Toys R Me

Posted on | August 17, 2010 | 8 Comments

J has a basket of toys. And I don’t mean one of those cute little Easter basket or Target soft box things. I’m talking about a full. on. laundry basket. And it is seriously overflowing.

The child is not even one. He hasn’t even celebrated his first birthday, and presumably collected new toys… like this one wrapped in a box that I’m so excited about and that he probably won’t care about until, well, ever.

How did we accumulate so many toys? I distinctly remember thinking I would not buy him a lot of toys because he didn’t “need” them. I distinctly remember that. And yet I am staring at a collection worthy of its own toy store. There are the three rattles I bought him one car trip up to the in-law’s house because I would have bought him a freaking zoo monkey if he would have just stopped crying. And then there are the toys that came with the little playmat I bought at the consignment sale. And the buckets from his Mimi. And the Crawl toy from Gabby. And the Walk-Around. And the Walking Toy. And the jingle balls. And … and… and…

What do we do with all this mess?! Do I box up some of them and just consider them outgrown? Do I rotate toys in and out of his life like I’ve read about? And what about the five billion books I managed to collect despite thinking forever and again today that he needs more books? And the puzzles. And the blocks. And the six geese a laying. And the five. golden. rings.

It’s clearly out of control. We’re clearly out of control. I’m open to suggestions. How do I pare this all down? Especially in light of Saturday’s party and then, oh God, Christmas.  I’m going to drown in toys, aren’t I? That’s how this whole thing ends, isn’t it? Death by toy suffocation. Now that I think about it, I can sort of see that one stuffed monkey taking matters into his own hands.

What do you do? How can I stop having nightmares about losing my child in the laundry toy basket?



8 Responses to “Toys R Me”

  1. amy
    August 17th, 2010 @ 11:50 am

    i rotate….and have a shelf of toys in the kids rooms, a basket in the living area, and even a drawer (or basket) in the kitchen. That way, there are always fun toys in each room. Rotating is great though, as they do seem to get tired of the toys!
    And also, we (meaning me) go through toys every year before the holiday season and give a lot away that we have outgrown or don't play with.
    Just my two cents 😉

  2. Brittany
    August 17th, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

    I rotate toys as well because my mother SPOILS my boys with toys. I separate them into separate plastic bins (animals, blocks, etc.) In the morning/afternoon/evening I pull down a different bin and it's like Christmas in the house. They really do forget what they have. Granted they have toys in their room as well that are played with everyday but these plastic bins of toys are guaranteed an hour of playtime…which means I can get stuff done. 🙂

    As they get older and birthdays/holidays roll around I do swap toys out and they either go to Goodwill or in storage for the next child.

    Good luck! It can be overwhelming!

  3. Alena
    August 17th, 2010 @ 1:05 pm

    Rotate and hide. There are toys we keep in her room that she plays with after bath and before bed. She thinks those toys are the coolest because she plays with them for such a short time of the day. I also bought these pink little plastic tubs with handles for like 10 bucks at Target when the laundry basket system was feeling a little too klassy. I need to pick up a couple more so I can organize the toys a little better.

  4. Alex's Mommy
    August 17th, 2010 @ 1:48 pm

    I'm with ya momma! Last night my husband and I looked at the living room and then at each other and said "oh no, we've become THAT family", you know, the one with toys in every corner of the house. We swore we wouldn't but voila, it happened. I try to keep most toys in bins and pull them out of the closet when we are home but even that is hit or miss. Le sigh, I remember being organized once upon a time, what happened?!

  5. Dre
    August 17th, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

    Yes, you will drown in toys. I have an almost-four year old and a one year old. And we have SIX, yes SIX laundry baskets (but hey! they are all matching baskets so it is only minimally trashy) full of toys in the toy room, several bins in each bedroom, a laundry basket in the front closet, a box in the living room, and I can't count the number of toy boxes/bins in the basement that I tried to hide from them. I put the baby stuff away as the older one outgrew it, but now that the second one is here it is all back in the rotation. Love the suggestions above. May have to actually follow through on them…

  6. DIAPERS in the DESERT
    August 17th, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

    We use the cute colored plastic file boxes from walmart in pink. Even though our daughter has huge amount of toys, her favorites always seem to be random kitchen items. Tupperware, spatulas….. We rotate our toys with the toys at grandmas house.

  7. Mommy C
    August 17th, 2010 @ 10:44 pm

    So somehow I have managed to keep the number of toys to a minimum so far…mostly because I am cheap and Superman is really just starting to like certain toys over others and whatnot. So, I have a personally, untested system for when we get the butt load of toys (because really? I know it is going to happen at some point.). My system is one that a nanny suggested to a friend and then the friend told me.

    We bought a bookcase at IKEA (this one: and it sits horizontally in his room. In each square we have one of those flimsy fabric boxes from Target that you mention. We are going to label each box with a day of the week (plus a misc. one that might have certain toys he must have everyday or something). Then we will sort the toys into the bins and rotate them throughout the week. Each day of the week is exciting because there are "all new" toys that he hasn't seen for a whole week.

    I haven't figured out how we rotate the bigger toys that don't fit into the bins though. I am also worried that he will go in phases with toys and want to play with one particular toy everyday and that this system would frustrate him. I guess that is why there is a misc. box?

    Good luck with figuring out your system!! Please share once you figure it out!

  8. Suzanne
    August 18th, 2010 @ 12:01 am

    We rotate. I keep several toy-holding devices in various rooms, so they're sort of spread out and it feels like less. I also put away stuff I think he's outgrown REALLY FAST because otherwise you end up with fourteen different large plastic toys all taking up space – move out the play table and replace with a push car, move out the push car and replace with a ride on, move out the ride on and replace with a giant inflatable ball pit.

    OK, don't really do that last one. It was definitely a mistake.

    Also, don't feel like you have to keep stuff he doesn't love. Give it to friends, donate it to a daycare, give it to Goodwill. Cheap plastic toys aren't heirlooms.

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