Simplify For Fall: Toys & School Supplies

This week I’m following along with the Life Your Way Simplify for Fall Challenge. Six days, six areas of the home to simplify. I’ll be sharing my progress here all week.

Ashlee commented that she was impressed that I was blogging and decluttering at the same time.

I feel I need to make it clear that I’m not.

I got a sneaky head start on this project last week and a few of the areas were tackled over the summer. Yes, I’m one of those people that likes putting something on a list that I have already done just so I can cross it off.
Simplify Your: Toys & School Supplies

Time I took with this task: 1 hour


A few weeks ago I boxed up some of  Henry’s toys that he had outgrown or didn’t have interest in. I also moved some of his more advanced books into a closet and just kept his most loved books out. You can see our entire toy and book collection in the photo above.

Yes, we only have a handful of books out for our two year-old.

Why? Well, those are the ones we read over and over again. So why not just have what we use out. I also read about the benefits of reading repetition at Little Stories and the benefits of fewer books in Simplicity Parenting.

This was an easy piece to check off my list because we don’t have a lot of toys and I had already done most of the work. Below is what we will store, what we will return to friends and what we will donate.

School Supplies

We neither go to school nor have school supplies. We’re also really low on craft supplies. So I took a break on this piece of the challenge.

However, we do have some paper clutter and office type clutter. I’ll tackle that in the paper clutter challenge that I hope to work on tonight. Warming up the shredder now…

Tomorrow: Bedrooms & Bathrooms

P.S. No, I didn’t buy fancy editing and design software and spend days learning how to use it. Pixlr now has a fun Express feature that allows people like me – no skills or inclination to learn how to use a fancy editing suite – to make fun photo collages.

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    • Hahaha!
      Well… I never photographed or shared what we got rid of in the great purge of 2010.
      Now we’re at the point that most people giving us things know we might not keep them.
      Plus living overseas has really cut down on what Henry receives from generous friends and relatives.

  • How do you deal with gifts from family or friends? My parents are constantly buying my daughter toys and clothes, and I don’t want to insult them by either refusing them or donating everything right away…but I also don’t want them creating more clutter in my house.

    • I accept the gifts and then donate or return them if they are things we won’t use. By this point my mother and mother-in-law and the rest of our family know that we don’t want a lot of gifts. They’re all pretty good about asking if we need anything during birthdays and holidays so most of what we receive are things we need and will use.
      I had to get over the guilt of donating unwanted gifts or I would never have been able to get to this point. I know it’s hard but I try to remind myself that the intention behind the gift is best served if it is used and appreciated. Sometimes it us that is using and appreciating it, sometimes it’s another family.
      Also, from my experience people that give a lot of gifts rarely remember what they have given.

  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE when you do posts about minimalist toys!! I’m trying to follow the Simplify for Fall Challenge too. We are remodeling my older son’s bedroom because we are turning his toy room (yep…he had 2 rooms all of his own) into our nursery, which we will in November. So he is losing a LOT of toys to make them all fit into his bedroom. Thankfully I’ve had most of them “hidden” in his closet for about 8 months, so he doesn’t remember they are there. We’re running them buy a resale shop. I will split the “proceeds” between his piggy bank and stuff we need for the new baby. We didn’t originally intend to have 2 children, so I donated pretty much all of my son’s stuff as he outgrew it, so I am having to replace/restock everything now. Oops :)

  • Oh random! I just got done sorting through toys as my daughter outgrew some things. :( I am a big believer of a few things out at a time + a toy library. Although now I’m excited over filling in some of the empty spaces with new learning toys so maybe not so minimalist of an idea of mine after all. haha

  • I am behind already, I’ll be repeating this challenge at least once! I have a hard time getting rid of books. How do you decide what books to keep and what to pass on? My kids love their books!

  • I have such a hard time with toys and this is mainly because we have a lot of toys that were handmade or painted by friends and family, but my son doesn’t really play with them. He could probably be totally happy with: His stereo (a fisher price mp3 player designed for preschoolers), a drum, a ball, some books and a few stuffies/puppets, but we have so much more than this! I don’t see how I can give up our hand-whittled cowboys or grandpa made truck, though. I mean, I don’t believe in too much sentimentality on possessions, but these seem like legit things to keep.

    Also, to those who feel bad about getting rid of gifts, one thing that we do is round up a bunch of our holiday gifts and donate them to the local children’s hospital. We’ve never had a confrontation with a gift giver, but I feel like it softens the blow of having your gift rejected if it was done in the name of giving and teaching children about being charitable.

  • Thanks for the clarification! I’m still quite impressed!

    It’s such a comfort to be purging this week. I didn’t think we had a lot left to purge after purging 40% of our stuff before we moved, but we do!

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