If there is one thing you can count on finding in a house with kids, it’s toys. And in many cases you’ll find bins, shelves, and closets, bursting with toys. As a parent, it can start to feel a little overwhelming. The solution is to get rid of some of the stuff! But it isn’t always easy. Many toys are special or fun, or you spent a lot of money on them. And your kids need to have some say in what stays or goes. So, how can you help your kids declutter their toys? Check out these tips on how to declutter toys!
5 Steps to Declutter Your Kids Toys
1. Set the Date to Declutter Toys
Choose a day and time for decluttering your kids’ toys. If you plan to do it with them, get it on everyone’s schedule. If you’re doing it when they aren’t around, which works best with very young children, then choose a time they will be out of the house.
Make an appointment with yourself for decluttering toys. If you decide to wait until you feel like it or it happens spontaneously it will simply never make the to-do list.
One way to hold yourself accountable is to schedule a donation pick up for the day after you plan on decluttering toys.
2. Choose Your Sorting Containers
Ideally, you’ll need two large bins or boxes and one garbage bag for decluttering your toys. Most toys will fit into three categories. The toys you want to keep, the toys to donate, and the toys that need to be thrown away.
If you’re concerned your kids won’t be willing to part with anything, the garbage bag should be black. This way your kids won’t attempt any last minute rescues. And mom and dad can spend some time throwing out any toys they know to be broken or unusable when the kids are away.
It is also a good idea for a non-see through donation box if you know you want to donate some toys your kids might protest, but will likely not notice if they don’t see it in the box. It’s ok to make a few decisions ahead of time, especially with younger kids. And in most cases, you know which toys they won’t miss and will have forgotten all about until they see them in the trash or donation bin.
3. Make a Pile
There are actually several ways to approach decluttering toys or anything else. You can do it room by room. Or one kid’s toys at a time. Or by type of toy, Legos first, then dolls and figures, etc. I prefer to put all the toys in one room in a pile. Everything.
Once you have your big pile of toys you can begin sorting. And as you gather everything in one place, you can also sort as you go.
4. Declutter Your Kids Toys
The best way to start decluttering your kids’ toys is to dive right in. Any broken toys that can’t be fixed should be discarded. If you find stray pieces of something or parts of a set you no longer own, those are also good candidates for the discard pile.
Next, consider each remaining unbroken toy. The goal of decluttering toys is to have fewer. So, some items need to go. You may need to be ruthless. Because your plan is to end with fewer toys, consider quality over quantity.
Your “keeper” toys should be the ones that are most played with. And the ones most likely to inspire creative and active play.
Often toys that are tied to a movie or TV show are quickly outgrown or your kids lose interest. Consider whether your kids have some of these they are no longer interested in.
Electronic, noisy, gadgety toys are also ones that are quickly forgotten or kids lose interest in. They are also often annoying to parents. These might be good ones for the donation box.
Talk to your kids. But also know that you may have to encourage or even push if they are reluctant to part with anything. As is sometimes the case.
5. Put the Keepers Away
Once you’ve done the hard work of helping your kids declutter their toys, it’s time to put everything away. If toy storage is a problem in your house, try to come up with solutions while the toys are in the sorting pile.
When you’re ready to put things away, your kids’ newly reduced collection of toys should fit in their designated storage places in your house. If they don’t, it may be that a little further decluttering is in order.
The Bottom Line
Clutter is stressful for everyone. This includes your kids. Once your toys are no longer scattered and exploding out of every corner of your home, chances are you’ll all feel better. And your kids will enjoy the remaining toys more. Studies have shown that when kids have fewer toys and more space they play with their toys more. Everyone benefits when you help your kids declutter their toys.