"There is more joy to be found in owning less than can ever be discovered in pursuing more." Joshua Becker
Are you overwhelmed by piles of wood blocks, plastic balls and musical instruments in your home?
Do your child's possessions weigh on you and make it difficult to clean your home?
Set yourself free!
Swap toys with other families you know.
Step 1: Choose five toys to loan
Hold on to your child's absolute favourites, of course, in case they get wrecked (eaten or thrown out a window) or lost all together. Pick toys to loan that are:
- Age-appropriate (no choking hazards)
- An interesting variety (wood, musical, plush, etc.)
- Possibly themed (e.g., crafty, trains, dolls, dress-up, books, etc.)
- Easily washed
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Step 2: Wash loan items
Kids (and toys) spread germs faster than you can say "My throat feels scratchy!"
- Before you loan, wash, wipe and disinfect
- Repeat when toys are returned to you!
Step 3: Inventory loan items
How will you know who gave you what and what exactly you loaned?
- Label loaned items (optional)
- Take pictures (makes it easier to return all parts and pieces to the rightful owner)
- Make a list — keep one so you know what's out and to whom, and attach a copy to the paper or cloth "loan" bag
Step 4: Set a loan period
I like three to four weeks.
- Stagger borrowing so your child receives cycles of "new" toys
- Write a thank-you note when you return them (enlist your child to participate)
Step 5: Embrace other ways to consume fewer toys
- Choose non-toy gifts!
- Connect with your kids outside this fall
- Try toy lending libraries, community swaps and consignment sales
Note: It's worth thinking about how you'll handle wrecked, lost or damaged toys. Will you trade something in return, replace the item or offer cash?
How have you kept yourself from drowning in toys?
Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green