Whether you've got a young child or multiple kids of all ages, there's a good chance toys are accumulating in your house. I hear a lot of moms talk about their frustrations with toys. How many should you have? Can someone be a minimalist and let their kids have toys? How does one go about decluttering? In a nutshell, WHAT THE HECK DO YOU DO WITH TOYS?
I have to add a disclaimer that my little boy is only 9 months old so although we haven't had to manage loads of toys at this stage they are making their way into our house. I've bought him a handful and then he's received some as gifts. I've decided to compile what I do to manage his toys as well as what I've learned from experts on the topic and roll them up into one post so it's a quick and efficient read for you. ;)
If you're feeling bombarded by toys in your house and you're either frustrated or confused (or both) on how to tackle your little people's stuff then read the below tips to help you manage your kids' toys like a minimalist.
- Get rid of broken toys. Whether it's missing a tiny piece or a big piece, get rid of it. Get rid of broken toys because broken toys become junk and junk accumulates. It sounds harsh, but you've got to draw the line somewhere!
- Consider a rotation system. If you still have a handful of toys for your kids, only put out what they'll actually use at a given time. Consider rotating toys weekly or monthly. In my situation, I keep Beck's toys in a small bin in his closet. I'll pull out 3-4 and hand him those when he's in his pack n play or I'll let him pick out the toys from the bin in his room (at 9 months, life is all about taking things out of bins so it's really a great activity to keep him busy at this stage in his life). I believe with older kids, you'll find you and your kids will feel like they have new toys when you put out those they haven't played with in a while. Where should you store the ones not being used? Consider putting them in the top of the closet or in the garage.
- Create an organizational system. You don't have to spend much to get organized. You can use things like shoe boxes (any size will do) to sort toys. If you want something that's more aesthetically pleasing, I really like the Ikea drawer organizers (Amazon sells them too) and shelf storage containers. My husband is the organizer in our house and he's taught me that it's all about separating like items. So consider putting all of the balls together or all of the blankets or all of the dolls, etc. Size is another way to tackle a big pile of toys. Consider combining toys that are similar in size and then put them in the container that fits them best.
- If you've read Simplicity Parenting then you know that author Kim John Payne provides a much more thorough outline of what you should keep and discard when it comes to toys. In the book, he shares that you should really only keep toys that are going to help foster your child's imagination. Things like rope, building blocks or dolls are a few examples. The idea is to have toys that your kids will use their imagination with. According to Payne, toys to avoid would be those that are merely for entertainment and that are prone to breaking. Of course, you're the parent so it's your call but keep in mind what will last and what will help them most in the long-run.
Are you a parent struggling with toy overload or have you created a solution that would benefit us all? Leave a comment and let us know!