Why to join a toy library – even if you already have too many toys

Why to join a toy library - even if you have too many toys already. Minimalism and decluttering for families.

Somehow, we ended up in the toy aisle, probably something to do with it being located right next to the kids pyjamas. My son was examining a display of dinosaurs from a well-known movie franchise.

“I’d really like one of these,” began his spiel.

“My friend Johnnie has one of these. He has lots of cool toys; way more than me”.

This was the first time Mr 6 had volcalised a difference I was wondering if he’d notice – most of his friends have more toys than he does, some have a lot more.

A forlorn expression sets on his face. Is he just putting it on or is my minimalism harming his self-worth? I stop freaking out and give him the facts, he likes facts.

“Johnnie does have more toys than you,” I tell him. “But, did you know those are the only toys he gets to play with? He doesn’t get to go to the toy library and choose new toys like you do.”

“He doesn’t get to go to the toy library?”, my son replies in concerned disbelief.

“No,” I explain, “You’re lucky you get to go to the toy library. What would you rather have: all of Johnnie’s toys or go to the toy library?”

“Toy library, definitely” is the firm reply.

We’ve been using the toy library regularly since the wee guy was six months old (not that he had any interest in toys then – just as well we didn’t buy any!). He loves the toy library – every couple of weeks he gets to pick out new toys to bring home. I love it too. If there’s a toy library near you, I highly recommend using it – even if you have too many toys already.

Continue reading “Why to join a toy library – even if you already have too many toys”

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Playing The Minimalism Game

This month I am doing it – I am playing The Minimalism Game.

The Minimalism Game

If you’re not familiar with The Minimalism Game, it’s a month-long challenge to get rid of your excess stuff. On Day 1, out goes one thing; on Day 2, out goes two things and on and on until Day 30, when out goes 30 things. That’s 564 things in total if you keep going for the whole month. You can find out more about the game on The Minimalists website.

But why?

Why am I doing this? Hmmmm, I suspect from around Day 15 that’s a question I will be asking myself quite a bit! In a nutshell, I’m messy, my husband’s tidy and we live in a small house – it works better with less stuff.

We’ve been living in our current home for three years this month and lately I’ve noticed that I spend quite a bit of time rummaging through stuff to find other stuff. I know we have stuff that we haven’t touched in the last three years. Our spare room has become a dumping ground and recently was so packed that at one point I could only stand in the doorway. I have made some great progress in there but I’ve only done the easy stuff. I need to do the hard stuff and so I am playing The Minimalist Game for motivation.

What I want to achieve

For me, it’s not really about the numbers, but at the same time it’s all about the numbers.

I want to attack some clutter hot spots: the spare room, my desk, the pantry and what my husband calls “The Pile” next to my bedside table. Whether I need to get rid of 200 or 500 or 1000 things to achieve that is beside the point.

But at the same time, getting rid of 564 things in a month is really going to test my relationship with stuff. There is definitely a bit of hoarder in me. I find it hard to throw stuff away and I want to understand a bit more about why. It will be this understanding, rather than the total of the number of things I have managed to get rid of that will be the real success for me.

I’ll post weekly updates throughout the month, so if you want to join in, just keep a tally of how you are doing and post your progress below.

Updates

The week of the Wii – The Minimalist Game Days 1 to 7

Help I’m hoarding for the environment – The Minimalist Game Days 8 to 14

The cost of free stuff – The Minimalist Game Days 15 to 21

Be the change – The Minimalist Game Days 22 to 30

Playing The Minimalist Game – A guide to success – everything I wish I knew before I played the first time.

Do you have an inner hoarder or are you more of a minimalist? What are your clutter hot spots?