That time I threw away all their toys

This week I was the mean mom. The super mean mom.

I’ll be the first to admit I’ve spoiled my kiddos a bit. I blame the working mother guilt (it’s real & it’s relentless). I always figured my kids should benefit as much as possible from me being away at the office while they’re practically raised by their nanny. The end result: toys, toys, toys, toys, toys. Everywhere. And anything I won’t buy them, grandma will.

My boys’ room is nothing more than bunk beds surrounded by storage bins and boxes and toy chests ready to burst at the seams. But do all these toys bring joy? No – all they do is turn our weekends into 2-day long fights over who has what and arguments about cleaning their room, complete with the kids throwing themselves on the ground in protest, shrieking empty promises that they’ll clean this afternoon, tomorrow, after a snack….

And I’ve had it! I’ve cleaned and reorganized that room and those toys more times than I can even count. And it makes me crazy. It even makes me yell! I’m sick and tired of having the “clean up your toys” song and dance dominate what should be fun weekends together (we should all be wearing matching outfits & making the crafts I’ve pinned on Pinterest!)

So I warned the kids all week that anything they didn’t pick up would be tossed away. They had all week! I even went into their room and set a timer. I let them know that anything they truly cared about and wanted to keep needed to be picked up.

They called my bluff.

So I threw away their toys. Five 13 gallon trash bags full. (Well, their “nice” father did salvage them from the garbage and hid them under the house in case I have a change of heart someday or they actually can’t sleep without their pillow pets and night vision goggles – but they don’t know that.)

At first they cried, of course. At first I did feel a little bad. But they didn’t protest as much as I expected.  And do you know what happened the next day? They played together. With their Legos. They had FUN with their remaining toys rather than just throwing them around the room and fighting over them. They painted. They had a great day. And they didn’t complain once (or actually even seem to notice) the missing toys.

Less really is more!

Now I wonder what I can throw out to make my hubby’s life easier …



Domestic Momster




15 thoughts on “That time I threw away all their toys

    • Claire Louise says:

      Sticking to my guns is something I’m really trying to do. I’ve made the mistake of empty threats before and it has sadly led to them not taking me seriously at times. :/
      They’re lucky their dad didn’t actually let me throw everything away! 🙂

  1. DomesticatedMomster says:

    I love this! If you want to save money on Christmas then stash the toys until then and wrap and give them to them as Christmas gifts. That’s what I plan to do. It’s a win/win for us parents. :)) Thanks for linking up with #momsterslink

  2. Elena says:

    I used to clean out their toys when they were at school and take it to donate. If they ever asked about something in particular, I would say “it must be in your room, you’re not looking well enough”. Considering their rooms were a disaster zone, they never caught on.

  3. amherbert says:

    Ha ha something I would do. I once threw all the candy bars in the trash as the boys were fighting over them.

    I had planned on retrieving them once they were asleep.

    That was scuppered by garbage men emptying the trash before I had a chance to.

    I don’t know who was more upset the boys or Herself.

  4. Emma says:

    Wow. I’m really impressed that worked. My mother always used to threaten to do this. Apparently her mother had once binned clothing and toys that had been left out by her and the rest of her siblings. According to my mum, it worked and they never left anything out again. Maybe you could slowly give the toys back to them on a reward system of some kind if they keep their room tidy and play nicely?

  5. mudpiefridays says:

    I can completely relate to the working mum guilt! Its great you did that though and something that I should probably consider – our house is full to the brim and we only have 1 and he’s not even 3 yet. Thank you for sharing 🙂 #momsterslink

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