“No more toys, please!”

No more toysEven before motherhood, I had but one rule for myself: Don’t overdo it with toys. We had a small apartment at the time and were doing the it-looks-sparse-because-we’re-broke look, so this rule had clutter and financial implications.

But then I had my first daughter and with being “properly” educated in how to “properly schedule a baby’s time,” I bought a few educational toys to fill my newborn’s 15 minute activity window. It was insane, but at the time, I promise it made sense. So, I bought those toys, those rattles and geometric designed books and would “whip” them out whenever she seemed “bored.”

I continued buying toys when I became a work from home mom and again when I ¬†quit my job because in theory, my children needed them. Or, that’s what I told myself. I hardly ever paid full price for any of my toys. In fact, many of them were gifts, given for birthdays or by kind hearted neighbors who were hoping to do a little spring cleaning.

People love giving away toys because other than clothes, they are relatively inexpensive and do provoke “oohhs and ahhhs” by the receiver, if only for a few days. They also are, I’ve learned, hard to re-sell!

But, I’ve come to realize, that in our house, we don’t really need any new toys.

I mean, there are some items, like a toy kitchen or play vacuum, that I would like to provide for my children in the near future, but only I know what those items are. So, for now, I’ve come up with one steadfast rule about my girls and birthdays. Please, no toys!” I say to family and friends. Then I add the caveat that unless you can get any items from this list, then no more toys. I kind of feel horrible for doing this, but after cleaning through our basement and garage, I think, at least for now, it’s the best way forward.

So, no toys, please!

How do you ensure that your home doesn’t become overrun with toys?