Five Steps To Purge Your Kids’ Toy Stash

We have a lot going on right now. Among those things is our move to a bigger home, and moving my 71 year old father out of his home and in with us. This is a lot of packing, home inspections, and wearing regular pants for other people that – quite frankly – I am tapped out on. By far the worst task, though, isn’t any of the paperwork or the house viewings; or the cleaning or even the moving, itself.

Nope, it’s purging the toy stash.

Lucky for all of you, I’ve compiled the end-all-be-all five step process to to purge your kids’ toy stash. Look no further, because – quite frankly – this will end up being what you fucking do anyway.

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Step One: Much Like An Addict, Admit That You Have a Problem On Your Hands

There is no excuse for an inability to see the floor in the room your children’s toys are held. Be it their bedroom, a playroom … the kitchen … if you cannot see more floor than is absolutely vital to walk through, you may have a toy problem.

You may also have a toy problem if you have multiples on multiples of the same toy. If you have a supply of McDonald’s and other kid’s incentive toys. Also, if you have scraps of paper that have somehow been preserved as toys…you have a major toy problem.

I have a lot of experience with this, are you guys getting that? I once had a thirty minute debate with my then-four year old over whether or not a pile of felt scraps she had stolen from my craft bin and cut into tiny, little pieces could be considered toys.

It’s OK to admit that your kids have too many toys. Maybe it’s you who gave them all; maybe it was family against your will. Whatever the case may be, admit that you have a problem on your hands.

Step Two: Argue About What Is And Is Not A Toy With Your Child(ren)

You read what I said about that felt thing? Yeah. This is the second step to purge your kids’ toy stash.

Fucking argue.

Argue about whether or not felt scraps are toys. Broken puzzle from the dentist? Not really a toy, is it? You’d better bet your sweet ass your kid will argue it still is, though.

One time my daughter waged a 15 minute debate with me as to whether or not a paper cup she had drawn a smiley face on two years prior and somehow kept in her room was a toy. She claimed it was.

This then progresses into arguing about what toys aren’t necessary or used anymore.

Step Three: Put Your Child(ren) In Time Out For Throwing a Temper Tantrum

Step two almost always escalates into a temper tantrum of some sort. Whether you are arguing the reality of whether or not something is a toy; or actually discussing the merits of keeping toys that are just old or not played with anymore.

Children are emotional beings, and as such will escalate their bullshit as much as is necessary in hopes they will get their way. So when that happens, obviously step three is to put their asses in time out. One minute per age.

In theory, the older your child the more wine and chocolate time this will afford you. I know this sounds weird, or almost sadistic; but learn to love it.

Step Four: Make Up With Your Little Chittlens and Give Them An Hour Or Two Of Fun Activities

Away from home. Or, at the very least, away from the room the toys are kept.

Let them go out and play with friends, even though you said they were grounded for a week for mouthing off to you. Give them uninhibited iPad time – downstairs. Let Grandma take them to the movies. Whatever it is, just reward your children for tolerating all this stressful bullshit – you were clearly wrong. These toys are important to them. Assure them it’s over and you’ll just tidy up and understand their emotional attachment to every stupid fucking Taco Bell toy, Subway Kid’s meal bag, and 99 Cents Store stocking stuffer they’ve ever received.

Step Five: While They’re Out, Burn That Motherfucker Down

You heard me.

I don’t mean like really light a fire or anything. I mean get a box of garbage bags and load those puppies up with all the shit you think has to go. Outdated toys. Things your kids have grown out of. Broken toys. Toys missing pieces. Every piece of felt, ball of ripped-out Barbie hair, and drawn on paper cup you come across. Get it all out of there in the time you’ve sent your chittlens away.

Don’t worry, they haven’t fucking played with any of those things in so long they won’t even notice, anyway.

Pretty easy-peasy, huh? I know what you are all thinking: it might be easier just to skip to number five to begin with, right?

Wrong.

If you just skip to number five, you won’t be able to look back on these days fondly with your children when they are all grown up and have kids of their own. And say “see the bullshit you put me through? Karma’s a bitch, huh? A big, fat bitch.”

Now if you’ll all excuse me, time out time is over and it’s time for me to move on to step four. It’s 7:40 in the evening, though, so looks like it’ll be a late night of uninhibited iPad time downstairs. I’ve got a number of toys and other miscellaneous bullshit that needs trashing to attend to.

Screw Yourself Sideways, Spring Cleaning

I’ve been spring cleaning for about a week.

At first it was as it always is – like a new boyfriend. I was excited. My heart a’fluttered at the thought of trashing some of the crap we have and never use. The first night I couldn’t even get to sleep – the wheels in my brain were just turning and turning and turning over all the things I wanted to do.

Now spring cleaning and I have reached a parting of ways. It’s been a week (so, also much like a new boyfriend). I’m tired of having headaches from all the dust allergens flying around. There’s stuff. Everywhere. And for some reason I can’t get rid of this nagging feeling that I got rid of something I shouldn’t have.

Or is it that I didn’t get rid of enough?

Day 1

My Husband will rue the day he married this de-cluttering queen.

6496_522876140413_4968011_nWhen my husband and I first moved in with each other, I learned how much of a hoarder he really was. Is. Will have to get over.

We were unpacking stuff and he opened this big crate and dumped out a bunch of wires. The first thing I should have picked up on was that we didn’t really need any wires for anything we were doing, he just wanted to sort through his wire collection.

Pause a moment. Wire collection.

I asked what they were for and he said “in case I ever need them.” He thought it was funny. By contrast, I thought it was horrifying so I popped Xanax after Xanax because I was beginning to realize what I had gotten myself into.

We have gotten rid of a total of three of my husband’s things in the entire time I have known him. A bedside fountain that didn’t work. An African-looking knick knack that had rusted and cut me more than twice. And a ripped pair of sheets. A few years ago, my husband was given hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of clothing by his parents for Christmas. He got rid of two t-shirts to “make room.”

When I started spring cleaning last week, I realized that I just could not take all of his clutter anymore. If he wasn’t going to get rid of it, in fairness he had to find a better place to store it than on the floor next to our bed, or in areas of the closet that should be for me. I am the woman in the house, aren’t I?

Our conversation went like this:

Me: “We have got to start de-cluttering this place, Nick. I have to be here all the time, unlike you – it is making me feel sick and unsettled to have so much crap around all the time. Plus, it’s like some of this stuff is just here for me to clean. I have never actually seen you play those two guitars sitting propped against the wall over there. And the amp and pedal board that sits next to our bed – not a once. Ever.”

Nick: [Look of panic] “I don’t know what you are talking about. I also don’t even know why you care that there is clutter all over the place. I let you put away the Lord of the Rings cup that I used to like having displayed. How much more do I have to give up?”

Me: [Ignoring the look of panic, as well as the blatant stupidity] “OK, well if that is how you are going to be, I’m just going to do it myself and you can deal with it…”

Nick: Fine.

Nick is right. He let me put away the Lord of the Rings cup. By “let” of course we are all of the understanding that he had no choice. I love the Lord of the Rings movies; The Hobbit was my favorite book growing up. But there is no room for Frodo Baggins in my home decor.

Day 2

The bedroom and the kitchen. I figured I would start at one end of the apartment and move my way out.

To start, I wanted to pack as much of my husband’s guitar equipment into his side of the closet. Of course to do this, I had to start going through his side of the closet and getting rid of crap. Papers. Wire collection. Pussy Master 3000.

Wait, what?

You heard me right, faithful blog followers. I found the drawer full of gag gifts. Some of them I do remember as gifts – possibly gag, possibly serious (I never know with some of my friends). Lubricants. Handcuffs. Things never used, of course. Then there was something my husband consistently insists was a gag gift, although the details of said gift have never been disclosed.

Pussy Master 3000. Lubricant included. As the packaging goes, it’s for the guy who is sick of just using lotion, but needs an artificial vagina for those lonely nights while the wife is away. Fortunately it was still in the bag.

I moved into the kitchen after the Pussy Master and did a little purging and organizing. Then it was time to call it a day.

Day 3

Can’t deal with this spring cleaning shit. Let’s go to the mall.

Day 4

Can’t deal with this spring cleaning shit. Let’s go to my dad’s and mooch food.

Day 5

Oh shit, how am I going to finish spring cleaning in time for the Super Bowl party?! Super Bowl party … Super Bowl party … Let’s shop all day to get stuff for the Super Bowl party.

Day 6

Got my period. There is shit everywhere in my house now. I haven’t dusted in over a week. There is some gelatenous goo forming on the kitchen floor. I need tampons. Better to go get those and hang out at my dad’s house. It’s nice and tidy there.

Day 7 – Today

Screw yourself sideways, spring cleaning. It’s now just a few days away from the Super Bowl and we’re packing about 16 people into our tiny apartment. There’s a bowl, books, stickers, an open package of graham crackers, and a broken Dora the Explorer talking backpack occasionally splurting out “back pack back pack” on the living room coffee table. On the kitchen table is a pile of cleaning supplies, another book, a party bag full of Super Bowl-themed party stuff, and a package of Puffs tissues. I didn’t even bother to put the boxes of kleenex around the house and the extras away. Better to just pull the kleenex directly out of the package, left half-opened on the table.

9401It’s time to get away from this spring cleaning nonsense. I need to just put away all this crap and move on with my life. I discovered a bruise on my leg this morning while getting ready. It probably got there from the hundreds of times I’ve run into all the shit lying around here over the past week of “spring cleaning;” nonetheless, it reminded me that I’m a princess and don’t like scrapes and bruises showing up on my delicate skin. Pussy Master 3000 and Frodo Baggins will have to be it for now. Until next spring…