggle, especially if your granddaughter is emotionally attached to each and every one like my younger daughter is. Depending on their age (around 5 and under) you can discreetly disappear some of the toys you think she has grown out of and store them away for 6 months before donating them, bringing them back individually when they are specifically asked for. This has worked for us. The other thing you can do as a grandmother is not add to the toy chaos by giving experiential gifts instead of physical ones.

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