Are you over the endless toy clutter? Here’s how you can start reducing the toy clutter in your home for everyone’s benefit, especially your developing child.
Are you tired of stepping on wooden blocks and plastic action figures lying around your living room floor? Reducing toy clutter is really about more than keeping your home neat. Too many playthings can affect your child’s development and their ability to enjoy life.
Children with too many toys get distracted easily and miss out on quality playtime, according to some recent findings. And I feel that too. When the clutter starts to build up, I can’t focus in my own home and the stress of it all wears me down.
When children have fewer choices, they tend to play with each object longer and express more creativity. They even take better care of their toys instead of assuming that a replacement is on hand.
Learn how to conquer those mountains of dolls and dinosaurs. You’ll make playtime more rewarding and teach your children values that will help them to grow up happier and more successful.
Here are my tips for reducing the toy clutter!
Effective Tips for Reducing the Toy Clutter
Focus on Quality
Be selective about the toys you choose to keep. Discard anything your children have outgrown or broken.
Even the ripped up books. Books were the hardest to keep on the shelf and the hardest for me to toss. Seriously, both kids would walk up to the book shelf and just pull every single one off the shelf.
Hold on to the ones that stimulate your child’s imagination and social skills rather than providing mostly passive entertainment.
Wait Until Bedtime
It’s great if your child is ready to participate in the selection process, but until then you might have to act on your own. I know I have to. If I try to clean up and purge in front of my 3 year old, it’s like brushing your teeth while eating an Oreo. It’s just not happening.
Your child will probably not even notice they’re missing a stuffed animal they haven’t touched in years. I know I won’t.
Rotate your Toy Collection
I love to rotate toys! It’s an effective strategy that allows you to keep out only a portion of your child’s toys at any time and store the rest. We rotate every couple months, but you can do it sooner if you’d like.
Everything will seem new each time you switch them out. Also it gives you a chance to touch every toy the kids own again, figure out what’s broken, what’s in great condition and what hasn’t been touched during a rotation.
And rotating toys is the best of both worlds. You can reduce the daily toy clutter and make clean up time much easier on everyone.
Donate to Charities
Decluttering can also teach your child about giving. Create a list of worthy causes that accept used toys and let your child pick which one to support.
Find Effective Storage Solutions
Have you guys seen Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix or read her book? I loved it and it really spoke to me, especially when dealing with the toy clutter.
And KonMari isn’t about minimalism. It’s about keeping the things you love and things that add value to your life and finding a place for all of it.
I didn’t make my kids “spark joy” or anything like that. They’re kids. Every toy sparks joy to them. But it doesn’t for me.
After touching every single item, figuring out what to keep, what to donate or toss and what to start on rotation, it was important for me to make sense of what we had and where it needed to go. We had to figure out our toy storage situation and come up with ideas that made it beneficial to everyone. Our previous way just wasn’t working. I moved things around and made our space just make more sense overall.
Finding a few toy storage ideas isn’t hard but it takes a little bit of thinking about your space, the toys you’re choosing to keep out and how you want it all set up. Here are a few options you could choose from:
Instead of toys everywhere, every toy that’s in the current rotation has a home. And if it doesn’t have a home, we find one for it. Finding an effective toy storage solution for us was incredibly helpful and has made us all happier!
Clean Up Time!
Make a plan to clean up toys every single night. It’s part of our nightly routine since I KonMari’d the toys.
Reducing the toy clutter and finding a place to put everything makes clean up much easier on everyone. Even my son knows where everything goes now. My husband is a different story, but he’s learning.
Preventing New Toy Clutter
Plan for special occasions. Birthdays and holidays could undo all your hard work. I’m an over buyer. I’ll admit it. I love seeing their sweet faces when they get a surprise and stuff makes me feel good. Find out what your child wants most. Make a short list and stick to it.
Favor experiences. Consider arranging activities instead of giving material goods. Take your children to concerts, shows or the movies! Last year, my in-laws purchased ABC Mouse for my son and it was such a great idea! He loves using it and there’s no toy mess. For his birthday this year, we’re going to head to a NASCAR race.
Encourage reading. But…with library books that have to be returned. Go to your local library and get a free library card.
I went through our old books and recycled the ones that had missing pages or were destroyed. I kept a handful but we really have been utilizing our local library to check out new books. It teaches my son a little responsibility because we are borrowing books and I don’t have a mess of new books all over.
Cutting down on incoming toys and thinning out your child’s current stock will help your child to engage in more constructive and creative play. Reducing the toy clutter will benefit the entire family! Everyone will also enjoy a tidier home and less stress. Less stress for mom = happier mom.
Have you reduced the toy clutter in your home? What are some tips you have?