Decluttering kids toys – How to have 80% fewer toys and spend 80% less time cleaning up the toys and don’t end up with a cluttered mess.
Decluttering kids toys
Before we started decluttering kids toys, I used to have this argument with my husband…
Husband: (after cleaning up the toys for 30 minutes) ‘They have too many toys we need to get rid of some.’
Me: ‘You don’t understand. I need so many toys to keep them entertained.’
So then I’d go out and buy an assortment of containers to ‘organise’ the toys. They’d stay organised for 5 minutes before the kids pulled every toy out of every container.
Then it was even worse because my husband would put things in the wrong containers (how could he!) and then I’d get cranky and it was really all just a very unpleasant situation.
Maybe it was fuelled by the pain of standing on a piece of lego?
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Far out do those little bastards hurt. Seriously? Who invented something with so many hard, spiky bits that kids ALWAYS leave on the floor.
Invariably you’re walking around with your arms full of washing, a child… who knows, you just have your arms full as usual, you can’t see where you’re walking and it strikes. The little square yellow piece.
The washing goes flying, you stumble and curse in kid-friendly swear words that don’t express your true sentiment and vow to get rid of every toy the kids own if they don’t clean up after themselves.
We live in a time where there are SO MANY TOYS.
A new toy comes out every other day. Every time you walk into a shop there’s a new ‘must-have’ toy and it’s become the norm to shower kids with toys for their Birthdays, Christmas and any other celebration we can think of.
But where is this getting us?
It sure wasn’t getting me anywhere other than into a regular argument with my husband.
Not long after the… I won’t even give it a number, toy argument I started hearing a bit about minimalism.
Then I read something that really resonated with me.
A child’s job is learning and the toys are the tools of their trade.
It just struck me like a lightening bolt. How could anyone be expected to work in such a chaotic environment with so-many-things?
If my husband and I were overwhelmed with all the toys then how did their little brains feel?
So the great decluttering of toys began.
These days we have about 80% fewer toys. We spend about 80% less time cleaning up the toys and the thing that I wasn’t expecting was the change in the ways the boys play.
Their little imaginations are incredible and they create the most amazing little games/activities from what they have.
They’re still little so pester power and comparisonitis hasn’t struck yet but even going to friend’s houses where they have a lot more toys, they don’t come home and ask for more, nor do kids who come to our house ask where all the toys are.
Here are the toys we have:
- A train set
- Arts and craft supplies
- Fabric, hats and a few dress up items
- Some cars
- Musical instruments (recorder, tambourine, maracas, xylophone, shakers)
- Soft toys
- A Buzz and Woody doll (because my son was obsessed)
- 2 plasma bikes
I also include a random assortment of bits and pieces like rocks, lids, pegs, leaves etc that they can be creative with and I can throw out when I get sick of them.
I can’t tell you the difference it has made to my life.
It’s the same lesson, over and over.
Less stuff, less mental & physical stuff, for me = less overwhelm = a happier me.
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