Now that the kids are out of school I’ll bet there are toys all over the house and yard. With the kids home now is a great time to de-clutter their toys with their help.
Your kids likely receive a lot of toys throughout the year – holidays, birthdays, special occasions or whatever! It’s easy for a child to outgrow their toys and just keep them aside, pack them away or it could be that the particular item just didn’t hold their interest anymore. All kids have their go-to toys and many have toys that are no longer required.
A recent study suggested that children do much better at learning, focus and discipline with fewer toys as there is less distraction and they tend to use more of their imagination which is always a healthy thing! So how do you begin to pare down your children’s toys to a more manageable amount? Here’s a few ideas to help you de-clutter.
You all have them and they’re the easiest to deal with. Toys that are broken but were never dealt with at the time and now reside at the bottom of the toy box. Out they go! Even those toys with critical missing parts that you think just may turn up………it’s time to discard those as well to make room for the new stuff. And what about all those little tiny bit of play things you get at fast food chains and birthday parties….those little bits I find the most troublesome and annoying.
Out with the old
With toddlers and younger children it’s easy to go through the toys and make the decisions yourself. You may want to separate the toys into categories and then separate those into toys you will toss, toys you will donate and toys you will store for later (visiting children, more children, special treats for sick days, etc.)
Get the kids involved
Older kids like to be involved and will want a say in what decisions are made with their “stuff”. It’s only fair and sets a good example of respect. Have them start with choosing the toys they no longer like or play with. It often helps to separate the toys into categories and then have them pick their top 5 or 10 from each category. Explaining to them that some of their toys are no longer age appropriate as they have grown and space is needed to accommodate the new toys that are sure to come their way is a good way to handle hesitation.
Your children can also help to take the donations to the donation center to see what happens to them and how they have helped others. Donation centers love to receive toys at any time of year to help those in need.
Plush = dust
Those plush toys are nice and there is nothing wrong with having a few on hand, but they really are dust collectors and magnets for dust mites. Unless you are willing to clean them at least once every couple of months, try to keep the quantity to just 4 or 5 absolute favorites for space, allergy and health reasons.
Gain some insight
As you sift through the toys and work with your kids you’re going to find out what type of toy they now like and perhaps what exact toy they would love to have. This information will come in handy when Grandma and Grandpa ask what they want or need for gifts. It should also help to reduce the number of toys they receive that they just won’t use.
Take stock of your storage
This is also be a great time to determine if your child requires any additional storage space for toys or if the storage system you use is still workable for you and them. Make sure you have enough clear plastic bins to store the small toys so they don’t end up in the bottom of a toy box and never used. In fact, I recommend you discard the toy box entirely. If you insist on keeping it, then only one category of item should live in the toy box. For example, many clients use a toy box for a dress-up chest so all the costumes live in the box.
Now is a great time to start paring down the toys while you have the kids to assess and assist. Let us know how you make out!