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Stretch It: Kid Space

Okay, so this one isn't about stretching your money. It is all about what we did to make our little guys small space grow bigger. Our son has too many toys! I'm sure, like 100% positive, that I am not the only one whose child has this problem. Heaven help you if you have more than 1 kid worth of toys! I have read so many articles over the year about how kids have too many toys and are way overstimulated by the overabundance. One even said that having too many toys can stifle their creativity. I couldn't get the idea out of my mind.

We have spent a lot of time getting rid of the extra stuff in our house, grown up stuff. We have had less stuff coming in since we don't have commercials to lure us into the stores anymore, but over the years the stuff accumulates. We encouraged Jayne to donate any toys that he didn't use. Since we started in November around the time we got our Operation Christmas Child shoebox put together, Jayne was in a giving spirit and got a rather large box of toys out of his tiny bedroom.

That was a great start, except that his room wasn't any emptier. It basically looked the same because there were still so many toys left. So, a quick question, how did he get so many? He has toys from my childhood, toys from Adam's childhood, and no lack of toys from every holiday in existence. His room was always a mess and picking up time was a nightmare because it was so overwhelming for him. The mess wasn't just toys he had played with. There were also the toys he had to get out just to unbury the toy he wanted in the drawer.

I came up with a plan that I hope would solve a lot of the toy related problems. It just meant I had to move past my not wanting to take away his toys. It wasn't going to be a punishment and I really hoped he would like the result. So, I packed away nearly all of his toys. No, they are not going to be swapped out on a rainy day if he is bored because a new toy does not cure boredom! They are packed away and he was told that if there was a toy he wanted back, since we chose the keepers, he just has to tell us which one and we will go get it for him. In a couple of months or so, the entire thing will be donated and out of our house. In the meantime, he has an opportunity to save the ones he wants to keep.

Here is what is left after filling a tote to overflowing and then some. He still has all of his Imaginext Star wars and Batman things, his army guys, a handful of cars and dinosaurs, about 10-15 odds and ends things, his swords, and 1 large truck. He still has his under the bed totes of legos and trains and a small box of dress-up items. The closet is empty except for 4 larger toys. Under his bed is empty except for those 3 boxes. He went from 6 drawers stuffed to bursting with toys to 3 drawers with 1 small layer of toys in it.

Here is the big one...How was the reveal? When he checked out his room, he was nothing but smiles. He didn't miss any of those other toys! He loved how much space he had and that it was now easier to pick what to play with. He loved that there is now more floor space to play in because the huge trucks and dinosaur are not taking it up. Pick up time is much faster now. I don't see as many toys come out anymore. He tends to pick one or 2 things to play with each day. Jayne couldn't be happier and hasn't asked for a single toy since we first showed him the new and improved room on Saturday. It did a world of good for the sanity of the whole family. I only wish I had thought of it sooner!

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