How to Chuck Your Kids’ Crap {Step 2}

How to Chuck Your Kids' Crap Series


This is a series on chucking the crap your kids have and hold on to — for better or worse. Click here for more.

Step 2: Hide the Evidence

Whether they are gone at a friend’s house or have gone to Grandma’s for the weekend, they cannot know you tossed their treasures. This is absolutely imperative. Hide it under other garbage in the trash can or take it out to the bins outside… But whatever you do, hide the evidence!

Here’s how it works:

Once you’ve taken out their treasures trash, leave no reminders behind. Children are out of sight out of mind thinkers, and if they can’t see that you threw out their dead plant in a plastic cup from spring last year, they won’t know it. They won’t ask. My kids have never asked about a specific item I’ve gotten rid of because it never occured to them that it was gone. If you’re getting rid of their rock/gravel collection, you better get rid of every.last.rock or there will be
H-E-Double Hockey Sticks to pay when they get home!

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6 Responses to How to Chuck Your Kids’ Crap {Step 2}

  1. Tristan says:

    I have to say I don’t agree with you on this series. Yes, we can get rid of trash. Yes, we can help and encourage our children to get rid of things, but the way you’re suggesting is not how I would go about it.

    My suggestion is to lovingly set limits and allow the child to act within those. For example, grab a set of small tubs, or a laundry basket or box. Help your child pull our ALL their toys and choose what to keep. The rule is simple – it has to fit in this tub/box/basket. Anything that doesn’t fit goes to Goodwill. I’ve found a box or tub with lid is the best option here because a laundry basket can be piled several feet high whereas a box has to be able to close. ;)

    What do you have in their room to store toys in/on? That helps dictate the size box to offer them.

    We also choose to keep a few types of toys in the attic for future little ones, such as a large tub of duplo blocks and a tub of Little People. Things that are indestructible and encourage a lot of creative play.

    Oh, and I have a few children who DO notice, remember, and ask for anything that is thrown away or has disappeared somehow. It’s typically children above age 3 in my experience. If yours don’t then just consider yourself lucky.(I’ve got 7 kiddos and like I said, only some of mine do this).

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I love the input and discussion. My children would stubbornly cling to any last piece of plastic on the entire earth before putting it in the trash or donation pile. For me and our extremely small house, I have to be pretty unemotional about what to keep and what to toss. I’m not suggesting to get rid of every toy they own by any means. But storage is the first key to help you see what is really important and what FITS. Beyond that, I have to keep tossing the stuff that isn’t important beyond their momentary attachment: a quick scribbled drawing or McDonald’s toy. My oldest, 11, has a good grasp of trash versus keep, but even my 8 year old still wants to keep every little thing. And I’m not up to the discussion of why that stupid mylar balloon from Valentine’s Day (that will NOT DIE) isn’t important in my eyes. When they can SEE it, it’s important to them. But in the long run (ie, 2 weeks, haha) they really don’t care. I could tell them NOW that I got rid of their Valentine’s balloon and it wouldn’t matter. If they saw it in the trash however, or even attempted to get them to toss it… they would be absolutely wounded. This is what works for me, but I truly do appreciate you sharing what works for you!

  2. Lynn says:

    Today Kevin caught me putting a baby toy into the donation box (I ask him about most things. That’s why we still own the cooties game, even though I despise it!). Anyway, he took it out and said we had to keep it for “when we have another baby.”. Whoa. Maybe you shouldn’t have told me a week after Serena was born, “if you have any more babies, put them in another house.” :)

    • HAHAHA love it. I do find when I go through and organize their toys they discover new-old favorites, and the old-old favorites (like cooties games!) are less important to them. :)

  3. LeeAnn says:

    I think that if they don’t love it enough to be responsible about it then I get to take care of it. This can mean trash or put away until they do an extra job to pay the randsom.

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