Taming the Toy Monster: How to Declutter Toys

Yes, toys can seriously be a monster! Right? I spent years constantly fighting a disastrous play area . . . and other areas, to be honest. There was no room for playing. I mean seriously, how many toys should a child have? It was too much for my young children to handle, and I was tired of it! I’m guessing that if you’re reading this, then you feel the same way. So, let me give you some tips on how to declutter toys in your home. No longer will you have to deal with the “too many toys syndrome.”

How to Declutter Toys

I recently read a post in which the author took all her kids’ toys away. While you may be wondering, what do you do with too many toys? this extreme measure is probably not necessary. However, it is important to declutter and minimize the toys in your home in order to have a more simple life. It will take some time, but it will be so worth it! Trust me.

Reasons to declutter toys

There are many reasons why to simplify and declutter your stuff. Some of these will apply directly to toys. If you have fewer toys, there will be less to clean up. You will have more space for your children to play in. If you declutter toys, your children won’t be so overwhelmed with what to play with or how to help keep the toys put away. They will be more creative with what they do have. You don’t have to deal with “too many toys syndrome.”

The only toys a child needs

Toys can be a great thing for a child, but your home doesn’t need to be overrun by them. As you learn how to declutter toys, you want to wisely choose what kinds of toys to keep. By keeping the numbers down, it will be so much easier for you and your family to keep your home looking peaceful. If you’re wondering what toys to keep, check out the list below.

Messy playroom. How to declutter toys pinnable image

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  • Building toys. These are toys such as legos (all sizes), blocks, magnatiles, and Lincoln logs. These toys allow the creative juices to flow and are used over and over again.
  • Open-ended playthings. For this, think of things like dolls, stuffed animals, trucks/cars/trains, dress-up clothes, play figures such as dinosaurs or unicorns, a toy kitchen, silk scarves. There are so many things your children can do with these. They inspire creativity.
  • Craft and coloring supplies. To be honest, we have a hard time minimizing these. My kids LOVE coloring and making things! Some families will enjoy these more than others.
  • Games and puzzles. Great for exercising the mind and for spending time with one another, these are great for any household.
  • Books. Choose ones with great pictures and storylines. Books are great for learning and expanding the imagination. Wait until your children act out their favorite stories!
  • Nerf toys. Boys especially love all things nerf!
  • Musical instruments. This can be anything from a keyboard or drums to a set of handheld musical instruments. Allow your child to explore.

Tips on purging toys

Now that we have a list of types of toys that are great to keep, how do you get rid of the other toys? What toys definitely need to go? What do you do with what’s left? Consider getting rid of toys while your kids aren’t around. I know there’s conflicting advice on this, but in my experience, it’s much less traumatic. Often, they don’t even notice or miss it! However, you’ll have to decide what will work best in your family.

Getting rid of toy clutter

So, what do you do with too many toys? You’re going to get rid of toys that don’t fit in with the list above. If something is still in good condition, consider donating it. However, if it’s a cheap thing or falling apart, just trash it. You will want to get rid of these:

  • Fad toys. They don’t need new figurines from every new movie that comes out. They don’t need a fidget spinner just because everyone else has one. Many toys are just a fad, and they don’t continue to play with them after a short time.
  • Duplicates. How many stuffed animals or dolls do they really need? Some toys are very similar in what you can do with them, for instance, do you really need a babydoll stroller and a baby shopping cart?
  • Broken toys. Yup, straight to the trash bag.
  • Toys that never get played with. Even if it’s brand new, donate it or regift it. You don’t need it sitting around.
  • Cheap toys from the dollar store or kid’s meal. Chose quality over quantity. These toys are fun for a little while . . . a very little while.
  • Toys that you can only do one thing with. These toys don’t foster creative play, so don’t keep them around.

Want to learn more about living a simple life? Maybe you want to live more intentionally or find easier ways to do things. Be sure to learn how you can get started today!

How to organize kids’ toys

Now that you have separated out the toys you want to keep from the toys you are decluttering, it’s time to re-organize. You will want to find a home for each toy. You may even want to consider rotating toys, which I’ll talk a bit more about below. For some toys, especially those that make big messes, choose to keep them somewhere your children don’t have free access. Read on for more tips!

  • Confine to what fits. To help minimize your toys, have only a few storage bins, baskets, or shelves. Whatever doesn’t fit doesn’t stay. A cube storage organizer works great!
  • Make some toys easily seen. This will help your children know what to play with if it’s not all hidden away somewhere. I personally like to hide some things and have other things where they can see them.
  • Rotating toys. I think rotating toys is somewhat common, but try putting some of the toys that you want to keep in a bin in the attic or garage. Every month or 2 (or 3-6 if you’re like me) rotate the toys with toys you have in the house. I will often change out things that are similar, like duplos for magnatiles. Your children will enjoy playing with toys they haven’t seen for a while.
  • Donate what you notice isn’t getting played with. Make sure the toys are in good and working condition before you donate. Goodwill, Salvation Army, or a local thrift store that supports a good cause are great places to donate.
  • Purge often. I’m serious. Toys seem to have a way of sneaking in and getting crazy again. Well, toys and artwork! You have to periodically go through everything and purge. Only keep the favorites.

Hopefully, this gave you some incentives and ideas for decluttering your toys. What are your “must keep” toys? How have you tamed the toy monster? I’d love to hear. Please comment below.

Be sure to also read:

Why Simplify? 8 Compelling Reasons

Help! What to do with Kids’ Artwork

15 Ways to Simplify Your Day

(3) Comments

  1. Wow. I just found your site through Kingdom Bloggers.
    What a helpful topic here, actually “seeing” the categories of toys and their different values.
    Thank you for laying it out just this way. I’m always needing a fresh look so I can get something important done.

    1. I’m glad you found this helpful to you!

  2. I need to do this soon. I keep putting only baby doll stuff upstairs but Lexi keeps bringing stuff up from the basement and then just piling it in the crate with baby stuff when it’s time to clean up. I know I need to get rid of some stuff in the basement. Right now it looks like a tornado went through down there.

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