Help how do you get rid of toys???

Paulette - posted on 01/24/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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We have lived in the same house for the past 10 years and have accumulated a lot of things. Every room particularly the kids is jammed packed with crates of toys. We are going to sell the house and move to a new house we are building but we really need to declutter so we started while the kids were asleep going through the toys and getting rid of broken things or stuff they just don't play with much. I knew this would be traumatic for my 2 boys with an ASD as I have tried on many occasions to get rid of things and they become hysterical hence the reason why I have never been able to bring myself to throw anything way since they were babies. My husband insisted that it must be done but of course if was exactly as I had predicted and they have both been having meltdowns this morning for the last 2 hours. Of course I have tried explaining why but they won't listen. I just don't know what to do, every other mum I know raves about how it feels so good when they clean up and the kids even help, but for me I just feel like crying and the kids are just traumatised. I guess I could just stick to my guns and eventually they will calm down but what I am worried about is they will never accept it, agree with it or forget it and will blame us forever!!! What should I do???

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Trisha - posted on 02/01/2010

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Like other parents here, I wait until my sons are away to clear the house. I usually do a big cleanout right before his brithday and right before Christmastime. My son is unable to let go of anything, even discarded paper, so we are just all healthier human beings when I wait.

Heather - posted on 01/24/2010

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The best way to get rid of a child with ASD's toys is to not let them see you doing it. Try to make sure you get rid of the toys they don't play with as much. As long as their favorite toys are still there, they probably won't notice.

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Heather - posted on 02/01/2010

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When my kids were small they were not allowed in the room or were not home when mom did her "clean outs" of course I did them 1-2 times a year to keep things managable. Most of the time I stuck with broken stuff and things I knew they hadn't played with in a while. When those things diappeared, they didn't even notice. Do it a bit at a time and be sure to steer clear of anything near and dear to them - no matter what shape it's in!

Donna - posted on 01/31/2010

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You got several good suggestions here ...I like the one about telling the child that there are other children that don't have any toys. But aside from that there is another idea I used when my children were young..they didn't have anything going on as in different ablities...I prefer that label than disablities...We tried a thing I had learned about called the Gunny Bag. You can use this for various reasons ..one being children not cleaning up after themselves lose their toys to the Gunny bag for a week or so ...but my prefered use was to take the toys least played with and put them up for a month or two ...usually doing this when the child is not around. No reaction by the child as they dont' see the toys going away..it is toys they usually have hardly played with. The best part is when you brought the toys back a month or so later ..they were like new toys to the child. It's sort of a toy rotation thing the way I did it. You could do similar but get rid of some completely as you chose.

Kathryn - posted on 01/30/2010

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I go through toy boxes every 6 months. Anything that is a happy meal toy or something they never play with is gone. I do it when they are at school. If it's broke it's gone. They never miss it. I figure if it's soooo important they can't be without that's fine. But there is more to life than toys. As long as it's not a train. LOL

Tonya - posted on 01/30/2010

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We had the same problem this past year before Christmas. My son is older but we sat down with him and talked about all the boys and girls in the world that were not going to get any presents for Christmas because their mommies and daddies didn't have any money. We said that he could donate his nice toys to the local Goodwill so that other children could have a Christmas too. We got a big black garbage bag and went through his closet. He said goodbye to each toy as he put it in the bag. I had to keep reminding him of how much another child would love to play with it. I told him that his toys were "lonely" and wanted to be played with again. It worked! We got a lot of stuff out of his room. He is a pack rat though, it is a constant battle. Good luck.

Jessica - posted on 01/30/2010

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I'm in the same situation right now, so I really feel your pain. Worse still, my Asperger's kid has a younger brother, so I don't know what to hang on to for little bro to play with as he ages. I think it's going to take a combination of the "sort while he's away" tactic and the "give away" thing. He's on a major charity kick right now (as over the top as everything else he fixates on, but it's pretty adorable, and we're encouraging the empathy for others it seems to be inspiring), and I suggested that we could organize a toy/game sale this spring, with all proceeds going to a Kiva.org account he could manage--he *really* loves this idea, so I'll keep folks posted with the progress. Good luck!

Michaux - posted on 01/29/2010

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My daughter is still fairly attached to toys but I will sneak some out on occasions to thin out her toybox.....goodwill,catholic charity, and yard sales are great for that.....

Laura - posted on 01/26/2010

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Hi , i have been in your situation before, i wiuld give them to a local charity, or to the good will, but only the ones that are in good shape. hope this helps

Christina - posted on 01/26/2010

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I tell my boys that we will be donating to kids that don't have any toys, birthday presents, christmas presents, etc. They *love* to help if they know that their toys will be going to someone who may not have toys.

I also give reasons that kiddos would not have toys...parents lost jobs, house fires, mom or dad may be sick. I have to remind them *every time* we go into to do this, but it works every time! :D GOOD LUCK!

Chrissy - posted on 01/26/2010

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I tend to wait until he goes to camp for a week in the summer and go thru everything or pack it away out of sight for a while and then donate if he doesn't ask for any of the missing items. My friend offers her daughter choices: she sets out 2 or 3 items and tells her to pick one and continues until the toys are down to a manageable level.

Becky Lewis - posted on 01/25/2010

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My son helps decide what goes and I try to help him to understand that it will make another boy really happen. Besides you dont play with it anymore. We do this about 3 times a year. It does get better.

Sandie - posted on 01/25/2010

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I second Nicole. She sounds like a very sensitive mum... How about filtering broken items out first.. then try packaging the less used items with the children's help. If possible dispose of the packaged items at an appropriate time?

As Heather suggests they may not notice but dont count on that.. you may need a contingency plan, hence the reason for packing them away first.. :-)

In my house my daughter (now 17) would throw away wardrobes of brand new clothes because it was the wrong season or because she had worn them once... not sure which i prefer really.... She is my inspiration however and I have managed to set up a website to support mums, families and professionals :-)

Sandie

www.ishop-4-potential.co.uk

Wendy - posted on 01/25/2010

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Paulette, I am a mother of a 13 year old ASD boy and know exactly how you are feeling and have been trying different things for years. My son still has toys from when he was a baby. Recently I sat him down and suggestedthat we have a garage sale and every toy that he sells he would get the money for and that he could spend it on a new toy, knowing that his taiste in toys has got more expensive. So far this has worked and we now have a box of his things ready for the garage sale that I now need to organise.
Good luck and I hope this helps.'
Wendy

Nicole - posted on 01/24/2010

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when my child is in school i go through his toys and just drop them off at the donation site if he notices then i wxplain that there are kids who have no toys at all and need them if he doesnt notice then i dont say anything.... i just do it he has massive meltdowns sometimes over it and we have verbal fights sometimes over parting with toys but i just do it and if i feel like crying i go in my room and cry cry cry;;; good luck

Emilie - posted on 01/24/2010

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I don't have any good suggestions. I also tend to keep the toys, so I'm hoping someone has some good ideas!

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