Ways to make the summer just fly by No. 1: Toy decluttering

Parenting and life

Well isn’t this jolly! 

The third week of the summer holidays is under way.

The first week was alright, but the weather during the second week was, in a word, shit.

It seems like a cruel joke on every child who is off school and every parent who is using their sacred holiday time, not to jet off to somewhere exotic, but to become their offspring’s snack slave in return for occasional grunts and complaints of boredom. Cannot wait for that happy time.

It’s also pretty crap for the rest of us who had big plans to spend our days meandering to the local park, picking the already-ripe blackberries and other such exciting low-cost outdoor activities.


We had one day last week when it was so bloody miserable, paired with a slight hangover due to a mum’s night out,and a big ‘not slept enough’ headache on my part, that we didn’t even make it into the garden. Not that the garden is even really an option at the moment because it’s a bit of a deathtrap. Both Doug and myself have almost decapitated ourselves on the scaffolding and whilst that’s not a problem for the kids, being short as kids tend to be, the decking is up in places and to a small child who doesn’t look where they’re going it could end in a sticky demise the in the style of poor Simon in that episode of Knightmare.

Fortunately, we’ve taken on eleven million toy reviews so that’s keeping them entertained, although this has also led to the Great Toy Clearing Out Weekend of 2017.

Under the cover of darkness (obviously), Doug and took it upon ourselves to remove all the toys from their room, put them into the front room and sort out EVERY BOX (and pile) OF TOYS in the house.
Not even exaggerating.

When we did the big ‘Getting Rid of the Baby Shit‘ clear out, we tackled some toys. The big ones. Maybe a boxful altogether. But this… this…

If you’ve seen the inside of my house recently, you’ll understand. Going from two rooms into one, even temporarily, is a huge pain in the arse and a logistical nightmare.

Toys and general toddler clutter are like gas; they expand to fill the available space.

The space was filled, and then it was more than halved when the conservatory was removed. We thought we could live with it for a few months, until the extension is finished and we suddenly have more than double the space to fill up with crud, but we cannot. After about three weeks of just stacking the toys in a big pile (my kids’ version of ‘tidying up’) we just could not put up with it any more.

We have decided that each box must be labelled to make for easier tidying/finding of toys. All well and good, but this means that each box should therefore contain a discrete category of toys. One for dollies, one for babies, one for dinosaurs, several for Happyland and ten thousand for the bastard Megablox. But if there is one for ‘Kitchen’ and one for ‘Shops’ then which do the produce go in? We should have planned this better. There’s such a thin line.

Some other questions I’m left with after completing this task;

Where are the pieces of jigsaw? Like where? They were all here. They’re not small bits; I’m talking wooden jigsaws….  Into what parallel dimension have these disappeared? Will we ever find them again? Maybe when we move in 20 odd years? How long is it appropriate to keep the 85% complete jigsaws for before admitting the pieces aren’t going to materialise and chucking it in the bin? What is the betting that as soon as we do that, they will reappear, as if by magic?

Did we even know we had this? What the hell is it/Where did we get it?/Why are there two of them? I swear we just had the one.

Still, it was tidy. 

Overnight and then for about seventeen minutes the next day. Ho hum.

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