Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Pre-Christmas Toy Purging

"Mommy, we should give away all our toys to the poor people so they could have some for Christmas." announces Stephen Josiah early last week during breakfast as he enjoyed a hot bowl of oatmeal.

Yes, yes! Less toys, less mess, more appreciation for what they own. How could we go wrong here?

Two days ago I rounded up 8 bags worth of toys (we have 8 children and toys can accumulate pretty quickly) and we sent them on their way to the Salvation Army. Well, most of them, some got thrown into the trash.

I was struck by something amazing. They did NOT miss a thing. In fact, they were happy. Yes, I said happy. Because now they could find the little toys they did have and the pieces that went with them. They also didn't have to spend alot of time cleaning up before they played because the house was clean!!!!! YIIIIPPPPPEEEEEEEE! I could not tell who was happier-------me or them!

In a book by Don Aslett, a professional housecleaner, he points out that when we were children we didn't have many things and look how badly our homes are cluttered and how much we hoard in the 21st century. He warned what the future would look like for our children in this day and age of plenty and multiple options---that they too, living in the 'age of accumulation' would struggle as badly, if not worse, than their parents. If we are drowning in clutter and we had 'less' when we were growing up---what will our children's homes look like since they had so much more growing up? More is not best. It steals your time, your joy and creates mental clutter. Sometimes homes can be so bad that it can create depression---for the homemaker and for those living there.

Later that day, Stephen Josiah looks up at me as he played chess with his brother and comments "Mommy, I am so happy we got rid of all those toys."

I am in complete shock-children happy to get rid of toys? Yes, they can be happy with the simple.

Less is definitely best.


  1. Oh June! How do you do it? I've brought this idea up several times and my children dutifully go thru all the toys and then decide they love each one and can't possibly give them up! I've taken to just secretly purging stuffed animals, broken McDonalds toys, and anything that annoys me. And you're right - they don't miss them!

  2. Dear Tyna,

    I had to be RUTHLESS! I wouldn't let anyone come into the room I was working on so they couldn't distract me or try to save something and I worked as quickly as I could. I went in with the mind frame that they only needed a few things, and that is pretty much all I left--with the exception of boardgames. They got to keep those because they are educational. I then had everyone immediately take the bags outside either to the trash or van so there would be any rummaging through the bags and rescuing anything. It felt great. Now I would love to slay the garage and some other 'hot spots' in the house!

    Many blessings...

  3. I don't have children yet, but I did this many times with my clothes, and you're right - we don't need all the junk we accumulate!

  4. We do "Purging the Toys" twice a year. Once in Feb. & then again in Aug. My rule is if they haven't played with in the last 6 months then it goes. I pack them up and resell them at our local consignment sale. This along with the clothes they have out gowned and pay for the clothes and shoes they need for that up coming season. They have grandparents that go OVER board on Christmas gifts. In January after company has left and thank you notes have gone out. We will bless someone with the new gifts we have received to our local children's hospital.My girls understand that they are so blessed by so much in their lives and they want to be like Jesus and give back to others Thanks for the post.

    Growing in Him,

  5. Trina,

    I love the idea of giving to a children's hospital---thanks so much for sharing. I have to do several purging's throughout the year as well, but it still seems to pile up!

    Many blessings...

  6. I don't have a Stephen Josiah at our house!! I have sent them to grandmas while I purge and the older one loves having less (although she would not admit it) b/c she can find what she wants. The younger one remembers EVERY SINGLE THING that I have gotten rid of! After we moved, she spend the next year asking, "What happened to _____ that we used to have?" AACK!


Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment! Each and every single one of you are welcomed here with open arms. I love to hear from you so feel free to share what is on your heart.

I look forward to hearing from you!