A few days ago, my youngest son was surveying the kids’ playroom filled with toys and announced to my wife,
“Mom, you know what the great thing about having so many toys is? If someone breaks in, they can’t possibly steal all of it!”
Needless to say, decluttering fever hasn’t exactly become an epidemic at my house. I haven’t given up hope though because they are slowly coming around.
How and where do you get rid of toys?
Recently, we’ve been able to remove a few large items like the plastic play structure with slide that my youngest got for his first birthday. After selling it on one of the local Facebook groups, we can again see some of the floor in their playroom. We purchased it used on Craigslist for about $50 and sold it for $30. It still looked new and we put the money in his savings account so that it will be a gift that keeps on giving. We had an even larger one in our backyard that was left by some former neighbors. That one also went on Facebook but since we didn’t buy it, we donated the money to the local ACS Relay for Life event.
Keep it local
I’ve come to like the Facebook garage sale groups and definitely prefer them to eBay and Craigslist. The ones that we use are closed groups for people who live locally and since we live in a small town, we often end up having some sort of connection to the purchaser (my neighbor’s hairdresser, for example). The bonus is that it’s free unlike eBay and I don’t concern myself with shipping. Sometimes, people even put things on the curb with the garbage and post it on the Facebook group just to say it’s there if anyone wants it.
Back to the toys…
Now that they have some floor space, they recently set up their large hex-bug track. If you’ve never seen hex-bugs, they’re little vibrating robots that are about an inch and a half long and if you don’t have them contained by something, they will probably disappear under your oven or couch. I didn’t realize just how much track or how many hex-bugs they had until I saw it all set up! Without much space to play with them, it all usually sits at the back of a closet. I’ve also noticed the kids started playing with their remote controlled cars again. I’m trying to drive home the point that as they remove the things that they don’t play with, they have more room to enjoy the stuff that they really want to do.
Have a long-term vision and share it with your kids
I’ve also been sharing my vision with them of the future state of that room. It really is a large room and could be used for so many things. It has a brick wall at one end with a fireplace and on the side wall is the sliding door that opens out onto the patio. So far the rule has been that they just need to keep a path clear for me to get to the door so I can grill dinner and there have been many times where I had to make my own path. My vision though, is a few large comfortable chairs near the fireplace, a hot tub sunk into the floor, and maybe a pool table.
This hardly sounds like a minimalist dream, but I’m OK with that. In my vision, there isn’t much else in the room except maybe a TV and mini-fridge. I could see myself hanging out there with family and friends a lot and that’s ultimately what it’s all about.
Looking for more ideas?
Take a look at an earlier post I wrote with more ideas on where to get rid of things, without just tossing them in the garbage. While you’re here, you might as well leave a comment, share your favorite post on social media, or even get crazy and subscribe to my weeklyish newsletter. Thanks for reading.
Copyright Dave Lubke and www.davelubke.com, 2017