Rules for decluttering toys to help you purge and downsize toy clutter
For some reason, parents are just as attached to their children’s toys as the actual child is, maybe even more so. Parents worry about how the purging of the toy clutter will affect their kids and so, they live with massive amounts of junk and clutter. If you are *over it*, but not really sure what to do, this list of rules for decluttering toys is for you Mama!
I have never been a huge fan of a lot of toys. Matter of fact, I have gotten to the point where I am telling my kiddo no more toys except for Christmas and birthdays. He has gotten use to the decluttering and purging of his toys and we keep the remaining fairly organized so he can play easier.
It really is a win win situation. The key is to not become attached to toys because of things like sunk cost or memories.
Why your kids need to downsize their toy clutter
I have seen it far too many times. Kids have a lot of toys and then suddenly, they are bored or unimpressed by what they have, but yet crave more and more toys. This lack of content with their own toys is a definitely sign that your kiddo has too many toys.
Toy clutter is overwhelming though, right? Even for us as adults. When you walk into your child’s play space, if you are overwhelmed by the toy clutter, then chances are that they are too. They may have to dump everything out to find that one thing they want to play with and then they have to clean it up. (oh the horror, I know, but to a child, it is a huge task).
We want our kids to be creative and to have space for their imaginations to run wild, but more toys is not the answer! Less toys will force them to rely on their imaginations to create the world that they want to create. Why should we rob our children of that?
I get it, I need to declutter, but why do I need rules for decluttering toys?
Well, here’s the thing. Decluttering and purging toys can be difficult for kids especially if they have never experienced it before. Having certain, pre ordained rules for decluttering toys is like having boundaries. And we all could use more of those I am sure.
Sit down and have a chat with your little ones about how you are going to be getting rid of some of their stuff. You can tell them that you are giving it to someone less fortunate or you are making room for more play space. Whatever it is, just let them know first.
If they are too young to understand, then you are golden!
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- Meaningful, non toy gifts for kids for a clutter free Christmas
Getting rid of children’s toys: what toys to keep
Deciding what to toss and what toys to keep can be as simple as these 3 questions. 1- Is the toy broken? 2- Is the toy missing some of its pieces? 3- Has your child played with the toy in the past month.
Now, if a toy is missing a non-vital piece, then it is probably okay to keep as long as the other two requirements have been met. Broken toys just really don’t have a place in the home UNLESS (and this is a big unless) the broken toy is easily fixable AND it is a favorite with your kiddo. This has happened to us more than a few times.
I don’t know about your kid, but my little one goes through spurts of playing with toys and then times of not playing with the same toys. Usually, he comes back to them every couple weeks. That is part of why I say if your kid doesn’t play with a toy for one month, then it is probably okay to get rid of those toys.
Getting rid of children’s toys: How to purge children’s toys
Here’s the hard truth, even if you prep your kids for decluttering toys, you will probably still meet resistance. I have two tips that will help you with the question of how purge children’s toys: do the first run through while the kiddos are gone and get them in the habit of missing toys with toy rotation.
I know, I know, getting rid of children’s toys while they are not present seems a little wrong, but hear me out. If a toy is missing pieces, broken, or clearly not even close to age appropriate, get rid of it when they are gone. When they are present, go through the other toys that they may like, but are willing to part with.
Toy rotation has helped me a lot when it comes to knowing what toys to keep. Little mister is use to toy rotation, but if he asks for a certain toy while it is stored away, then I know that it is probably not the best time to purge it just yet. If he doesn’t ask about it, I keep it put away for a bit longer, and end up getting rid of it. If you are timid about getting rid of children’s toys, then this might be the way to go for you.
Getting rid of children’s toys: Frequency of decluttering toys
Decluttering toys is really something that you will need to do every couple of months up to every 6 months depending on how much toy clutter your kids bring into the home. If you need milestones in order to remember to get rid of the toy clutter, then set it in your mind to purge the toys before every birthday and Christmas holiday. Put it on your calendar if you need to!
Quite frankly, what I tend to do is whenever I am feeling anxious or overly stressed about the mess, I know it is time to downsize and organize the toys. I try to get rid of little bits of crap that come into the house pretty regularly (think birthday bags and happy meal toys), but the bigger decluttering sessions I do occasionally.
Make decluttering toys work for your schedule and your life. That way you know that you will be more likely to do it.
Let’s summarize the rules for decluttering toys
- Ask yourself the 3 questions (is it broken, are pieces missing, do they play with it)
- Get rid of broken toys and age inappropriate toys while the kiddos are gone
- Purge the rest of the toys with your kids
- Toy rotation if necessary- and purge after a few weeks
- Declutter toys every 1-6 months…no more than every 6 months
- Feel the difference in how your kids play and the general feeling of your home…enjoy the lack of toy clutter!
So, what is holding you back? Do you have an attachment to the toys or do your kids? Really ask the tough questions to uncover this truth and then just jump in!