Let’s face it, kids have a lot of clutter. I think we both can agree that toys are a big part of the clutter problem! But, the thought of figuring out how to declutter can leave you intimidated that you don’t even know where to start. Well, let’s eliminate that overwhelm right now, because today you are going to learn exactly how to declutter your kids toys and have them help too!
The thought of decluttering toys can leave you with one of two feelings: excitement or total and absolute dread! Today, we will be addressing the latter.
One of the reasons that decluttering toys can be super intimidating is not only the volume of clutter, but also the reactions. Oh, those dreaded reactions!
Let’s face it, you are a busy mama. And you have learned the fine art of ‘picking your battles’. So, getting into an hour long debate over “Mom is throwing away ALL OF OUR TOYS!” is not exactly at the top of your to do list. Am I right?
Well, my friend, what if I told you that you can absolutely declutter toys without your kids having a meltdown? Oh yeah mama, you sure can!
And, not only that. What if I told you that your child will want to declutter their toys too? Say whaaatttt?!?
At this point, you may be thinking that I have completely lost my mind, and that there is no way your kids would happily declutter their toys with you. So, allow me to explain.
Preparing Your Child For Purging Toys
If you have not decluttered your home regularly, then decluttering toys is probably a pretty big transition for you and your kids. So it is important to get everyone on the same page.
The importance of this is to let everyone know exactly how you will be decluttering toys.
This means, that yes, you will be eliminating certain things from your kids bedroom and play areas. But, not everything, and it is not a punishment!
I think this is really important to drive home with children. Their first thought tends to be, mom is getting rid of all my stuff, and it honestly strikes them with some fear.
Which we both know that you will not be throwing out all of their toys. You know that, I know that, but it really needs to be made clear to your children. And, depending on their age, this may need to be said frequently. Like very frequently.
Here’s the thing:
Depending on how much clutter you have, not just toys, but your home in general sets a tone for how things are done in your family.
So, if you have not been decluttering your home regularly or semi regularly, this is a whole new world for your kids. P.S. Head on over here to learn how to declutter your home room by room.
And, even though we both know that your kids probably did not purchase most of the toys, they are their toys. To them, it is their stuff and their space.
If you come into their space, all willy nilly and just start decluttering and purging their toys, without ever having mentioned it to them before…you are going to get a reaction! And, if we are being honest, it is probably not going to be pretty.
So how do you get everyone on the same page with decluttering? I am so happy you asked!
The Great Toy Purge Discussion
In order to get everyone on the same page about decluttering toys, you need to look no further than a family meeting. Don’t worry it doesn’t have to be anything overly dramatic. A family meeting can be as short or as long as it needs to be. You know your family best, so go with your gut.
During your family meeting, you will obviously discuss that the toys are going to be decluttered. But, take the time to break this down for them.
Some points to make during your family meeting are:
- You will not be eliminating all of their toys.
- This is an opportunity to donate and give away some toys that your child no longer uses.
- That you may sell some of the toys, and that money can be used for something fun.
- Decluttering toys allows your child to focus on what matters to them most.
- You will be decluttering as a family, and everyone gets to help and contribute.
I also encourage you to allow your children to express their thoughts and feeling on this as well. We ALL can use validation and knowing that we are heard. So take the time to really listen to their hearts.
If your family decides to sell some of your items, then discuss this too. Allow your family to pick something to do with the earnings. Maybe it’s an outing, or a family fun day, or even to donate to a charity. Whatever it is be sure to include your kids in the decision.
Another important thing to focus on during your meeting is celebrating! Your family will be decluttering all of the toys. That is some pretty amazing stuff! Don’t you think you deserve a celebration?
Let everyone know that if they do their part, and stay focused, your family will most definitely be celebrating your win! You can keep everyone motivated to do their part with the FREE Toy Declutter Tracker at the bottom of this post.
By everyone helping it becomes a family affair. Everyone learns how freeing this process is, and everyone has contributed.
So, set a time that works for everyone to meet, and get your family meeting game on!
How Can I Get My Child To Declutter?
We touched on this during the family meeting, but it is really important to involve your kids in the decluttering process.
I would highly encourage you to have your child help as much as they can with decluttering their rooms and play spaces. I know, you may be thinking….yeah, that is going to be a disaster!
Here’s the thing. I felt the exact same way. I thought this would be a battle over toys and games, and my kids feeling like I was taking all of their toys away. But, it wasn’t! Like at ALL!
When we had our family meeting, I made it clear that we would be giving some things away.
I had our children really think about what they did not play with regularly, and I encouraged them to give those things to children that could really use them. We went over how much joy that item would bring to another child, and whoa mama my kids surprised me. They were incredibly generous, and really contemplated on what to give.
Allow yourself not only to witness what incredible hearts your children have, but also for them to take part in the act of generosity. You may end up as surprised as I did!
If you decided during your family meeting that you will be selling some of the toys, then be sure to bring this up again with your children as well. Reinforce that all of the proceeds will be going to whatever it is that your family decided to place the earnings.
And, don’t forget to bring up the celebrating too! Kids are always excited about celebrating, and it may just give them that added boost to help with decluttering their toys.
Have your kids keep track of all of their decluttering amazingness with the FREE Toy Declutter Tracker at the bottom of this post. I am telling you, it is shocking how motivating stickers can be! Kids light up, and feel good about their accomplishments with a visual. And, the Declutter Tracker does just that!
Why Fewer Toys Are Better
First things first, you will NOT be getting rid of all the toys.
You will be eliminating toys that your child no longer plays with, are broken, missing parts, and that do not inspire them to create and dream. We will be diving deeper into this in just a bit, but this is a great starting point.
With that said, you are going to have to get really hyper focused and clear on this one.
Obviously the toys that are broken or have missing pieces is super easy to eliminate. Then, you have everything else. Which can feel a tad overwhelming. Am I right?
So let’s break it down.
Here is the thing. Your kids probably have too many toys.
Whoa mama, have I been there! We were drowning in ALL the toys. You name it, we pretty much had it.
But, here is what happens when your child has toy overload.
They feel lost.
When we have too many choices we can become overwhelmed super quickly. We bounce around from thing to thing, or can get really hyped up by not knowing what to do. So, basically we feel lost.
This is what happens with our kids too. They have light up toys, noisy toys, action figures, blocks, trains, dolls, puzzles, games. The possibilities are endless!
And, one of the things that can happen is…they don’t actually play with the toys.
They can become so overwhelmed that they even though toys are strewn about ALL over the house…they don’t actually play with much.
This was a massive awakening for me! And, I bet it will be for you too!
Incredible Mind Blowing Things Happen When You Declutter Toys!
Wanna know what happens? They play with the toys that are left! Like legit PLAY with them.
Like you haven’t seen or heard from your child every few minutes because they are having a blast playing!
By scaling back on the toy choices, they have the ability to hone in on what it is they truly love doing. And let me tell you, that is some magically amazing mama heart exploding stuff!
How To Purge Toys
You now know how to get everyone on the same page, and everyone is feeling great about tackling this decluttering project. But, you may be feeling a little lost on how exactly to purge the toys. So let’s tackle that now!
Purge by category
Life is going to be much easier for you, and your kids if they are helping, if you purge the toys by category. Think purge all toy cars together, all dolls together, all games together, etc.
When you separate all of the toys into categories, it is a good visual to go through and decide which of those items are your child’s favorite.
If you just have a big pile of various toys laying in front of you, it can be much more difficult to decide on what to eliminate. So, trust me on this, purge by category!
P.S. Purging by category is SUPER helpful when decluttering clothes too!
Grab your decluttering tools
When you are decluttering any space you are going to need some tools! Don’t worry, it is not anything fancy. 😉
- Trash bags for any toys that are broken or missing pieces.
- Bag or box for anything that is to be donated.
- Bag or box for any toys that are to be sold.
Two epically important decluttering rules.
If you will be donating items, then after you are finished decluttering, place them in the front seat of your car. Not the trunk! This is because they will be within eyesight, and frankly speaking, annoying. Which leads you to not forgetting that they are in your trunk, and taking them to the donation center as soon as possible.
Because here’s the thing. When donations sit in our trunks, we have a tendency to forget about them. Not because we are terrible people, but because life gets busy and we get distracted. So, do yourself a favor, and stick them in the front seat. Everyone wins!
If you will be selling some toys, then the items must be sold within 30 days. This can be done by consigning, a garage sale, or online. How they are sold is not super important, but getting it done within 30 days is.
If the items are not sold within 30 days, then you will donate the toys.
Otherwise, those toys are probably going to sit in your garage or attic forever. You need that clutter gone, not lingering in your home.
Getting started with purging toys is simply taking the first step. Grab a toy, decide if it is to be tossed, donated, or sold. Place it in the appropriate bag or box. Now, pick up another toy, and do the same steps. Wash, rinse, repeat.
As you are sorting through the toys, be sure to place them in categories. This will make the toy decluttering process SO much easier!
A few things questions to ask while purging toys are:
- Do they play with it regularly (more than 3-4 times a week?)
- Do they play with it for more than a few minutes at a time?
- Is it missing pieces or is it broken?
If the answer to these questions are no, then you can let that toy go!
That is really all there is to it! Be sure to throw in encouraging words, and way to gos to your kids if they are helping as well. And, throw in some of those words to yourself too, because you are rocking this toy purge like no one’s business!
A note about young children:
It is also important to touch on what to do if you have younger children that may not be able to help. I encourage you to bring them into the space you are working. Trust me, they pick up on a lot by simply watching and witnessing your actions. And, it sticks with them too. They will see, oh this is how we do things now, and they will remember it too!
Now, if you have a child that is younger, and is not completely on board with some toy elimination. I got you mama!
My best tip for this….get a dark trash bag and work when they aren’t around. You will need to channel your decluttering ninja skills for this, but it can be done.
Trust me, out of sight is out of mind. And, chances are ridiculously high that your child will not even notice that the toy is gone!
Deciding what toys to keep.
If your child plays with it regularly, adores it, and frankly you cannot imagine them not having it. Then, obviously keep that toy. Remember, decluttering is not about punishment. Not for you, or your family!
However, I will be encouraging you to really focus on only keeping toys that inspire creativity and imaginative play.
Leaving your child with toys that allow them to create is a truly magical thing. You will be amazed at all of the creative ideas they can come up with, and how excited they are with simpler choices.
Some examples of these type toys are:
- Building blocks and Legos
- Pretend Play – Outfits, Kitchens, Dollhouse, Veterinarian/Doctor set, etc.
- Board and Card Games
- Art and Craft Supplies
- Trains, Trucks, Cars
- Baby Dolls or Stuffed Animals
You know your child best, and what they truly love. So, definitely go with your gut. You got this!
You Are A Toy Decluttering Superstar!
You now know exactly how to declutter your kids toys, and get everyone on the same page with the process.
You are ready and prepared for your family meeting. You have your decluttering tools ready, and you know the decluttering ‘rules’. And, you are super pumped to simplify and inspire creativity in your amazing kids!
Don’t forget to grab your FREE Toy Declutter Tracker HERE!
SAVE IT FOR LATER