Purging Toys!

Doesn’t purging feel good?! I am guilty of hanging on to things just because I might need them sometime. M, on the other hand, sometimes gets rid of things before we’re finished with them. I can appreciate purging though. I recently read a blog from Ann Voskamp where her guest writer, Kristen Welch says, “We were created for more than filling our time and our lives with more stuff and more space. We were created for a purpose and to live our lives with purpose. We were created to give our lives away.” I find that so meaningful and such a good reminder to check my life and see what I’m filling it with. 

Moving is a great time to purge. Moving to the other side of the world, where you’re only taking what your baggage allotment for the plane is, is extreme purging. We’ll be starting with a pretty clean slate.

However, for the kids to feel at home and comfortable, we have promised they can take their favourite toys, but tough decisions will need to be made and not everything can come along.

The kids will get to share space in one of the totes we’ll be taking. We’ve shown them the space they’ll get and have even tried to fit what they think they want to keep into that space.

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Somehow, we have a lot of toys, most of which only get played with when we have visitors. I’ve sorted and organized them, but they have accumulated over the years.

I could not be happier to purge these toys! Literally, the weekend after we decided to move, I went at it. I have to admit, I was a little too excited and the kids were quite concerned. So that weekend I settled for taking pictures and cataloging the toys. A few things that I knew others could use I gave away right away or promised to give as soon as I could.

A few weeks later, I remembered that our school’s Spring Fling was having a garage sale and could benefit from some of our stuff. Hooray! I hit the gas on sorting again, starting with the family room where the bulk of the toys live. I took out the entire shelf of puzzles and half the games (I’ve been collecting these and will not get rid of our favourites). 

Next was N’s room. She was a little less thrilled about this space. We started with her stuffies. She sorted into ‘keep’, ‘give away’ and ‘I’m not sure’. Thankfully the giveaway pile was the biggest. For some of these, it took everything in me not to say, ‘are you sure?’ when it was something I felt was special, like my popple or smurfette from when I was little. What a hard lesson for all of us.

What made giving away toys that, again, she never plays with, yet didn’t want to part with, so much easier was knowing that she was helping her school and that some might even get to be used in the kindergarten classes. A few days later after we brought it all to the school, N reported that it was like show and tell, getting to show everyone what she brought for the school. J talked about getting to share how to play one of our games that went into his classroom. There were no tears and no one misses the toys. Yay! Best of all, the toys have a new life where they are appreciated and I have empty space in my house.

We didn’t get around to J’s room before the Spring Fling. His room is full of legos, that will come with us, and books. Choosing which of those to leave behind will be a challenge for our avid reader, but I’m sure the promise of an eReader will sooth that hardship.

He’ll even be giving some of his toys to his cousin that I think has been eyeing some things for a while.

We’re not there yet. I didn’t give it all away. In fact, two weeks later, I just found a couple drawers full of doll’s clothes! We’ll be having our own garage sale and the kids will get to take ownership of selling some of their things then as well. But space is limited and they need far less than they think they do. So do I. Come to think of it, I may have started with the kid’s things because it’s easier to get rid of someone else’s things than my own. 😉 

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