My daughter is one year old.
Her needs are simple. She needs a highchair to join us at the dinner table, some bottle making kit (almost weaned but still in use), access to a bath, enough clothes to keep her clean and account for the odd poo-nami, a handful of toys and books and a cot.
That’s not a lot of stuff, yet my daughter has a stuffed bedroom, a cabinet in the kitchen, half the worktop and we turned our dining room into a playroom. Oh and there’s even more stuff in the garage.
There’s a few different hurdles to clearing out ‘her’ things.
First: I don’t want to deprive her of anything. I don’t want her to ‘miss out’
Secondly: They aren’t ‘my’ things. They’re hers and I know she’s too young for that at the moment but I don’t intend to be the dictatorial parent type. I want to talk to our kids as equals, involve them in decisions rather than have them feel they’re just under my authority until they’re old enough to move out and tossing her stuff as I see fit goes against that (I know, I know, she’s only one but it’s a way of treating her that rankles even now).
Thirdly: The vast majority of items were gifts. I’m tossing someone else’s money. How do I explain to friends or family when they visit that the reason they can’t see the *random plastic toy* they gave her is because we sent *random plastic toy* to the charity shop? It’s easier with clothes because once she’s outgrown them there’s no point keeping them so they go on eBay but toys… Christmas was ridiculous, 4 trips to empty the car, most of it is still in boxes and then she had her birthday less than a month later. I’m going to be quite strict this Christmas and very firmly say that we do not want any toys, clothes would be great but absolutely no toys.
The thing is, at this point there are so many toys that I don’t like in the house its affecting how we parent her. We don’t want a billion flashy light up attention grabbing crappy toys, we want a handful of traditional (preferably wooden) toys so she learns to focus on one thing at a time, to let something hold her attention, use her imagination. So we have all these reasons to get rid of the extra stuff, but we’re still hesitating!
I’m going to go into her playroom soon and try a cull. Will take photos when I do!