It's A Toy Story

During my time off from work this week, I've been sorting through the kids' toys. "Why?" You ask? Well, because I'm shooting for the title of World's Meanest Mom by throwing out our children's toys.

Ok, no... Not really throwing them out, more like donating the toys they've outgrown, or no longer play with. The only toys I'm throwing away are the broken ones... and the Polly Pockets.

Strangely enough, there is a sudden influx of toys into the house around this time of year. When you combine that with me having time off of work, it becomes a good time to weed through some of the toy mess. When you add in the new playroom that Hubby just built for the kids downstairs, the circumstances are perfectly ripe for weeding out the toys, especially before "stocking" that new playroom.

This may seem like a simple task to you -- sort through, and weed out the kids' toys -- It's not. It's time consuming and tedious and aggravating... and can not be done properly when the kids are afoot. If I tried to do this when the kids were around, every old toy that they haven't played with in months or years would become a "rare treasure" and promptly played with for minutes before being dashed aside and forgotten, only to be unearthed again after next Christmas.

In an effort to accomplish the task before me without eating up all my glorious kid-free time off of work, I began the sorting and weeding process about 11:00pm Wednesday evening. I lasted about 90 minutes and barely made a dent in the mountain o'toys. I started up again the next day after taking the kids to school and worked for another two and a half hours before waving the white flag again.

We had the kids' toys in toy boxes and totes and all sorts of containers in a carpeted area in the basement since we moved into this house in April 2005, and have only added to the toy pile since that time. This explains my maniacal mutterings (sprinkled liberally with curse words) as I emptied toy box after toy box of long-buried fast food meal toy and itty bitty Polly Pocket doll accessories. (I'm convinced that the people who make Polly Pocket dolls are especially evil.) Several times during the ordeal, I thought of posting something on the blog like "Weeding toys. If you don't hear from me within the next day, that means the Barbies and Action Figures have gotten the best of me. Send help quickly!"

As I sorted through dolls and cars and train sets and board games and old remote controls, I devised ways (albeit half-baked and ill-conceived) to bring down the biggest toy companies. My kids are lucky it will be about six months before more toys come into the house, because BAHLEEVE ME I'm *this close* to saying "Oh? 9,345 pieces? GREAT! That one stays at GRANDMA'S!" (because really, it's not the TOYS that are the biggest problem, it's the extra pieces and accessories that come with the toy that can be the problem.) We should have kept our smaller house and let the kids live there with their toys.

Finally, after what seemed like days of sorting and moving items to the new playroom, I had uncovered the carpet the kids were originally playing on before the playroom was built. The new playroom looked a lot smaller with all the toys in it, but the kids are happy and haven't even realized some of their things are now M.I.A. It was a big job, and I'm glad that I was able to get the discarded toys out of the house without being detected, lest the toys rise up and get me while I sleep. That would be scary, indeed.

You know what REALLY scares me, though? The kids still have more piles and stacks and mountains of toys in their rooms... and they haven't even had Christmas with my Mother yet.

- - - - - - - -

Pictures of the playroom as it was finished off and stocked for play. The best part of this room? We can close the door and walk away from the mess.

Before I started

The room Hubby built

The room Hubby built, with carpet

Look! FLOOR!

Kids playing with toys!

Kids playing with toys!
Shelves and everything!


Doug said...

Wow, that is a real neat playroom.

You know, when youir kids grow up and start having kids of their own, a play room for them will be topmost in their mindsv -- remembering the fun and security they had in their own playroom.

Fine entry Sis, love it.

platypus said...

That is one brilliant play room! You know I sympathise on the toy weeding front but those children are going to remember their play room for ever. Most houses here just don't have that space since we don't tend to have basements but when we lived in Germany we had one in our first house and it was the best thing ever. Having their own space where they can just go mad with the toys will be great for them. You're such a great mum!

Nilbo said...

Pfft. You don't fool me. You just want a place where the mess will be concentrated. THAT is the beauty of a playroom - no more Fisher Price armless and legless people underfoot in the kitchen, hallway, and bathroom! When you step on a piece of Slutty Barbie's Dream S/M Dungeon, you can fire it back into the playroom where it belongs.

So yeah, great mom, and yeah, warm fuzzy memories for the kids, and blahblah ... it's all about keeping the mess in one place, ain't it?

Circus Kelli said...

Doug - It is a great playroom, isn't it? Hubby did a fantastic job.

Platypus - Our last house was bursting at the seams when we moved (only two bedrooms and three kids!) We are so lucky to be able to have a space to set aside for the kids like this.

Nilbo - Damn straight. :)

Bucky Four-Eyes said...

Why is it that the "before" picture looks like my bedroom?

August95 said...

Hey I want to come play in your new play room. Good job to you and your hubby.

Ortizzle said...

Cool playroom! Reminds me of a friend of mine who set up a similar one in her basement for the kids... and even let them draw, paint and color on the walls! The kids loved it, and she didn't give a hoot because it kept them from scribbling on the living room walls, ha, ha!

sharkey said...

I'm exhausted just looking at the pictures. Looks great, CK!

Lynn said...

That is a great playroom. Nice job! I'm on a de-cluttering mission right now, so wish me luck (I'm meeting surprisingly little resistance from the hubby and kids -- wow! -- because they are clutterbugs.)

Susie said...

Polly Pocket is a whore. (But I love her anyway. The outfits!)
I can so empathize here. Especially when LG was younger, and to a lesser extent, now, every time I tried to do toy weeding, everything I would pick up -- that she hadn't paid a moment's attention to in the preceding six months -- would become her "very favorite toy in the world!"
Playroom looks great, now :)

platypus said...

Happy new year to you and the family, Kelli. Thanks for everything in 2006! (4 minutes past midnight here so it's official!)

Googled grilled cheese, and here I am... said...

How do you part with stuffed animals you bought when they were babies?? I still keep things that have spit up on them (dried, and five years later), because she LOVED it when she was a month old. Happy Meal toys are the worst--made from crap, end up as crap!

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