How Many Toys Do Kids Need?
Rules for Decluttering Toys
- Any broken toy, immediately gets thrown away. We don’t even need to discuss it.
- We start to declutter toys when the kids aren’t around. Naptime is perfect for this.
- Any toy with missing pieces gets shown the door. We’re not keeping junk.
- Unnecessary duplicate toys – pick one and get rid of the rest!
Let me stop here to say we ARE going to include the kids in decluttering their toys. It’s so important they learn now what’s valuable and how to part with what’s not.
We’re just going to make the decisions much easier for our kids by simplifying the toy mess we’re starting with.
If there’s a broken toy that’s missing pieces that you’re sure you can sneak out of the house without them noticing, let’s go ahead and do that.
How to Declutter Toys
I’m going to go Marie Kondo on you and suggest you bring every single toy to one place.
If this is too overwhelming for you and you’re sure you’ll never finish it – DON’T DO IT.
We can totally pick away at this task a little at a time.
Ideally though, you’ll gather all of the toys in one area so you can really see what you have.
This makes it so much easier to match up rogue puzzle pieces and to corral all pieces of a set together.
First, you go through and get rid of anything that is obviously trash or that you know is broken or has missing pieces.
Next, get rid of anything you’re sure your child hasn’t played with in a long time. Toys they’ve outgrown, for example.
If a toy is in pretty good shape, list it on Facebook Marketplace for a few dollars. I always list mine as PPU only (porch pick up only) and people come to my house, take the toy from my porch, and leave the money under the mat.
Perfect for a socially awkward person like me!
Now you’re probably still standing before a massive pile of toys. Don’t get overwhelmed yet. It gets easier.
Start matching sets together, putting puzzles together…
After you have all of the toys as relatively organized and put together as you can get them, it’s time to get the kids involved.
Read Next!: How to Keep Your House Organized with Toddlers
Declutter with Kids
Remember, even though this is a little (ahem LOT) more stressful, you’re doing your child a huge favor in the long run.
You’re also saving yourself from having to explain where all of those toys went while they were sleeping.
Explain to your kids ahead of time that you’re going to start going through their toys and picking the most special ones. We want to give (or sell) toys we no longer play with to other kids who can love them.
This worked WONDERS for us right before Christmastime!
When your kid gets stuck trying to declutter toys, or they’re demanding to keep everything (this WILL happen!) give them the option of one of two similar toys.
Do you want this racetrack or this one?
Simple choices are a great place to start with young kids.
If you think going through all of their toys is too much for them, you can declutter the kids toys yourself and save just a couple of toys for them to pick between.
Praise your kids like crazy any time they agree to get rid of a toy.
You can even explain to your kids that we’re going to sell any toys we decide not to keep.
Let THEM decide what to do with the proceeds. Should we have a pizza party? Go out for ice cream?
Your praise is their immediate reward for parting with toys they have a desire to hoard instead.
Choosing what to do with the money made (if any, you may have to chip in here…but it’s a small price to pay for a home with no toy clutter!) is their big, future benefit after making such hard choices for such little minds.
Getting Rid of Toys
If something is obviously garbage, just pitch it.
Otherwise, don’t forget to try to list a good-quality toy for sale.
We donate a lot of our toys.
Right before Christmas this year, a lady came by to pick up a race track we had listed as free online.
I asked her if she was interested in any more toys and I opened our garage and let her have a free-for-all. She said she would donate them to her church.
Fine with me!
I didn’t have to list the toys for sale online and hope someone bought them before Santa’s booty infiltrated my home, I didn’t have to drive around with a trunk full of toys for months on end before I finally donated it, and someone somewhere is hopefully enjoying those toys today.
Decluttering Kids Toys
When you’re going through all of those toys and matching sets together, etc., make sure you use this opportunity to create a system that lasts.
We use these toy organization ideas all throughout our home.
If I had it to do all over again, I’d buy only totes that latch like this. It makes my kids think twice before just dumping all of their toys everywhere.
Declutter Toys – Once and For All
Don’t be discouraged if after all of this effort it feels like you STILL have too many toys.
It was exactly the same in our house.
What you need is a toy rotation system.
Use clear bins, cheap totes you have onhand, even cardboard boxes.
Don’t make this system complicated.
This is the last step to declutter toys.
You go through everything that’s left and evenly divide the toys among some storage bins.
We have about 5 of these bins on rotation in our home.
I put a few of each kind of toy in each box. For example, each box has a Little People toy, a few puzzles, a shape sorter, etc.
The goal here is to have toys that are different enough from each other that your kids stay engaged with them each time you rotate your toys.
Everything else goes into toy rotation – even the big toys like this huge car racetrack our kids love.
I tried to be organized at first and rotate them once a week, but that was just too much work. Pick a schedule that works with your personality.
Wait til your kids are getting bored with their toys and switch them out.
Benefits of Decluttering Toys
Lots of moms online say their kids freak out when they’re packing up the toys to bring out new ones.
Our kids know what’s coming, so they eagerly help us pack up all of the toys.
I honestly can’t stress to you enough how much a toy rotation system has helped declutter toys in our home. Gone are the days when our kids would empty an entire toy box in the middle of the living room floor and then cry when we’d demand they help pick it up.
Now, they have a much more limited selection of toys to choose from and the phenomenon all of the other Pinterest moms said would happen actually did – our kids sit and play with one toy for SO much longer.
They use random household objects in place of toys hanging out in our garage in toy rotation.
I truly think having less toys makes them more imaginative and definitely more interested in doing crafts and other little projects.
Are you struggling to declutter kids toys in your home? What is your biggest hurdle in getting rid of toys? Let me know your struggles and tips in the comments!