We’ve been having a bit of a clear out, which we need to do fairly frequently with six of us in the house. Our boys’ bedroom had become very cluttered with toys, clothes, books and teddies. We tidied it up but decided that as the large buckets of teddies weren’t played with much at all that we’d get rid of them.
Ha, well it didn’t quite work out that way. These were toys we’ve become so used to seeing and picking up that we’d stopped appreciating them. But as we were putting them into bin bags for the charity shop, we were sighing sentimentally over almost every one of them.
My husband was being more assertive about it but I suggested we put them aside so I could go through them again. So they were put into the baby’s bedroom to be ‘sorted’ later (aka taking the clutter from one room to another).
Then we decided to store them in the loft for ‘another time’, only I didn’t want to do that as they might get damp or ruined, and I didn’t like to think of them all abandoned up there (can’t you tell I’ve been subjected to Toy Story on loop this past month!).
So, a few weeks later, I sorted them out yet again! I found an old drawer under the cot and decided to put them all in there. After all Naomi might want to
play with them look at them briefly one day! I did manage to make a bag of stuffed toys for charity, but I kept most of the ones we were originally going to put away or donate!
What’s wrong with me. They are just toys!
But are they?
There are a number that we’ve had since before we were married 17 years ago. (Mr Happy and Mr Bump my husband, then boyfriend, bought me. Dastardly and Mutley were picked up during one of many leisurely shopping trips.)
There are some that belonged to Abi, that I can remember her choosing, holding and us buying (lots of YooHoos, Moshi Monsters and a Puffle).
There are Beany Babies toys that we bought from the regular stall at the annual village fair. Nintendo toys and lovely soft Keel pets.
There are toys that remind me of places we’ve been as a family (Pidgey Pidge the pigeon from our last London trip in 2012 for example).
All toys that brought memories to mind.
I can’t even store them away. I want them to be accessible even though I could use the space for other things.
The children don’t look at these anymore. Jake, our toddler, might play with a couple (ie, empty the draw all over the floor and then abandon the game for another area of destruction!). They occasionally take one to bed, but really, who plays with all these stuffed toys anyway? They are such lovely things to buy but once you’ve got them home they just become part of the clutter.
What makes it worse is that I was never a cuddly teddy or even a dolly kind of child, it seemed babyish to me. My Barbie had a professional career in the City (and also a beautiful ballgown in case the career didn’t work out and she needed a Prince Charming!). Though you wouldn’t think that now if you saw what has become my secret stash!
As I found myself unable to part with many of them, I had to accept that it’s my relationship with these toys, and the memories they give me, that is what is stopping me getting rid of them. What does it matter, they’ve been with us this long, they might as well stop a while longer!
Tell me I’m not alone in this hoarding of kids’ stuff. Do you have any of your children’s toys you can’t bear to part with?