I do have a confession to make. I love American Girl dolls and all of the clothes and furniture that go with it. They are a pretty hot item in all of the Spendwise Moms households these days. I can find quality, gently used items for 1/4 to 1/10 of the original price. And, I enjoy buying and rotating the things I have. Mind you, things could get out of hand with all of the little pieces, shoes, clothes, etc. So, what do I do to keep it under control?
First, I try to use a one in, one out rule. If I do buy something new, something else has to go. I decide on how many outfits are acceptable in my home (up to 10) and how many shoes, etc. and keep in the limits I have established. Otherwise, dolls and toys can take over the playroom and the house. I have a car, and a few other things of furniture. 2-4 items are plenty for me. I need to balance having toys that both girls and boys can enjoy. I let go of most of the toys I have except for Playmobil, Legos, and American Girl doll things. I have a Tonka truck and a few puzzles as well.
When my kids were younger, we would give away some toys each year before Christmas. I wanted my kids to give to others before receiving themselves. Besides culling what we had, they could learn the joy of sharing to those less fortunate.
Whether you have a cat collection, or tea sets or nativities or whatever suits your fancy, it is wise to take a good look at what you have already and how much you really need before buying more.
Sometimes people get caught up in the Good Deal Dilemma.. I wrote an article several years ago that talked about this. I have a friend that shops all the time. She doesn't really need anything. She just wants to get good deals. Honestly, how many people need a full cartload of Valentine's day stuff, bought at 90 percent off? Yes, the price is right, BUT as my husband always says, "It is a better deal NOT to buy it at all." You save MORE money by not spending anything. People go crazy when it comes to sales. In their minds, it is all about the deal, not about whether they need it or will use it. It is great to buy things at a good price, especially if it is something you really need, but how many boxes of Valentine's hearts do you really need even if they cost 5 cents each? Can you imagine the clutter you add to your home by purchasing so much?
So, if you have kids, figure out a good amount of toys and when one comes in, one goes out. If you have a collection, figure out how many would be a good number to keep and if you buy more than that, get rid of something you have.