Last Updated on December 15, 2020.
The holidays are right around the corner, and you’re probably eyeing the perfect gifts for your little ones. Maybe your children are already compiling extensive lists of wants and wishes. But what about the toys they already have? Are you overwhelmed by the number of toys already cluttering your home? You can downsize toys now! Here are 7 easy steps on how to purge toys before the holidays arrive.
Before You Begin
Before you start your purge, let’s just review the benefits of minimizing toys. Research shows that kids actually benefit from having fewer items to play with. You’ll also reduce your stress and anxiety by keeping fewer items. Your home will feel less cluttered and cleaning up will require very little time daily. So before you start tackling your great toy purge, get yourself into the right mindset: the fewer toys, the better.
Additionally, be cognizant of the toys you purchase going forward. Focus on experience-type gifts, or education items.
Step 1: Identify All the Toy Storage Locations
One of the basic principles of maintaining a tidy home is that everything must have its own home, or storage location. Items without a home are just clutter. So your very first task is to identify all your toy storage places. Recognize that the amount of toy storage is finite, and commit to only keeping toys that fit in these spaces.
Step 2: Schedule Time to Tackle Each Toy Storage Spot
Once you’ve identified all storage locations, schedule time to tackle them one by one. Make sure you have enough time to complete the process!
Step 3: Sort into 4 piles: Trash, Donate, Maybe Keep, Definitely Keep
It’s time to start sorting. You’ll need a couple of trash bags and a storage bin. All broken or worn out items should go directly in the trash. Don’t have any regrets here. Broken toys can be dangerous, and they are a distraction!
Next, identify toys that are still in good shape, but are rarely played with. Your children have outgrown these items, and they should go into a ‘Donate’ bag.
Now, it’s easiest to identify your kid’s favorite toys. These are items the play with regularly and would definitely notice if you purged them. These items should go right back to their proper storage location.
Any leftover items should be considered ‘Maybe Keep’ items. Put these items in a storage bin. We’ll deal with them later!
Step 4: Dispose of Trash and Donate Piles Immediately
At the end of your scheduled purge session, dispose of the trash and donate bags immediately. Do not let them linger in your house, or you may find your kids have reclaimed some of these items! I like to take the trash out straightaway, and place the donate bag in the trunk of my car to drop off during my next outing.
Step 5: Place “Maybe” Toys Out of Sight
The toys you placed in a storage bin or box should be placed out of sight. You can put these items in the basement or garage, anywhere where your children won’t find them and get them out on their own! You do not want your children to find the items and undo all your hard work.
Step 6: Wait it Out
Once these ‘Maybe’ toys are out of sight, wait and see if your kids ask for them. Put a reminder on your phone or calendar to revisit these items after a set amount of time (a month is a great time frame).
Step 7: Purge the “Maybe Toys”
The final step is to purge the ‘Maybe’ toys. If your kids haven’t noticed the missing toys, you can purge them without any remorse!
BONUS Tip: Schedule Quarterly “Purge Parties” to stay on top of the toy madness. Put it on your Google calendar or in your family planner so you don’t forget! This is especially helpful just before gift-giving holidays and birthdays.
Are you looking to move towards a minimalist lifestyle? My friend Sarah at Mod Minimalism has an awesome Quickstart Guide to get you going. Snag her FREE decluttering guide and 30-Day Decluttering Challenge today!
Do you have any amazing tips to clear the toy clutter from your home? I’d love to hear them! Share in the comments below.