Am I crazy for wanting no toys in the living room?

  1. The one thing that stands out to me here is you saying that the basement and their rooms are already so full that there’s no other place for more toys to go. Sounds like it’s time for a declutter. If you (like me) need to have some toy-free spaces in the house, the easiest way to achieve this is by reducing the sheer mass of toy.

  2. A lot of people are telling you to involve your kids or not. I think there's a happy medium, because many kids would keep everything if they could and it's up to parents to set boundaries on that, but if they're old enough to remember their toys, to process it sensitively.

  3. I routinely throw out old toys without telling anyone. 90% of the time no one notices anything is gone. If it's a toy that hasn't been played w in 6 months, take it to goodwill.

  4. I rolled my husband I plan to do a really thorough declutter tomorrow because neither kid will be home. He got a bit of a deer in headlights face and asked me to run things by him first. So I suppose I have two separate but related issues that are feeding off each other

  5. OP if you’re going to declutter, please ask the kids what toys they still like or play with. I know some parents like to remove toys when they think no one’s paying attention but I think it’s okay to ask them if they still like so and so toy first before you toss it. Shit might have sentimental value to them too.

  6. Agreed. We declutter their toys with their help once or twice annually. We allow them to keep their toys in the basement and their rooms like you do. We allow duplo blocks and magnet tiles in our family room as we find it’s important to let them have something they’re allowed to keep/play in our main living space.

  7. I’ve found my kids do not want to play alone in their rooms - 7 and 2.5. They want to be near me. That means the living room.

  8. I totally agree with this. We have a playroom in the basement but my kids are still young and afraid to play there by themselves. So they play in the living room and often create a big mess. It all gets put away at the end of the day, takes us 5-10 minutes to clean up, so it’s really not a big deal.

  9. I second this. Young kids especially thrive in independent play when they can see see their parent. It’s how it works. Proximity will increase as the attachment gets more and more secure. It’s natural for them to want to play in the living room. Getting young kids to always take their toys to their bedroom after seems like a losing battle. Also, bedrooms are meant to be for sleeping. You’re not really supposed to have toys in their sleep space.

  10. What a nice perspective. I’m glad I read this today. Mine are also 7 and 2.5 and their shit everywhere is driving me crazy lately lol. I’m always trying to get them to play in their rooms. But you’re right, they don’t want to be by themselves and these years are short.

  11. Yep, it’s the same for us. My daughter has toys in her room, but she doesn’t like being up there by herself. So most of the toys stay in the living room, but we do clean them up before bed every night, so it’s not like they’re covering the floor all the time.

  12. I read posts like this and wonder why in the world people like OP have kids. Kids aren't an object you can keep in a small nice neat space over in the corner. I agree with you.

  13. I guess I’m in the minority here but I liked my kids to play around me - so yes to toys in areas where I want to be. I don’t always want to be in a basement - I prefer the main floor - so happy to have some toys / creative stuff out there.

  14. This is how we are too. We just set up a playroom and it's mostly where toys live and then they are brought to the living room. My kid wants to be around us and I don't want to hang in the playroom.

  15. Ditto. We have mainly drawing stuff and board games in the living room. A few toys. I like my kid to feel the house is their’s as much as mine. And I like filling all the rooms in my house with energy. Growing up, our living room was formal and only used for company. I hated that room. Felt lifeless.

  16. Same here. My husband doesn't like toys in the living room but that's where I like to hang out as a SAHM and I like my toddler where I am

  17. Same. We keep them organized nicely so it doesn’t make our house look like a tacky gift shop. Ugly plastic crap is disguised with pretty baskets, nice wooden toys are tied in to the decor lol

  18. This is us as well. We have a playroom, a playhouse under the stairs, and they all have their own rooms. We also have a trampoline in our spare area and a gymnastics bar with mats in the living room. Toys wind up everywhere no matter how much I declutter.

  19. Same. I have a two year old and half of the living room is set up as her play area. It's the main room in the house, it's the biggest room in the house, and I'd rather not spend all day sitting upstairs in her bedroom lol.

  20. OP has said she has no problem with them playing in the living room, she just does not want the toys left there when they are done playing.

  21. We gave our daughter the smallest bedroom as she didn't need more as a baby and keep her stuff in our living room because that's where we prefer to be if she's playing, until now she's been too young to play alone. For her sixth birthday we're going to move her into a bigger room, currently used as an office, and take the toys up, although I'm sure they'll get brought down again at times.

  22. Yeah, this. My boys are 13 & 15 now, and we *STILL* have toys in the living room. Whats there has changed over the years (obviously), from trains and blocks and duplos and imaginext stuff and nerf guns to... well, now we're down to 'just' a giant bin of legos and blocks underneath the coffee table and nerf guns piled in the corner. They aren't pulled out quite as much as they used to be (it used to be *constant*!!), but, they're there all the same.

  23. I think there’s a good middle ground if there’s extra space for toys. A bulk in the basement and a smaller more manageable amount in the living room. Those gets swapped out depending on what they’re into. They truly don’t spend too much time in the basement unless they have friends over, and we have usually have toys in every room of the house. I wouldn’t dream in a million years to keep my kids from using their things in common spaces.

  24. My opinion, take it or leave it: who cares? In a few years your kids won't be playing with toys and all this will seem so insignificant.

  25. I live in a smaller home, we have toys in every room. my living room is also the family room and playroom. I think it sounds like you need to de clutter. Round up a bunch of toys and throw away or donate. I think what you are describing sounds luxurious and nice though!

  26. The situation you’re wanting is how I grew up. Our toys stayed in our rooms or in the playroom. Whenever a toy did end up in the living room or somewhere else, there was a designated basket my mom would put it in, and then it was our job to go through the basket every so often and put everything back.

  27. I recently set my friend up with this system. She has three young kids and despises toys in the living room (stresses her out). Realistically though, it's the primary space where the kids play and they are NOT in the habit of picking up after themselves. I introduced a basket system while I was babysitting them and they seem to be maintaining that quite well.

  28. My mom was really similar to yours. Now that I have my own kids, I am so happy to have a kid-friendly house. I hope my littles feel loved and excited to play near me… and that they also know that they’re more important than the furniture! 🙃

  29. Your system is actually very similar to what I described, I said in my post that I was fine bringing them out to play with, they just aren't stored in the living room. Basically I want it to be less easy to pull out a hundred different things at once. If they have to pick and choose what they want to bring out what they want it'll hopefully be easier to control the chaos and (ideally) they'll be more judicious abut what they select. I would never want them to feel out of place in their home but I'd also like to not feel out of place here. Currently I find myself sitting at the kitchen table to read or look at stuff on my phone because I feel overwhelmed by the living room, like it's only the kids space, not mine at all

  30. That actually is exactly what I want. If you reread my third paragraph, I said I was fine with the kids bringing things into the living room to play but they don't belong there. As in that's not where they're stored when they're not being played with

  31. Technically I do have toys in the living room but they’re completely hidden in the built in cabinet or the coffee table drawer. But the vast majority are in his room or downstairs in the playroom.

  32. A lot of your homes sound miserable. The kids live there too. They want to play around their parents instead of alone in their rooms.

  33. Not a terrible parent... I have started moving toys out of the living room, but, I keep aer projects, board games, and homework stuff upstairs. Things that we want a dining table for. (my house is kid centric). I also think it depends on how big your living room is, and if there is 1 cabinet that could store some kid stuff, like board games, so they don't have to run all over the house looking for something. At the same time, I was miserable when my living room was taken over by toys. I feel like balance is always the answer.

  34. We have a large playroom, that’s where the toys are kept. If they want to play with them in the living room that’s totally fine, but when they’re done the toys go straight back to the playroom. Our first floor is open concept and as a SAHM, it’s help me mentally when I can keep the dining, kitchen, living room, and entryway relatively neat. I don’t think it’s miserable or unreasonable to ask that certain areas of the home stay a little neater and aren’t 100% kid focused.

  35. You’re not crazy for not wanting them in the living room, but don’t DRIVE yourself crazy over this. You’re kids are very young and the clutter is going to happen. I have this problem as well and I keep a basket under a table and tell the kids to put things in there when its time to clear up. At least then they’re contained and I don’t have to look at them.

  36. Kids 5 and 8. You are allowed to bring any toy into the living room. You then have to put it away in your room after. There is a three warning system and then I pitch the toy if you didn't. We have never needed to pitch a toy.

  37. Exactly this! The living room isn’t where toys “live”, but they’re welcome to bring a toy or two down to play with. It just needs to go back to their room when they’re finished or at the end of the day.

  38. We don't keep toys in our living room and never have. Their toys are in their individual rooms. We're pretty minimalist and they have never had a ton of crap. They can pull stuff out into the living room if they want, but the toy's home is in their rooms.

  39. We don't store toys in the living room. We have two dogs that would chew them up. Even plastic toys like Mega Bloks have been chewed. I don't blame the dogs. If a toy is left on the floor, they can't tell the difference.

  40. I can understand wanting a room without toys, but it sounds like your kids’ stuff is only in the basement downstairs or their rooms upstairs. I think it’s reasonable to have some toys that are stored on the main level too - if not the living room, then another room on the main floor.

  41. Nope! I don’t allow toys in my living room for the most part. We have a family room where a lot of toys live and each kid has some toys that live in their room.

  42. We don't have a separate family room, unless you could call the basement that, which they can't play in during workdays

  43. Are you crazy? No. Will you be successful in your endeavor to keep toys out of the living room? Also no. But if you manage let us know how.

  44. We don’t store any toys in the living room. They have toys in their rooms, which they can bring out to play with and then need to put back in their rooms.

  45. Could you compromise and put a few bins/baskets in the living room? We have a few fabric baskets in the entertainment center which hold dolls, a few small toys, and blocks. I don’t have to look at toys after my daughter is in bed but she has a few toys to keep her occupied.

  46. We stored toys in the living room when my kid was little, BUT…they were hidden inside cabinets. All toys were picked up and thrown back inside when playtime was over. Poof, gone. It was the best of both worlds: convenient access to toys but still attractive & neat. Our cabinets were built-in, but you could look for a sideboard or dresser if that’s not an option in your home.

  47. As a father of 3 boys (3, 6 and 9), I completely understand and feel the same, it is a daily struggle. I don't have a miracle solution though, just setting the rules clearly, and a daily routine to have them tidy up before going to sleep. Lot of patience required, things definitely do not happen overnight.

  48. We said only Lego. We have a lot of Lego. Now they are teenagers they don’t care and sulk in their bedrooms.

  49. I don't see any problem with you not storing toys in the living room. It does sound like there are too many overall though.

  50. Declutter and see if that fixes your problem. But to answer specifically: no you’re not crazy. Will you get your way? Probably not, I have two aged 7 and 3 and I don’t want toys in the living room either but I accept it. We try to make room for some of their things in our shared family space.

  51. There’s no right or wrong side in this disagreement; it’s just a difference of opinion. One thing that helps my husband and I to resolve things like this is each rating how much we care about the issue from 1-10. If one person cares a lot and the other not so much, we can usually agree to go with what the person with the more passionate opinion wants. But if you both have really strong feelings on the matter you’ll have to find some kind of compromise.

  52. Sounds like a decluttering issue. But to answer your question, no you're not crazy for not wanting to house toys in the living room.

  53. Oh man! I remember when I tried to enforce that rule for my now three year old! It backfired because I made him keep his toys in his room so at bedtime he wanted to keep playing.

  54. I used to take the toys my kid wasn’t playing with anymore and put them in a toy chest. At 6 months, everything in the toy chest would go to goodwill and I would refill it again. He was allowed to take things out, but I never told him I was getting rid of stuff.

  55. Just my personal opinion, but yes you are crazy. My kids can have their toys wherever they want in the house as long as it all stays relatively tidy. This is their home and they should be able to just live and play where they want.

  56. I am a minimalist, so I don't have toys in any room but the play room, and there aren't a ton there, to be honest. So to me, you don't sound crazy for wanting a clean space :).

  57. Team husband here. Frankly, if they don't get a dedicated play room, you shouldn't get a dedicated living room. If they have to share the basement, it's only fair

  58. Its their home too. Its like you having a book in the living room. It might not look aesthetically pleasing but let them have their play things.

  59. Growing up we could only have a toy in the living room if it was currently being played with. I’m sticking with that. Toys overrun the house.

  60. Omg the sheer volume of toys in your home makes my konmari adhering self twitch. No coffee table?? I WISH my home was as large as yours so I could have a toy free zone. He says it’s a family home but aren’t you in the family? I think you’re being extremely reasonable & y’all definitely need to assess what sparks joy in your home.

  61. Do the kids play by themselves all the time then? I like to watch my kid play. Not in a I need to supervise them way but I want to see their creativity and be in their presence and join! When my kid plays in his room, I let him be because everyone needs alone time but if that’s the only place his toys are, then it’s always independent play.

  62. I'm with your husband. It's called the living room, for living in, not the pristine sitting and drinking tea with your pinkie out room.

  63. They're only kids once, Mom. There will be decades of a clean front room ahead of you before you can blink your eyes. It goes by fast. Enjoy the magic of children while you have It.

  64. Do you use your phone in the living room? If so then why should you have a toy in there and not them? It's a living room, not a show room. Have a toybox in the living room and make them pick up all the toys at the end of the day and

  65. I'm fine with them using toys in the living room, I just don't want them to be stored there. Also not exactly an apples for apples comparison, based on the volume of the two categories and how much one person's use of an item affects the people around them

  66. Your husband cares about the emotional state and development of your kids and wants them to have fun. What is your motivation?

  67. Of course I care about the emotional well-being and development and want them to have fun! But I also worry about my own mental health. There's always so much stuff everywhere I feel like I can't breathe. I get irritated so much more easily and I get overwhelmed with where to begin with household tasks that I feel scattered in multiple directions and have trouble prioritising what's most important. Do these things sound like I'm able to be the best mother to them?

  68. We don’t allow toys to live outside their bedroom. My husband and I keep our personal items in our room as well, not in the family space.

  69. Same way at my house. My daughter is seven. She has a bedroom and a playroom. There’s no need for toys y’al over the rest of the house.

  70. But not everybody has a play room, these kids don't, and their bedrooms have no space. We have tiny bedrooms and no play room or anything, toys have to go in the living room.

  71. Seems like a rule that will cause needless stress. There are few toys in the kitchen and in my en-suite but anywhere I expect the kid to be has some toys around. I think you have to give up on having an maturely-decorated house until they're a lot older

  72. We have a playroom for their toys. The only toys I kept in the family room were newborn toys because I was always in this room with the baby. Toys were all over the house during the day, but all non-newborn toys were stored in the playroom.

  73. I don’t think you’re crazy as I shared this quirk or preference when my kids where young . It depends on how large your house is , if their bedrooms aren’t tiny and they have the basement . The clutter gives me anxiety..I can’t stand having more than just a few things on the coffee table 😂 My suggestion for a compromise is buy an attractive storage container that fits into your decor…I bought a sea grass covered trunk that looked great Below a huge wall mirror and that’s where the “living room toys” and I made her pick them up and put them back in everyday.

  74. I'd also say--we don't keep toys in the living room, but that doesn't mean that it's not a shared space and their living room too. It's their couch, their coffee table, their floor space. They can use all those things, just like we can. Just because the toys don't go in there doesn't mean it's not their space too.

  75. Not crazy at all. As soon as my daughter could play unsupervised we began storing most of her toys in her room. We do keep puzzles, games, and books out on the bookshelf and in the entertainment center, neatly - the things we use TOGETHER. Everything else is stored in her bedroom. She can pull things out to the living room play to and then put them away, if we're playing together. If she's playing solo there is no point in relocating the stuff.

  76. My living room has board games and books. Sometimes the kids will bring a toy or two to play in there, but they aren't left in there. It makes the living room a way calmer space (we don't have a tv in there either). This is new this year, now that my kids are 3 and 7- before this, we had living room toys too, but I did try to keep it limited and rotate them.

  77. We use a bin system to store my daughters toys in her room, but she has one or two empty bins that she can fill in her room, bring out, and then fill the bin and take it back to her room. It's a family home cause the kids can play wherever, doesn't mean there needs to be toy clutter in every single room. I've also found giving everything a designated place makes it easier for my kiddo when we clean because everything "has a home" and isn't just spilled about willy nilly.

  78. Get some tupperwares and put toys into storage in the attic. Rotate them out when you can. Sit your husband down and have him watch Marie Kondo on Netflix for a bit!

  79. Most of our kids toys are in their room only. In our living room we have a kid bookshelf with books and board games. We also have craft/art supplies in the dining room. But I also don’t want toys spread all over the house. I think the spaces you already have is totally sufficient.

  80. So, we HAD toys in every room, but it was just too much... stuff... everywhere. So pretty much all the toys are distributed between their bedrooms, with only a single larger item in each communal room. E.g. the Lego are in the upstairs living room, the Barbie house is in the basement, the play kitchen is on the porch, etc. Their bedrooms have dedicated space for toys, and if they begin to acquire too much stuff to fit in their rooms, they have to purge some items. I ALWAYS involve them in the purging process because I don't know what they're attached to, and they understand that if they don't provide input, I'll just do it myself later.

  81. We live in an 800 sq foot apartment. There are no toys in the living room after kid goes to bed, with the exception of a small ikea cart where anything left out gets corralled into. But yeah, as part of bedtime, it all goes back to her room. Playing with it in the living room is fine, but when we’re done it all goes back to where it “lives.”

  82. Not crazy! My living room is a toy-free zone! They can use toys sometimes but must return it to their room by the end of the day. We do have a small bin of toys for our five month old but other that, no toys!

  83. Not crazy! Especially if you allow them to keep things out in some places. Sometimes my kid is in the middle of something, so I have a bin she can keep things she's working on and doesn't put away that slides under her bed.

  84. We have a playroom where most toys are, but in our TV console we do keep a few things behind a cabinet door: a bin of books, a bin of puzzles (both for my toddler) , and a bin of sensory/baby toys for my 9m old. Just an idea but works well here to keep the space “nice” but let them live in it too :)

  85. My son is allowed to play in the living room during the day but before bed he has to clean up and anything that was brought out has to be put back in his room.

  86. with The four year old it might be trickier, but I’d get the 7 year old involved in purging stuff. I started when mine was around 6 and said it was time to make space for new toys, that there were kids with no toys who could use the ones he didn’t play with etc etc, and asked him to seperate stuff he didn’t care about. This avoids meltdowns where something disappears because you’ve underestimated how much they care about it, but equally i think it’s a good skill for them to start learning. The first time my son did it with me he barely wanted to get rid of anything, the next few times he relaxed as he knew I wasn’t going to make him throw his most precious things so he could afford to be less protective of his stuff.

  87. I did try to get them involved in purging last Christmas, my son I think offered like a toy bowl or something so small. Nothing that actually would have been beneficial to be rid of

  88. Kids toys belong in their toy rooms. If your home is big enough that they have a toy room(s) that's where the toys should be. Would it be OK if dishes were left in the living room?

  89. Nope! Time to purge. Holidays are coming, right? Fill a box each to donate so there’s room for more toys. Your husband can choose 1 small toy per kid to save in a memory box that he has to store in his office. Otherwise, if they haven’t played with it in 6 months, convince the kids to donate it.

  90. Sammmme. I can't wait for my youngest to start school because of the constant need to pick up toys after the baby. I totally agree with you and don't find it crazy, especially for kids in preschool and gradeschool age. It's just setting them up for organization skills and responsibility.

  91. We have a small house. When they were toddlers we kept some toys in the living room. But now that they are older (almost 6 and 11), all toys are stored in their room. They are allowed to play with toys in the living room but must be cleaned up when they are done. I like having a clean space.

  92. Yeah… no. It’s a little difficult for us at the moment because we have an 8 month old, so his stuff is in the living room but my older sons toys live in his room. Our rule is you can make the biggest mess you want, drag out all the toys I don’t care BUT they will be picked up at night and put away. We usually do dinner, bath, clean up, quiet time and then bed.

  93. I'm the same - toys belong in bedrooms and playroom. Kids can bring stuff into the living room, but after playing with it, it goes back to its place. I don't leave my clothes and work all over the house, and my kids don't get to leave their stuff everywhere. One other really important thing - I highly recommend culling through old toys and making the donate/keep decisions WITH your kids. If you throw out the wrong thing, it can make them feel like you violated their trust. But you're also teaching them this skill so they can learn to do it on their own.

  94. We don’t have “toys” per se in the living room, but have a chest that we use as a coffee table and store puzzles and board games in it. That way when they want to be around me there is something for them, but it’s easy to clean up and put out of sight. Then the top of the chest is the perfect playing surface.

  95. We have our living room divided into a "play area" and a sitting area. It works for us. You do you. None of it is relevant to parenting quality.

  96. I don’t personally mind at all if there are kids’ stuff and toys in the living room- some of the best moments have been doing stuff together around the coffee table, kids building their things or coloring/drawing, playing games together with them, legos together with them- usually watching some fun movie at the same time or listening to music etc. At some point it starts to move away from the ”group” stuff anyway and the now preteens are sometimes both in their rooms with their friends and I’m thinking where is everyone… bring back the clutter, bring back the kids.. luckily they still sometimes gather around but if not I’ll do a Lego myself.. 🫣

  97. Do you mean you just don’t want them stored in the living room, or you don’t want them being played with in the living room too?

  98. My son is 4 and I was so tired of stepping on toys and picking them up constantly in our living. I bought a toy box that matches the decor in the room and only put his big toys it in. Everything else went to his room. He loves cleaning up now and it takes about 30 seconds rather than 5-10min. I felt bad not wanting them in a room we all spend so much time in, but he doesn't seem to care one bit that most of them are gone and was excited for his own box of toys. You can't even tell it's a toy box, it blends right in. Win for both of us.

  99. Our compromise is that there can be toys pretty much anywhere during the day, but he picks them up and puts them away as part of his pre-bedtime routine. I agree with declutter, but disagree with doing it secretively. We always have our 3, almost 4, year old's help. We talk about what toys we're going to give to other kids who don't have any toys to play with, what toys need to be thrown away because they don't work correctly anymore, and what toys he just absolutely must keep. He has never gotten upset about giving his toys that are less important to kids who have no toys to play with. My nieces reacted similarly and they are 4 and 8.

  100. I have a very cute woven basket in our living room with toys, I keep it under a side table. When we do happen to be in the living room kids pull it out, but after toys are just tossed back in. I also rotate toys every so often so they don't get bored. Outside of that, toys in room, outside, or basement.

  101. I used to rotate my kids toys (only because we had a huge empty basement and therefore a lot of extra space). I bought some of those clear bins and put away the toys that were not regularly used. Every few months I would bring out some new ones and pack away some old ones. Toys that were definitely a “no” would get donated after a few rotations.

  102. My twins are three and I recently just turned a room into a toy room for them and got all the toys out of the living room and I'm so much happier. The toys come into the living room every day because unless I'm in the toy room with them they don't spend much time in there but the toys all go back into the toy room and out of sight at the end of the day. This is way more relaxing than it was before with a completely cluttered living space

  103. I have a big soft basket in living room for toys. It is in a corner and toys are picked up routinely . My hubby is like you in that he likes no toys around ( we call him the burgermeister ;). As long as they aren’t all over I like a more kid friendly house .

  104. I cant stand having toys everywhere in the family room. Even when Im watching tv or reading book, seeing a couple toys on the coffee table in the corner of my eye will distract me. I have a problem lol I always feel so guilty when I go to someone elses house and their whole home is a playroom..

  105. That’s a tough one because my kid is a lot younger. Right now we have no coffee table and the living room is her domain. Most of her toys and her extra large playpen are smack dab in the middle of the living room and I’m constantly reorganizing the toys between play sessions. As she gets older, I’m not sure what will happen. But if she wanted to keep playing in the living room, I think I’d be fine with it. Coffee tables are pretty stupid anyway when you think about it, if you already have end tables. The coffee table just ends up being decorative.

  106. All toys have to be back in rooms by bed time in our house. We live in a mobile home for 7 yrs, 4 yrs with kids. Our room was on 1 side, 80 feet away was the kids rooms My rule is I will not trip over toys to save your life at 2am. A trailer will burn QUICKLY. Our house now is 85 yrs old. It will also burn very HOT!

  107. Nope you’re right. If that’s his main argument then get rid of some toys in the basement so new ones can fit.

  108. Your home and life doesn't always have to be so kid- centered. My kids aren't allowed to keep toys in the living room. They do end up dragging toys in there, so I keep a wooden basket in there for them to put their toys away and I tell them to take the basket to the play area and dump the toys there. You need your own space, a place where you can feel less powerless. If hubby wants them to have an area to play with toys, it's time to commit to cleaning up and decluttering those areas. I clean and organize my kids play area every weekend. But kids need to be outside too. Being inside too much can cause vision problems. Our eyes need wide spaces and the sunlight.

  109. We don’t store toys in our living room. Toys definitely get played with in the living room but they go back to the kids’ rooms at the end of the day.

  110. Ages and ages ago, I was babysitting my friends kids, along with my own two children; when the dad came to fetch them, the daughter (about 5yrs) burst into tears. I was really surprised because the child had always been happy in my care. I turned to the father and he said "she doesn't want to go home because they're only allowed toys in their bedrooms, not downstairs." I was horrified. Never understood people having kids but not wanting kids stuff around. If your kids have to leave the communal area to access toys, how are you interacting with them when they play? Even if you're not actively playing with them, if they're in the same room, they're still spending time with you. You can be chatting about your day or whatever they're playing.

  111. Take a bunch put them in a bin and put them in the shed or the basement out of the way for 6 months see if they are missed.

  112. We have a playroom in my house and when we first moved in I was very adamant about toys staying in the playroom and no where else, not even in bedrooms. That didn’t last long at all lol. We do pick up the toys so they aren’t constantly in the living room but it’s been pretty impossible to keep the toys only in the living room. I also haven’t had a coffee table in ages. Maybe once my kids are older and no longer playing with toys I’ll get one. But it just doesn’t work in my house. My kids are very physical and rambunctious and like to play where a coffee table would be. That is when they aren’t using the playroom.

  113. You just need less toys. Take the ones they don’t play with away a few at a time and hide them. If they don’t ask for them in the next month, donate / sell them.

  114. My mind just cannot comprehend wanting a toy-free room. I would 10000% rather have toys in the living room than tell my kids to play on a switch or watch TV. I'm not anti-screen-time by any means, and my kids do plenty. But I would never contemplate making it their only play option. You have kids. Your home will be kid-centric. Play is a huge part of growing up for kids, and they need every outlet they can get. Even my parent friends who keep a much nicer place than I do (like, they have had their place used for T.V. shoots in the neighborhood it's so well put-together) allow toys in every room. They have specific places for some toys, and keep things put away when not in use. They put play gates around certain areas of the living room specific for specific toys. etc. Things can be kept neat even with toys around.

  115. Not terrible but maybe be a bit more lenient about that. You should see all the toys my boys have lol. They love toys. He even has toys on his bed (those are his favorite ones). They take toys where they want whenever they want, I just require them to clean up when they’re done playing. This will only last a few years. One day they’ll grow out of it completely and you’ll wish there was still toys around. Enjoy their age.

  116. My kids are 4 and almost 7. I took toys out of the living room last summer. They have toys in their rooms and basement. They’re also allowed to bring toys to the living room, they just have to put them away at the end of the day. It has worked well for us, I’m on your side here!

  117. I don't think you're crazy..but I also live in a small home and having their toys everywhere means I can't have anywhere for my own things. We declutter twice a year, they can bring toys to the living room but I chuck them in a bin at the end of the night and back to their room they go and they put them away.

  118. If they have so many toys that 2 rooms already full isn't enough and there's overflow into the living room, I'd suggest a toy purge. If you're happy for them to play in the living room but tidy them away to their own rooms afterwards, that's a good compromise. My living room has loads of toys and it clutters the physical space and my mental space. Unfortunately my son only has a small bedroom and there is minimal room for them in there so I'm stuck with it til he's older. I think it's reasonable to want your main living space fairly toy free when the kids aren't actively playing there

  119. I have a few toys in the family room, where we spend 99 % of our time. The basement has the majority of toys but most of the time the kids are in the family room. They get one small bookshelf with toys and books and a basket for random stuff. Everything else is in the basement. I get the living room- the rule there is no toys!

  120. I just moved into my first big apartment and I go nuts if ny kid leaves toys anywhere but her room. She's 4 now and just started school. Nobody wants to step or look at tacky kids yoys

  121. I think your children should have some toys allowed in most areas so that they are comfortable wherever they go. Children like to move around, especially if you or dad resides in the living room.

  122. I don't like toys in the living room either! I allow it sometimes but I'm always on edge and have them put back in a timely manner. Maybe you could have a one toy rule.

  123. You’re not crazy or a bad parent and totally have the right to wanting a tidy space. However, when you have kids they have toys and their kid things that are going to be there as a fact of life. To you the house seems kid centric, but for them I’m sure it seems very adult centric and as equal members of the family I think it’s fair to meet them in the middle.

  124. Oooo a lot of this is resonating. I also have a 7 and 4 yo. 4 just had a birthday. Christmas is coming up. Toys in their room, in the dining room, and the basement (which is where I work). And we will find toys in the living room, in my room, etc. 7 is much more receptive to helping to clean, but gets mad because she has to clean 4’s messes. We’re working through that, because we explain that we clean 7’s and 4’s messes because we all live here - and so little messes don’t become big messes. But over the summer, before 7’s birthday, we did a purge with their help. “We need room for things you’ll be getting for your birthday!” We had 4 of those plastic toy bin things, and we said we were only keeping two. So if toys did not fit in those bins, they needed to go to the next kid. We pared the toys down to fit in those bins (except for big ticket items, like the dollhouse and the little grocery store) and we took the rest to the Free Store. It felt great! But we’ll need to do it again soon because here is Christmas!

  125. I think it's a fair rule. That's what my mom did when I was growing up. All my toys were in the playroom (converted garage) or my bedroom. The only toys in the living room were family board games that everyone could enjoy

  126. It seems like from your comments the main issue is you don’t want to see the toys when they’re stored in the living room? Can’t you compromise and have something to store a couple “family friendly” (meaning things your kids can play with you, maybe magnet tiles, blocks, etc) toys they can have specifically for the living room? Kids want to play where their family is just generally speaking. And that would give the little one something to do while he’s not allowed downstairs. Just make sure “everything has a place and everything in its place” like get a coffee table with storage. Or an ottoman with storage. Or a couple nice looking bins on a bookshelf. I find if everything in my house has a specific place to go it takes stress out of my brain

  127. The toys I keep in the living room are wooden building blocks and keva planks, both in tasteful baskets. I also have four general use bins for random toys that are under bookshelves and mostly out of sight. My kids are getting too old for a lot of that and I'll probably clear some of it out soon.

  128. I mean i get it but how long are your kids going to play with toys 🤷🏾‍♀️ Its exponentially easier to watch my toddler as a solo mom with his stuff in the living room since its open concept and babyproofed i just put two small storage cubbies from target where i put them at the end of the day lol they probably don’t want to be sqaured off in their rooms all day also allows him more independent play because im not stuck hovering and i can keep a eye on him while i get stuff done

  129. A few compromises may help you out. Two that have worked great for me are decluttering and non kid-centric storage options.

  130. Is my gf crazy for not wanting the kids to jump/play in our bed? Hes 2yo. We live in a 2 room appartment.

  131. I have decorative baskets in the living room to toss stuff in when I need the room clean. These years go by fast and I like that they want to play near us. Pretty soon we won’t be cool enough. But every night they have to clear up the toys before bed.

  132. It’s weird to say “Am I crazy?” “am I a terrible parent for not wanting a kid centric home?” That’s kinda a weird question. All you seem to want to hear is “no you’re not a terrible parent”. Instead, I invite you to look at things as a spectrum. Terrible parent is extreme. Kid centric is extreme. How about asking “do you think my husband has a point?” And my answer to that is “yes”. I have an Ikea bookcase shelf in the corner of the living room (on its side) so it’s little cubby holes to store board games or bins of toys. The surface can be used to display books and add a table lamp etc.. a cute kids carpet next to it.

  133. We have a “toy bench”. All toys must be stored inside. I’m not even a neat freak but I like having an adult space to relax.

  134. Your children are old enough to choose some discarded toys to donate. Them getting into the donating spirit young would be a great teach. I see that they can play in the living room and actually the rule seems to be,”put away your toys when you’re done.” What’s wrong with that? They have a basement and bedrooms. They don’t need toys in every room of the house. Again, fostering the notion of picking up after yourself is also a great habit and should start early. If they can drag it down there, they can put it back.

  135. I really don’t think there is a right or wrong answer but I personally would allow toys in the living area. It’s a family home and since I like to spend time in the living area and I like my kids being around, it makes sense that there would be toys in that space.

  136. So you need to declutter first. Throw out broken ones, give away ones too young and have kids select toys to give to charity. Or pack up a ton and do a rotation. Kids get tired of the same toys, but if you remove them for months they’ll like them again.

  137. There are no toys on my first floor. Kids aren’t fussed about it at all. They sometimes bring some down to play some imaginary game under my table, but they go back up after.

  138. just need to find a compromise, being, it’s a month before Christmas is probably the best time for the children to sort through their toys and get rid of what they don’t want, may be donating them to children who can’t afford toys…. Thinning it out will make more room in the rooms to play. May be a working n playing schedule in the basement might help also.

  139. I'm on team no toy living room. Its one thing if they bring toys out to play in the living room, but they should go back. Adults need adult spaces the same way that kids need kid spaces.

  140. My kids are 4 and 6, they share a bedroom and have a play room with all the toys. Part of our bedtime routine is picking up any toys that are in the living room and kitchen/dining room. Most of the toys get tossed into the play room, their daily favorites are kept in their bedroom with them. Cleaning the toy room is a chore we do together every other weekend or as it’s needed. About twice a year I will sort through toys and pick out things that don’t get played with, box them up and they go in the garage for a few months. If the toys are missed I can grab them out of the box otherwise they get donated.

  141. I mean I get the frustration of the clutter taking over but the children live there too right ? Yes u r raising them and guiding them but they are also people who want to do things and have their things places - like at 7 I used to bring certain toys everywhere- so I think it’s partly time to think about why you need it spotless in this space

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