How to Organize Your Child’s Toys: Decluttering

While listening to a few mamas discuss their desires and wants for the home, the biggest discussion point seemed to center on how to hide all the toys. The words overwhelmed, anxious, no energy were mentioned often. In response, I decided to write a few articles explaining how to organize your child’s toys. First, let’s review how to reduce quantity, aka decluttering. 

Let’s face facts. Your baby or toddler is your child, but also someone else’s grandchild, maybe a niece or nephew, a Godchild, and so many more titles. That’s a lot of love for your child(ren). And in today’s world, love is shown through gifts. Which is great. Who doesn’t love gifts? But when the toys outgrow the limited space, it’s time for the adults in the household to implement a few changes (for the good of themselves as well as the child!).

How to Organize and Declutter Your Child’s Toys:

  1.  Decide on the type of toys you want your child playing with based on what they gravitate towards and what you envision is best for him/her (e.g. education, imagination, motor skills, musical, art, building, sensory, independence, and so many more).
  2.  Assign a specific room or space for all of the toys. Maybe it’s the child’s actual room or you have a separate game room. Dub this space “Toy Room” (or decide on a fun name with your child).
  3.  Gather all of the toys that have spread to the living room, dining room, office, etc. and start moving everything into the Toy Room.
  4.  Time to start decluttering! As you’re consolidating the toys, touch each toy and ask yourself: 
    1. Does the toy align with the vision I have for my child? 
      • If it doesn’t, add it to the donate/sell pile.
    2. Does your child actually play with it?
      • If he/she doesn’t, add it to the donate/sell pile.
    3. Does the toy have all the pieces or is it broken?
      • If it’s missing any pieces or is broken, you can either add it to the donate/sell pile, repair or maybe find the missing pieces, or (deep breath) repurpose some of the pieces for arts and crafts (please only keep if you or your child will actually utilize).
    4. Can the toy be used for a future child? 
      • If it’s in good condition and you want it for the next child, add it to the keep but store pile. However, remember that those loved ones will be showing the love to this child as well.

IF the toy aligns with your vision, is in working order, and your child loves it, place it in the keep pile.

Congratulations on decluttering and reducing the toys in your home!  But how do you prevent the numbers from skyrocketing at the next birthday or holiday?

Check back next week for How to Organize Your Child’s Toys: Preventing Clutter. 

Info to note regarding donation or repair:

  1. Suggestions for donation: children’s hospital, shelter, daycare or preschool, thrift store, give to a family in need, pediatrician, set up a community toy swap.
  2. Green City Recycler in Houston accepts toys that are missing arms or games that are missing pieces (if the game is not salvageable, they won’t accept). 
  3. Terra Cycle offers a Toys Zero Waste Box that you can purchase. View information here.
  4. Little Tikes, Mattel & Fisher-Price, and LEGO will replace or sell you missing pieces.
  5. For the antique toys or toys of value, there are many toy repair shops in the US (will then be a cost comparison to see if it’s worth repairing or buying new). 

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