The Great Toy Purge and What Remains

We are in the process of preparing to transition from our 2700 square-foot house to roughly 1000 ft.² or less.

And what a process it is.

We’re all very excited for the next adventure in our lives, but I’d be a liar if I said I’m not feeling a wee bit overwhelmed and flooded with some anxiety.

I mean, four kids in 1000 ft.² or less?

But then I remind myself that we will be someplace that is warm and tropical and we will all probably be on the beach or hiking most of our days away. Not sitting in the house. Which makes the idea of having less space seem far more manageable.

Plus, I’m always saying we should downsize. So this will be a good trial on whether we could even actually live happily ever after in less space than what we currently have.

This has given me free reign to purge, purge, purge. Without J saying a word. 

A lot of stuff has been easy to part with. I’m not sentimentally attached to much. Other things have been more challenging. And other things, I’ve decided I just can’t part with, even if they aren’t necessary (read: a full bin of baby/kid clothes that no one will ever wear and all my Jodi Picoult books). 

I gently encouraged the kids to part with the things they no longer play with and anything that doesn’t bring them great joy. But I also told them that anything they didn’t feel prepared to fully part with we could store in a box and reevaluate after we returned in a year or so (I don’t want this to be a traumatic or negative experience for them).

Plus, there are a few things I just had to say couldn’t go, due to lack of space, but I know they love and will still want in the future.

I bagged up all their Legos to save for when we return. Calico critters, American girl dolls and accessories. We just don’t have the room. And all those tiny pieces in such a small space with a toddler and infant just seems like a bad idea. Instead, they get to use Duplos and wooden blocks again (and they haven’t fussed about any of this!) And each big kid gets to bring one doll and one small bin of baby doll accessories.

  1. They have books galore. We actually boxed up three boxes of books, and yet there’s still a whole row on a bookshelf (that also holds all their homeschool stuff, plus 2 puzzles, and a few boardgames.) full of their books. Plus they have a small book nook full of books that are also going.

Books and they each have a small bin with their doll accessories.

I admit, it’s hard to pull the trigger to go to less. Especially in this “keeping up with Joneses” society where bigger and more is always deemed better. But surprisingly – or not – it was harder for me than for the kids.

Even B who in general wants to keep every piece of paper and plastic knob he finds, was so amenable to this transition I had to wonder for a second if my kid had been body snatched. 

I gave Miss H and Mr. B each one cubby to put whatever they wanted in them. Anything special that was not going in the common area for everyone to use and play with. It took them less than five minutes to decide what was important enough for them to take and they had noqualms  with paring down to only what would fit into their alotted box. You guys, not once did they whine about this. They didn’t fuss about not having enough space, or wanting to take even more. They just did it. They knew their priorities and knew exactly what was important to them.

they each have one cubby that’s holding all their “extras.”

The rest of their toys are all things that they can enjoy together. All three walking children, anyway. I’m not concerned about Jelly Bean needing toys, ha.

Their play kitchen made the cut as they all play with daily together. Although we did cut down on accessories for the kitchen though. 

All the toys going with us.

They also have a four cubed storage shelf with a basket of dinosaurs and a bowl of magnatiles on top, as well as their basket of Duplo blocks beside it. And that’s it, folks.

They all play with the magnatiles like crazy. I would like to add to them eventually for better play.
I was hoping not to take anything electronic, but Sweert M adores this Leapfrog dino so he was a must-stay. Plus this pull string alligator and ball popper.
Who buys their kiddos an accordion? This momma. And a few other misc. toys
Wooden blocks. These may still end up getting purged as they’re rarely played with.
Duplos. They all adore these. i’m trying to tell myself to let it be enough, despite my urge to want to add to the collection.

All in all, I think we did really well. At least I’m hoping. Because we’ve got to fit into such a small space. Comfortably.

The great toy purge of 2017 is complete. Mostly. Here’s to hoping we can keep things this minimal from here on out.

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