Family, Kids, Minimalism

Declutter 101 – The kids’ toys

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.

Declutter 101 kids' toys

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.

 

Observe

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!

 

Try

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.

 

Donate

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!


If you want to be clutter free with kids, I highly recommend this book! Joshua Becker is a great example and he has written some great books. This is one of them!

 

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!

 

10 thoughts on “Declutter 101 – The kids’ toys

  1. I agree with you on the less toys they have,the better!!!they most play with our stuffs!!! They throw their toys if they see us doing something… great article… thanks for sharing

  2. Oh how we wish we could declutter everything! We have been doing it a lot the last few months and no matter how many times we say she doesn’t need anything, little gifts always pop up. Time to do a big purge!

    1. I totally get what you mean. I have been doing a big declutter session a few months ago and after that he received quite a few gifts again. But I am getting better at just getting rid of gifts as well. I regift them, or I just hand them over to a thrift store.

  3. I need to observe more… I’ve been setting aside some things my kids don’t really play with, and I’ve gotten better at doing that. It used to be really hard because everything is “a gift from Grandma, or Aunt, or someone else.”

    And thank you for the book recommendation! It’s going on my list!

    1. Yes, observing is the most important and the hardest part. I forgot about it in the beginning and then decided to have a closer look and really find out what he plays with. I am actually okay with getting rid of gifts, but my husband never wanted me to get rid of presents, but he’s learning;) I just prefer someone else to enjoy the toy instead of it cluttering up my home.
      And yes, that book is amazing! Definitely worth the read!

  4. I absolutely do these things with my own kids and their toys. They now really get into the spirit of going through the toy cupboard with me several times a year (before Christmas, birthdays, and children’s resale events where I consign stuff we’ve outgrown) because they know this is the only way we can make room for the new things they’ll enjoy playing with even more!

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