Why this mum’s approach to clearing up toys has got EVERYONE talking

Would you reduce your child's toys to just one medium-sized crate?

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Nothing says “I’m home!” like taking off your shoes and standing on a LEGO brick, or tripping over some kind of light-up animal who makes a high-pitched noise.

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It’s true – toys just don’t seem to stay in the designated box, area or playroom. They just end up everywhere.

So we were really intrigued to hear about one mum, a woman named Allie Casazza, and her minimalist approach to toys and storing them.

The blogger – who runs a site called The Purposeful Housewife to help families reduce clutter in their lives – recently posted an Instagram about this very subject that has sparked a tiny bit of backlash.

In the photo, 3 of her 4 children sit in a clutter-free lounge, alongside a fairly small crate, which she says contains the only toys her kids own, aside from LEGO.

Allie’s post

Alongside the picture perfect snap, Allie wrote:

“See that bin? That holds every toy my kids have, except Legos, and it’s only about halfway full.

“This isn’t to show how hardcore we are or to say that you have to do this to experience the fullness of a life lived intentionally with less stuff, but only to say that kids are naturally happy little creatures.

“They’re made to imagine, play, explore, and create. If you remove everything they’ve been told to stay entertained with, they will complain for a few days, but pretty soon their God-given imaginations will breathe a deep sigh and be brought to life again.

“They’ll discover the beauty in making up stories and acting them out together, of finding bugs and naming them Hubert (Bella’s grasshopper), and of forming a strong bond uninterrupted by noisy toys that do all the playing for them.

“It’s a beautiful exchange – junk for life. I’m never going back and I’ll spend my life spreading this message. ? “

She then ended her post with the hashtags: “#minimalism #childhoodunplugged”

Hmmm… OK.

We should say that we’re impressed by this mum’s route to an amazingly tidy (and rather stylish) living room. Who wouldn’t LOVE just one room in the house that’s this pristine for longer than a few seconds ?

It’s also very charitable that, according to Scary Mommy, she and her kids donate any toys they decide not to keep.

The downsides

But we definitely don’t think this is realistic for everyone, though it does sound nice in theory.

Some of us here at MFM reckon if we gave this master cleanse a go… our kids would’ve emptied the toy box all over the floor within about 5 minutes. Repeat ad nauseum.

We also know there are SO many great educational and outdoor toys out there – some of which definitely wouldn’t fit in a medium-sized crate – which encourage imaginative play, learning and being active. Which seems to be part of Allie’s goal, right?

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Also what about an only child? Surely they would need a few more toys to ensure they’re getting the play time and stimulation other kids would get from hanging out with their siblings?

And finally, where would we even find the time to go through everything in the house?B

Fair do’s

In fairness, it does seem like Allie knows what it’s like to be manically cleaning up toys every few hours, as she admitted in an interview with ABC News. It’s what sparked her decision to de-clutter.

And judging by the majority of comments on Allie’s post, it seems many mums are feeling waaaay less stressed after following in her toy-free footsteps.

In reaction to the small backlash that says Allie’s just ‘done this for herself’ to and ‘not for her kids’… if she says they’re totally happy and that she includes them in the decision-making of which toys stay and which ones go, then fair enough, right?

So while we’re not rushing to have ONLY one crate, and we’re OK with having more toys than our kids perhaps need… we’re certainly coming round to the idea of a slightly less extreme toy purge and charity shop drop off every once in a while.

What do you think about Allie’s approach to messy toys? Would you want to try this –-or are you happy having toys all over the house?

Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

Images: Instagram/Allie Casazza

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