Sunday, August 16, 2009

Update on the Toy Reduction Strategy!

The kids have been home for four days now and there has not been a single mention of the fact that 3/4 of the toys are gone. They didn't even notice!

That sends a powerful message to me that they were overwhelmed by the number of choices.

Since their return, they've just picked new games like "squirt gun" battles with mom and dad. Kirk got the one water gun and the rest of us used squirt bottles we had around the house for plants and other uses. We took our soccer flags and played "capture the flag" Revolutionary War battles. I personally think Kai and I won - seeing Kirk and Dad as Cornwallis and sidekick in the battle of Yorktown and you know how that ended. And since I'm the one writing this blog, that's how it shall go down in the annals of The Frugal Millionairess.

Kirk also took all the money out of the Monopoly game and opened his own "bank". Then he decided he would have a toy store and "sell" his toys to Mom and his brother. This led to a library idea where he lent out some of his books to me then fined me for being late returning them - modeling some real life situations he's witnessed.

My kids are pretty young, five and two, and I'm not sure how this would work with older kids, but I'm thrilled with the outcome here. My basement has never looked better, tidying up time has been cut by 80%, and the kids are finding no fewer game ideas day to day.


  1. Sounds like a revisionist history on the outcome of the "war games" :-)

    Seriously, kudos on your toy reduction strategy. I am sure that simplifying reduces the stress for everyone.

  2. So far my kids haven't noticed when I declutter toys either. I did have my 5 year old help me last time and it wasn't nearly the emotional experience I was expecting. She even voluntarily gave her doll house to her little brother. Maybe kids just aren't as naturally attached to things as I thought they'd be. Great job on the decluttering!

  3. Thanks Stephanie. I'm impressed with your five year old's sanguineness. I tried "open donations" once with Kirk, my five year old, and he was shrieking so loudly as we left Goodwill we went back and dug out one toy from the donation bins;-). We had an audience of many workers, I was mortified, and I promised myself stealth donations until he's older. But I think the fact your daughter did this willingly is a great life lesson! Eileen