It occurred to me the other day when my fifteen month old daughter was playing with a laundry basket that we have too many toys for her. My wife and I have bought her absolutely no toys. Friends and family are the culprits and the toy count rises as she gets older. She is obviously happy pushing around a perfectly good laundry basket, so why purchase a toy for the same purpose? The laundry basket is a good multi-tasking alternative.
So what does one do to stop the accumulation of more toys?
Contribute: We’ve tried telling family members to contribute to our daughter’s college savings account and that seems to work to an extent, but people still buy toys because contributing to an account is boring.
Return: We resorted to returning items to the store when the gift receipt was included. The threats of returning toys to the store seem to work a bit, but not as well as one would think.
Grandparent’s House: Whenever the grandparents buy a new toy we immediately say, “Oh, that is perfect for grandma’s house.” Let them deal with the clutter and you won’t have to pack toys when you go for a visit.
Donate: When new toys come into the house, donate your child’s less popular toys to charity. This will keep the toy collection reasonable.