Help! Our soft toys are breeding at an uncontrollable rate.

We have a growing problem in our house. I want to know if it’s one you are familiar with. It’s an issue with my daughters’ soft toys which are breeding at an uncontrollable rate.

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Here I am, swamped by soft toys just months after clearing loads of them out of the house. They seem to be breeding.

Earlier this year I arranged for additional shelves to be installed in an old airing cupboard in one of the bedrooms. Until that point, the cupboard had simply been rammed full of soft toys. It was a very inefficient use of space and half the toys were never played with.

Once the shelves were in place, I did a cull of soft toys. Several bin liners were filled with them removed from the house never to be seen again.

Just last week I was tidying the kids’ bedroom. I opened the cupboard doors. Guess what? It was once again full to bursting with soft toys.

It was so full, I struggled to close the doors. I stared in disbelief and wondered how on Earth this could have happened again? More to the point, how had it happened so quickly?

I recently read the book Raising Girls by psychologist and parent educator Steve Biddulph. Biddulph made a fascinating comment in the book.

Children, he said, are just like adults. If they walk into an untidy room that’s cluttered, messy and packed full of toys, they instantly get lethargic.

I agree with Biddulph and every now and again go on a merciless clear out. This, however, can lead to marital strife as my wife has a more relaxed approach and thinks the kids should decide what toys get chucked out.

Ultimately, we have a toy acquisition issue. For whatever reason, soft toys keep coming into the house. I’m guilty of buying some of them, albeit not too many and generally only under the condition the kids have a sort out themselves. Mrs Adams buys some and the kids will occasionally spend their pocket money on some. I guess you could say we have no one to blame but ourselves.

With Christmas having just been and gone, another influx of toys has just entered the house. This situation can’t continue and I feel a merciless clear out coming on. Anybody want to give me a hand?

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8 Comments

  1. January 4, 2018 / 11:51 am

    I can certainly empathise with you John albeit I think we may only be just beginning our journey into “soft toy multiplication” or the “Gremlin Water effect” for want of a better word… At present both children have a cylinder type box each which it full (could say overflowing) and from that they would typically choose several to take to bed… I fear I have been guilty of the same issues you have experienced as the boxes don’t seem to be getting any less full but the number of soft toys taking refuge in the childrens beds do… Puzzled… So advice I’m afraid, just support 🙂

    • John Adams
      Author
      January 6, 2018 / 9:21 am

      Yes Jim, I have to admit I am part of the problem. I have, as I admitted, allowed some of these soft toys to come into the house. Perhaps my ruthlessness is misplaced? Maybe I should be utterly ruthless in stopping them from entering the house then they’d be no issues with getting rid of them later. As for the number of soft toys I find in the kids’ beds. Just don’t get me started!

  2. January 4, 2018 / 3:13 pm

    I can so relate to this! Your kids are probably at prime soft toy acquisition age now, it should start to decline soon, although my son did buy himself one last year, at the age of 13. We had a clear out of some of my daughters’ soft toys only yesterday and I must admit that, while I can be quite ruthless with a lot of things, I’m a big ‘softie’ when it comes to soft toys. I think I’m less inclined to part with them than my daughter and approximately two thirds of them have gone into a cupboard until my husband finds them and demands to know why she has still got four Minnie Mouses…

    • John Adams
      Author
      January 6, 2018 / 9:16 am

      Well, yes, I *might* be with your husband. Then again, we have a similar dynamic in this house: I can be ruthless, my wife simply isn’t. Then again, I am relieved to hear that prime soft toy stage may have been reached. We may have to buy a small holding if we acquire any more!

  3. January 7, 2018 / 9:34 am

    Ha ha been there and it took some negotiation skills for little geek to finally give up the majority of them…. I won’t say when she did to save any embarrassment on her side!! But I feel your pain! Good luck negotiating on both fronts!

    • John Adams
      Author
      January 10, 2018 / 10:57 am

      I forget how old you eldest is, but well into the teens yes? I’m going to guess around 11 or 12!

  4. July 24, 2018 / 11:04 am

    I LOVE Biddulph’s raising girls book! Missed the comment about walking into an untidy bedroom though but completely agree!!!

    • John Adams
      Author
      July 28, 2018 / 6:27 am

      Yeah, our kids now have separate bedrooms and thus far, it is helping although one kid is tidier than the other.