Less is

A few months ago this post from Living Well, Spending Less was shared by someone on my Facebook friends list.  I remember being drawn to it – I started following Ruth’s blog regularly because of it – and thinking of how our house was becoming overrun with toys.  At Christmas I moved a bin full of toys to our bedroom.  Our daughter isn’t generally allowed in there, so they sat there for a while, untouched.  Mr. O, it turns out, is not as strict about keeping Miss O out of our room.  I noticed the bin emptying out over the last few months and the toys being left, scattered around the house.

I’ve also noticed, as Ruth did in the post linked above, that Miss O was all but ignoring her toys.  She’d play with something for a few minutes, get bored and move on to something else (never cleaning up the first mess).  I found myself searching the Dollar Tree and the One Spot section of Target for new things for her to play with, though she certainly has enough.  It gave me as much pleasure as it did her to see her get something new, and it’s only $1, right?

Except it wasn’t just $1.  It was $1 over, and over, and over again.  And we ended up with a playroom that looked like this.

DSC03420  DSC03419

And this is on a good day.  (I couldn’t show you a bad day, it makes me cry.)  Plus the toys have overflowed into every room in the house…

So today while Miss O was in school I cleared 90% of her toys out of the playroom and put them on a shelf in our room.


The toys that are left are a semi-random variety.


I’m curious to see what happens.  Will she play with these toys?  If not, perhaps it’s time to think about what to do with them – donate, sell, or store them?  Since this is all one big experiment, we’ll just take it as it comes.  I know I’m excited for a few things.

1. Watching her think up things to do with her diminished stock of toys.  She’s got a brilliant imagination and I think that too many ready-made toys squash that gift.
2. Giving her a toy to play with.  Sure it’s her toy and she’s played with it before, but to her it will be new again.
3. Putting the toys away again.  Some toys are just irritating and it was a joy to get them out of the playroom, but even my favorites will get tucked away at the end of the day.  I look forward to help her learn to let go of stuff and focus more on what matters.

Less is1

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