Decluttering kids toys may seem like a daunting process – especially when they have way more gadgets and stuffed animals than they would EVER play with.
You look around the house and there are toys strewn about the living room, bedroom, and maybe even a play room. It feels like no matter how much you try to keep things organized, it always look like a toy tornado has come through!
The following is a helpful guide on how to declutter toys so you can have a bit more sanity in your home!
Decluttering Kids Toys: FAQ
How often should I declutter my children’s toys?
There is no “too often” when it comes to the process of decluttering toys. Moms of multiple kids or those that get a lot of toys for birthdays and holidays may declutter the mess every 6 months. Fewer children, or less toy clutter, could be good with doing the process just once a year.
Bonus tip: Many moms declutter toys before birthdays and Christmas. Both celebrations are a good reminder that it’s time to let go of some toys to make room for new ones.
How should I organize when there are SO many toys?
Storage bins may be the best way for most families to keep toys neat and tidy. Organize the bins by toy type. For example, have a bin for LEGOs, another for action figures, and another for dolls.
Location of the toys can also be important. If you have a playroom for your children, keep as many toys in this room as possible. This reduces toy clutter throughout the home.
Frequently played with toys can be stored in the living room or the child’s bedroom. Label the toy bins and practice daily toy cleanup to avoid having such a mess.
What toys should I purge?
When decluttering kids toys, there are a few things to keep an eye on to determine just how many toys should go. Anything broken or missing pieces can be tossed.
Also, consider how often your children play with each toy. If there are any that just aren’t fun anymore or that your children have outgrown, they should get the boot too!
How many toys should we keep in our home?
This is another factor of personal preference. Remember, the more toys you have, the greater chance for clutter and chaos. However, there are a few things to consider:
Storage space: Kids with playrooms can generally keep more than kids that have to store their belongings in their bedrooms.
Seasonal storage: If you can, rotate the toys your children play with monthly. This helps reduce toy clutter while also making sure the toys you are keeping are ones the kids will play with. Store toys not being played with in the garage until it’s time to reintroduce them.
Children’s age and interests: Are your children still entertained by toys? As children age, they tend to play less with blocks and cars and more with devices. They may also prefer to be outside with their friends than inside with toys. Consider having less toys in the home for older kids to reduce the clutter.
10 Tips on How to Declutter Toys
Below are some handy tips for decluttering your kids toys. There’s not need to follow every toy decluttering rule – just pick the ones that work for you and your family.
1. Think about what your children play with
Before you start to declutter, take a few days to notice what toys are getting played with most. This is important so you don’t accidentally toss a beloved gadget or action figure!
Just 2-3 days of observation will give you an idea of which toys you can get rid of.
2. Alert the kids of your plans to declutter
No child wants to come home to see 1/2 of their toys have disappeared. While it can be easier to begin the process without the children present, you still want to warn them about what is going to happen.
Discuss the process before you start. Explain the importance of decluttering and organizing in ways they can understand. When they can grasp why you are doing this, they usually have an easier time parting with toys.
3. Start decluttering kids toys alone
Most moms find it easier to begin the declutter process when kids are in school or out of the home. This lets you access the amount of toys and look over ones that you think you can get rid of. Having a child in the middle that wants to hold on to every single item can make it difficult to get any clutter gone.
Once you’ve created a pile of toys you think your kids will be okay parting with, bring them into the room. Let them each select one toy from the pile to keep and remove the rest.
This simple action lets them be involved and helps them be okay with losing some of their toys. It can also lead to them becoming more organized and helping you in the decluttering process in the future.
4. Tackle the toy clutter in sections
Don’t feel like you have to get the entire toy collection reduced in one day. Instead, work through everything in sections. For example, start with stuffed animals, then building toys, then board games.
Just like they didn’t get all of these toys in one day, you shouldn’t push yourself to get everything organized so quickly. Working at your own pace eliminates overwhelm and the feeling that you’ll never get through all the toy clutter!
5. Set limits for each toy category
All children can live without 20 plush animals, 15 dolls, and 12 bouncy balls. It is important to set limits on each section when decluttering kids toys. Allow your children to assist with choosing how many toys to of each category to keep, as well as which ones to keep.
6. Follow the simple 3 bin rule
As you are decluttering the mess that is your children’s toys, use 3 bins to make the process smoother. Label each bin as follows:
Each toy should fit into one of three bins. As you move through each toy section, your mind can see the visual process you are making. Trust me, this visualization can do wonders for both yourself and your child!
It will show you how organization can help prevent clutter. It also allows you to see how well you are doing with decluttering your children’s toys.
7. Organize all toys at the end
You may want to organize as you go, but this can deter you from working through the clutter and getting rid of as much as you can. Changing up your tasks resets our brains to think about something else.
It’s best to just keep on decluttering until you are done, and save the organization for the final step.
When you are ready to organize, think about the space you have to store the toys and what you want to see each day when they are cleaned up and neat. This may look different for every mom. Organized toy bins may work, or if you have a playroom you may want to further organize into categories.
8. Reward good toy organization skills
Decluttering kids toys isn’t a one and done process. You want to ensure you and your children keep the toys neat and tidy. Reward yourself and your kids with a special treat, such as a movie night, once you’ve finished the chore.
Weekly rewards for kids that keep their toys cleaned up every day can also be a great incentive. This also keeps you from continuing to stress about the toy mess!
9. Donate the unused toys immediately
Getting rid of items can be difficult for both you and your kids. Many moms find that if they leave the donate bin in the home for a few days, many toys end up back in the bins or playroom.
Items that are still in working order should be donated as soon as the toy decluttering process is finished. Once they are out of the way, you will feel better about not adding back to the toy clutter.
10. Implement in One In, Two Out, Rule
Further your toy declutter efforts by setting boundaries for new toys. If your child wants a new toy, make sure she gets rid of two older ones. This will help prevent future toy chaos so your family can still enjoy an organized play area.