Do you have to spend at least half an hour a day to pick up all the kids’ toys in your home? And does the toy storage overflow with things they just throw on the floor but don’t play with? Maybe it’s time to start decluttering the toy area.
I am a huge fan of having a few meaningful and fun toys instead of having a ton of toys. That said, I need to be on top of things all the time, because before you know it the house is full of toys again. I don’t mind having my living room floor filled with fun toys, as long as my son plays with them.
I love to declutter his toys every now and then and I always follow these three steps.
Maybe the most important step of them all is ‘observe’. I love watching my son play with his toys so I don’t mind doing this. I just watch him play and play with him. During this time I pay close attention to the things he actually uses. We have a big container filled with wooden blocks, he loves to take the container out of his cupboard, empty it and walk around with the empty container. He seriously plays with the blocks itself only once a week, maybe. This tells me he doesn’t really play with them and so I put those on the ‘maybe-toss-list’.
I found out that our son just loves to take out all his toys and then go for that one particular toy every single time. He has preferences for a few of his toys and ends up with those all the time. So why would I keep all the other toys if he doesn’t even play with it?
So what you do is just pay close attention and make a list of the toys they do not use. This makes it easier and can give you an overview of how many toys your child doesn’t play with.
As soon as you have made a list of things that might be tossed, you can go to the next step!
So, I have found 5 toys my son doesn’t play with. Now what? Well, what I do is just store the toys in a seperate cupboard and do nothing for a week or two. If he just plays happily with the things he has still left, I know he doesn’t really miss the ones I took out.
When my son does get bored with the toys he has left, I pick something from the cupboard and give it back to him. But to be honest, that rarely happens.
This is probably the hardest part. There are just some things I don’t want to part with (which is why the wooden blocks are still here..) But, we have a small toy storage area and I don’t want him to have access to more toys than what fits into the cupboard. I explained why in my blogpost about ‘why your child need less toys’.
The toys I can’t part with will end up back with his toys, or stay in the seperate cupboard. I like to rotate toys, so it’s fun to have some toys at hand.
The toys that were not missed at all (and that I don’t really like, *those annoying sound making toys for example..*) will be donated to charity or taken to the thrift store. Some things can even be sold!
Some additional notes
- When your child is old enough to understand, you can do this process together. Talk to them and ask them to get rid of one toy. Don’t go overboard and do this one toy at a time. You cannot expect a 6 year old to throw away half his toy collection in a day. It’ll take time, but that’s okay. It’s about making them aware of the fact that they do not play with the toy and maybe another kid will love it. Make this a fun process for them.
When one toy worked out just fine you can ask them to get rid of two toys a couple of weeks later (maybe two weeks?) Just do it in stages when you involve them in the declutter.
- There will always be new toys coming in, so this is a never ending process until the kids leave the house. For birthdays and Christmas I try to be really precise in what I do and don’t want him to receive.
- Don’t be afraid to tell people you don’t want particular items. I have been telling family and friends that I do not want toys for my son’s birthday. I only want two expensive toys and they can all donate to that particular item.
- And when you have received some toys your child doesn’t play with, don’t be afraid to donate those or some other old toys. Your child can only play with so many toys. Just keep in mind that the more toys, the less they play with because they just get too overwhelmed.
What is your ideal amount of toys? Do you ever declutter the toy area? Let me know in the comments! I just love to hear from people and how they organise their life!