Is your living room or kid’s room full of toys all over the floor? No matter how hard you try to organize and keep it clean, nothing seems to work. If this sounds like a daily struggle that you experience, you might need to declutter your kid’s toys!
This is not an easy task, and it may require that you set aside time to do so, but it is so worth it! Here are 10 tips to help you quickly declutter kids’ toys, hopefully in an afternoon!
Before You Declutter Kids’ Toys
Before you dive into decluttering, you may want to envision what your end goal will be. You may want to sketch a layout of where and how to potentially store or organize them. Don’t forget to always shop your home first before going out to buy new storage!
It’s also good to consider what “enough” toys will look like for you and your family. This is a question you may not know the answer to yet. Or, you may be thinking, “my kids probably only need half of the number of toys that we own.”
It boils down to the ages of your kids, the number of kids you have, and your clutter threshold (i.e. how much kid clutter you can stand before it drives you up a wall). As you declutter toys, keep the “enough” threshold in mind. Remember, less is more. After all, kids have incredible imaginations.
Tips to Declutter Kids’ Toys
Here are some quick and easy tips to declutter kids’ toys. You do not have to follow each tip; choose which ones will work best for your family, so you can declutter effectively and easily.
1. See What They Play With Most
A week or so before you go through the toys, simply watch and observe what toys your kids actually play with. You might notice that they love only a handful of toys, which will help when you declutter.
You don’t want to accidentally get rid of a toy they love and constantly use, so be sure not to skip this part!
2. Prep the Kids in Advance
You don’t necessarily want to go behind your children’s backs when you get rid of their toys. That is unless they absolutely cannot fathom getting rid of things. If that is the case, it might be best to go slowly and do a few at a time.
Teach them about what it means to declutter and why it is important. Don’t just tell them you are getting rid of toys without a reason. When children understand why, they usually have an easier time with the process.
3. Begin Without Them
For some kids, especially younger ones, it might be best to start the process without them. Go through the toys and preselect which ones you think they’ve outgrown. Then, if it helps, show your children that pile and let them choose one toy to keep and get rid of the rest.
This will help your children go through the process with you and teach them this crucial skill, so eventually they can do it on their own.
4. Break it Down in Sections
If you have a large number of toys, try separating them into sections or categories before decluttering. Go through the stuffed animals first, then the games, and then all the building toys or dolls. Go at your pace and make it as simple as possible. The benefit to decluttering by section is that you can break it down into 10-minute chunks of time for bite-sized decluttering.
Don’t forget that decluttering is a process. While we may love to have it done in one day, sometimes it’s too much to tackle all at once. It is best to go at a pace that you can handle. That said, if you’re just over it and want to knock it all out in a few hours, then go for it!
5. Keep Only a Few of Each Category
If your children are helping you throughout the process, set limits on how many of each item they can keep. They probably don’t need 100 stuffed animals. Set limits that are fair and manageable. If you can only keep a few of each category, you will set yourself up for success in keeping your home neater throughout the day.
6. The 3 Bins Rule
When you are ready to declutter, set out three bins:
Then, as you go through the room, put each toy you find in one of the bins. This helps your brain to see the separation to make the process faster and easier. Try your best not to grab anything out of the donation pile.
When you are finished, organize the remaining toys. An organization system looks different for everyone since the age and number of kids varies across households. It could be utilizing a toy rotation, organizing toys in a cubical unit, or setting up a Montessori-inspired play space.
8. Set a Reward
An incentive can be a powerful thing. If your kids are over age 5, involve them in the decluttering process and come up with an enticing reward for them. Decluttering isn’t a favorite task for many people, so setting up a reward incentive for yourself and your kids’ can inject some fun! It could be a simple treat, a trip to the zoo, or a family movie night, but make it something you’ll look forward to!
9. Donate ASAP
The decluttering process isn’t truly complete until the items have left your home. The final step is to donate the items. Honestly, if you don’t donate right away, the toys end up back in the living room, playroom, or kids’ rooms. The kids will somehow find that donation box and begin to pull everything out of it.
As soon as you finish decluttering, put those decluttered toys in the back of your car. Drop them off at the donation center the next time you’re out to run errands. You’ll be happy you did!
10. No playroom? No problem!
It’s totally possible to have a tidy toy storage situation in your home whether you have a dedicated playroom or not. Check out my 5 tips for organizing toys without a playroom. Or check out my 15 toy storage solutions for the living room (that are both affordable and functional).
The Upkeep: How often to declutter kids’ toys
It seems like clutter can be never-ending with kids. The clutter creep struggle is real! The artwork, goody bags, party favors, and random “treasures” that make it into our home truly baffles me.
Once you do a big purge or clean out, put a reminder in your phone to revisit the toys. Maybe you declutter the artwork and random items every 3 months. Maybe you sort through the bookshelf once it’s completely full. It’s up to you and your needs. Setting parameters for upkeep can help to keep the clutter creep at bay after that initial declutter.
You’ve Got This!
Use any of these tips that fit your family’s situation, and get started today! Do your best to fully prepare so that you can get it done as easily as possible. It may be hard in the beginning, but it will all be worth it when your house is clean and neat! You got this!