Christmas is COMING!!

     I know this is scary news, but the winter season is coming with all of its holidays. Holidays bring gifts.  If you have kids they will inevitably receive toys.  Now I have been informed that no self respecting grandparent would not send a toy as a gift.  Believe me we have received plenty of toys from grandparents.  We even get toys for random visits through out the year silly grandparents.  In general my kids have so many toys they will never be able to play with them all!

     So beginning this week we will start the massive toy culling at our house.  The toy collection must face a major reduction before the gifts start arriving.  Also in the realms of gift giving we will be getting ready for K2's first birthday next month.  Just one more opportunity for more toys to come in to our house.the amount of toys we keep will be based on what can fit in the allotted space in the boys room.  Currently we have toys in the living room, and the boys bedroom which is driving my crazy.

     I will admit I do have a weakness for books.  My boys love to go through their books and look at the pictures.  I hope this carries on as they grow up.  We are one of those crazy families with no cable or satellite television.  We do get Netflix, but are cutting way back on our TV watching.  My weakness here would be the Disney movies. So with those two weaknesses I think bookshelves should solve the problem.  I will just have to limit us to the number of books and movies that will fit on the shelves.

     The dreaded Happy meal toys.  I have to say we do get fast food kids meals on occasion, and they come with the pesky toys.  I do keep a few of the small noise free toys in my purse for out and about play time.  I can't even count the number of times these little toys have gotten us through the check out line and into the car quietly.So our happy meal toys will be reduced down to the few toys that live in my purse.

     Stuffed animals.  We receive a few a year.  thankfully we only have one box right now.  However due to downsizing, and up coming holidays we are looking to get to half of a box.  The plan is to go to the box and remove the bottom layer.  Most of the time my boys will only play with a stuffed animal for a few second, and then it goes flying across the room.  Both boys have two or three stuffed animals that you will see them play with on a regular basis.  So we will be keeping the toys that are visibly used every few days.

     Moving on to the bigger toys.  We have two toys that basically do the same thing.  you drop balls in one spot and watch them go down a track.  At the end this triggers music to play.  My theory is to get rid of the bigger one.  This should make room for the totally awesome train set that I found on sale earlier this year for my toddler.  My fear with the train set is all the pieces of track.  I have devised a plan already.  Upon emptying one of our cubes that currently gets occupied by happy meal toys and other miscellaneous small toys the track will be stored in there.  I plan to find a smaller box to keep all of the engines and car in separately.

     After all the culling is complete my plan will enter step two.  All toys will be cleaned and move to the garage.  Then a by appointment sale will be listed on craigslist.  I really do not want to clear and entire Saturday for a yard sales that is my solution. I will schedule a few appointments from Friday evening until Sunday evening.  I can schedule the appointments around things I know we nee to get done as a family.  On Monday what ever is not sold will be taking a trip down to the local charity donation box.

     On another note I am happy to report that our clothes clean out is going well.  All of the kids clothes have been separated and stored accordingly.  All of K1's clothes that were to small are in space bags awaiting K2 to grow in to them.  All the the things that K2 out grew are in the laundry basket awaiting their division into boxes for Thred UP listing. For more about Thred UP please see our post Clearing Out the Kids Clothes.

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