Friday, March 4, 2011

Clear the Clutter

Last week we had winter break.  My boys and I took advantage of the time off to do some decluttering. I talked about one of our projects on this post. They did such a great job with cleaning their closet I thought it was a good idea to tackle another growing problem in our house: stuffed animals.

I think stuffed animals reproduce! I don't know how we get overrun by them year after year. The boys have a toy box in their rooms for stuffed animals. The problem was that there was no way to close the box anymore. The animals were on the floor, under the bed, in the basement, everywhere in the house. I could find at least one stuffed animal in any room I walked into.  It was time to give some of these cute little guys to someone that needed them.

Our first step was to get all the stuffed animals throughout the house in one location. We put them all on the floor so it was easy to see them.

Each child was able to pick 5 toys they wanted to keep.  Those toys were put on their bed.  Then they had to pick 5 toys to donate.  Those went in the hallway.  We did 4 rounds of this, so the boys had 20 stuffed animals on their bed. Next they were allowed to look at the toys in the hallways and trade if they wanted to keep one of them.  Things were going well up until this point. We started seeing some tears because it was hard to decide on a few. So being the softy I am, I let them keep a few extra.

I explained to them that these toys will be going to other children that don't have so many toys and that they will be loved and played with by those children. When we were done, we ended up with a large lawn bag overflowing with stuffed animals.

And we still have over 60 stuffed animals in the house.  Which I think is too much, but they do love them and play with them often and I can only handle so many sad tears from my children.

So what I'm I going to do with all those toys? I plan on calling around to some shelters or churches to see if they can use them to brighten a child's day.


  1. Another idea would be a local hospital emergency room or the police station. Great job!


    Sounds like my boys room! :) I have been doing some massive spring cleaning and organization at my house too! :) I just became your newest follower!

  3. Awwww, that sounded like the Toy Story 3 plot. Now if I could get my 23 year old to get rid of his stuffed animals. Maybe I will try that line of going to the less fortunate kids.

  4. What a great lesson you are teaching your kids! Thanks

  5. What a great lesson you taught your kids! We've done this once with our daughter and I think it's time to do it again...thanks for the nudge.

  6. That is the sweetest thing, and such a great lesson to teach your kids. I love that you're calling shelters or churches. So sweet.

  7. Oh, that is AWESOME. I don't even have that on my list, but seeing those pics makes me realize that I need to add a #53! One time I tried to make the kids purge their stuffies and of course they all made choices to donate the expensive organic FAO Schwartz gifts from Grandma and keep the nasty threadbare made-in-Taiwan things they won at the state fair for a quarter. Makes me crazy. Don't tell them, but sometimes I gather up the gross stuffies and dispose of them on the down-low. Then I blame it on the dog. It's wrong. I know.