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Purging After a Kids Birthday

My son recently celebrated his fourth birthday and he got some great stuff from family and friends. Stuff that I now have to make room for in our home. It's all good stuff, but as most parents know, there is a lot of stuff! Prior to his birthday party, I prepped my son that when he gets his presents, we were going to go through and put away or share the toys he wasn't playing with anymore. Because I prepped him ahead of time, he was fine when going through the purging process.

Prep is important

The best thing we did when getting my son to detach from his toys was to prep him ahead of time. If I had sprung it on him as we were opening gifts, it would not have gone well. With most things, prepping is important. If kids know what's coming and what the boundaries are, they do fine for the most part.
As my son saw me preparing for his party, I would use that opportunity to remind him that when he got new presents, we would be "putting away and sharing the toys we don't play with anymore". Those are the exact words I used. I didn't say "give them away" because he might form an attachment to them, but "sharing" he understands. You could have also uses "donate" so that he understands that they won't be coming back home.

Sorting and purging the old

After prepping and opening the gifts, it was time to for the great purge. When going through and purging, it needs to be a team effort. Don't just leave your kid to purge on his own and box up what's left out. That is sure to cause some tears when some toys were never intended to go away.

I went through each of our toy chest toys and bins and let him decide if they would go or stay. If kids feel like they have some control over the process, that also helps them to detach. He actually kept more than I thought he would, but lucky for him, there was room for enough for the new toys that he could keep what he wanted. If we had run out of room, I would have gone through another purge until everything fit.

For the most part, he decided to put away toys that he had outgrown, many of which I had expected. Some of his choices surprised me, but I let him decide and it was good for both of us. Here's what we were able to purge.

Fitting in the new

Once the purge was done, it was easy for us to make room for the new. We managed to completely empty one bin and replace it with a new toy. It wasn't just toys that needed to be cycled through, but his clothes needed a once over too.

Clothes are harder for me because my son is on the petite side so he fits anything from 24 months to 4T depending on the brand. His pants and shirts are all now 4T, but there are some shorts that are 24 months that he can still fit into. My son's closet got a big organization thanks to his birthday. Stay tuned for that update.

Here's a before and after of the toy chest.
It still looks just as organized as before, but it now has more of his bigger boy toys and less of his toddler toys. It looks like guns and cannons have replaced pop up vacuums and toy tools! {tear}
I am so glad that this process was easy for us. I know that it could have been really hard, but preparation and participation made all the difference. I just hope that it continues to be this easy as the years go by. It was important for me to help my son learn how to live within our means. In a small and simple way he learned that this is our toy chest, and we can't fit all of these toys there, so some of them will have to go. We can put them away or we can share them with other kids who don't have toys. Learning this early will hopefully make giving to others easier as he grows. That's a gift I want him to gift forward for sure.

Do you do a purge after a kid's birthday? How does it go for you? Share in the comments.
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