Decluttering Kids Toys
Decluttering kids toys might just be one of the most challenging tasks of parenthood. It’s amazing just how much stuff these tiny humans amass in such a short period of time! And truth be told, it’s likely mostly your fault it’s come to this. How many times have you sworn to yourself (or out loud for that matter) that not one more toy is coming into this house!?!
Yeah, me too.
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And every parent has had to, on more than one occasion, cull the masses. Sometimes it can be akin to a high-pressure negotiation…which pig are you willing to give up if I let you keep this train. (For some early humour, pick up Too Many Toys…because you can never have too many books)
But here’s some tried and true tips to help when it comes to decluttering kids toys at your house.
Tips for Decluttering Kids Toys
Plan ahead and do it when the kids aren’t around. Set aside some time when they are at daycare, school, at their dad’s house, visiting grandparents. Trying to declutter your child’s toys when they are “helping” is a losing battle…like trying to brush your teeth while eating oreos.
Gather Your Supplies
Have boxes, bins and garbage bags at the ready. Gather up all the toys in one spot, make sure you have everything from the kid’s room, living room, bathroom, closets. Also have an idea for a permanent home for the toys you plan to keep, whether it’s toy bins, buckets, containers or shelves. Consider labelling to make things easier to put away.
Keep, Donate, Sell, Toss
Sort the toys into piles of those you are keeping, toys you are donating, toys you can sell and garbage. Toys that they still play with on a pretty consistent basis should have a prominent place, but organized. (Don’t even get me started on the Lego. That’s a whole ‘nother article!)
Throw away any broken toys, or those missing pieces, especially puzzles. Toss or donate those “cheap” toys, the ones from the dollar store you bought as a bribe, the McDonald’s Happy Meal toys.
Consider selling or donating toys they have outgrown or don’t play with anymore. For tips, check out 5 Ways to Declutter and Make Money
The Emotions of Decluttering Toys
This last one can be frought with emotion on both sides. If you are worried your child might suddenly discover their favourite is missing, perhaps keep those “maybe” toys in a bin stored away in the garage or basement, just in case. If it’s not missed in a year, out it goes.
You might also be surprised to find yourself feeling the feels, getting sideswiped by nostalgia. One cleaning spree day, I gathered up some toys my youngest had definitely outgrown, that I had been meaning to sell, including about a gallon ziplock bag full of Cars toys. This was his big thing growing up. He played with those cars for hours at a time, lining them up just so, toting them to every restaurant, soccer game, even on our Disney trips! Lightning, Mater, Sally, Luigi, Sarge and Filmore. And of course the gang from Cars 2 (my favourite was Carla Veloso).
After getting my son’s okay to part with these prior prized possessions, I listed them on a local Facebook buy and sell group, and they sold within minutes. But much to my dismay, when it came time to hand them over, my older son, the teenager who never shows emotion, paused and asked me “Aren’t you going to keep just one? For the memories?”
It was too late of course. The woman who purchased them was already waiting in her car. But it did give me pause, and was one of those pivotal moments when you realize just how fleeting time is, and how fast they grow up.
I sort of dread the day when there is no more Lego in the house.
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