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Kids Toys – How to Weed out what you don’t Need

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We have a lot of toys. 
They are everywhere, honestly.  I
don’t know how this happened either. 
When I had Emma I was incredibly strict about what was brought into the
home as far as toys go.  I wanted wooden,
I wanted open ended, but most importantly I wanted very few toys.

Right before Lucy was born, I went on a tear through the
house and packed away a lot of the toys. 
I had incredibly low blood pressure during my pregnancy
(odd, I know), and so was completely run down most of the time, which meant not
as much picking up as should have been happening.  Well, right before Lucy was born, I got that
nesting instinct, Matt took the kids out for an afternoon, and I packed up just
about every toy that I saw not put away throughout the house…there were many.  Those toys were not looked at or used for a
several months, but instead of just taking the entire bag to donate, I started
to go through them, and slowly introduced almost everything back into our
home. 
That may have been a mistake.
A lot of these toys were things that I wanted to save for
Lucy, lovely open ended wooden toys, toys my husband said we should keep for
Lucy.  But now, instead of a very few toys like we used to have when Emma was little, we have a very
large amount of toys.
the toy organization when Emma and Jack were little – all the toy organization

I love open-ended toys. 
Things like LEGO, wooden blocks, play food; they are all things that my
kids love and use.  The problem is that
there are a lot of pieces – especially as the kids have moved from Duplo LEGO
to those teeny tiny LEGO pieces.  I love
that they are creative and spend time using these things, but trying to keep
them organized is another thing altogether.

I have noticed that we have let a lot of toys into the house
in the past several years that we never would have had it been just Emma, or
even when it was only Emma and Jack. 
Now, it is nobody’s fault but my own.
I know that if I don’t want specific toys, I need to make
more of an effort to weed them out and pack them up.  I want to keep the toys that my kids play
with regularly, but I want to pack up the toys that just take up space in their
room without really being used ever.

This, of course, can be a point of contention with the kids, but my priority is
to have an environment that promotes creativity, and if the toys have not been
played with for a long time, are broken, or missing pieces, there is no reason
to have them take up valuable real estate in their bedrooms. 
What is my strategy for de-cluttering my kids’ rooms?
I would love to say that I can go through all of their stuff
on my own and get rid of things I know they don’t play with, or that are
broken.  But, the fact is, we homeschool,
and that means my kids will know when I am going through their toys. 


Instead I plan to have them help me.  Novel, I know.  I know that it will not be easy to go through
the toys with the kids, but I feel like it is important for them.
I talked a bit yesterday about how I plan to use Organized Simplicity to go through my home. 
The one exception is the kids’ stuff. 
Instead, I will be borrowing the “spark joy” method that Marie Kondo
discusses in her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
I think that once my kids touch all their toys, and realize
that they don’t play with them as much as they think, it will be easier for
them to part with them.
I do expect some issues on toys that I know they don’t use,
but that they may want to keep. 

My plan for these toys is to pack them up in a bin, and
stick them in the attic.  In a few months
we will revisit the bin.  If one of the
kids asks for a toy from the bin during the time they are packed away, I will
know it is more important to them and will reconsider donating it.  If not, the whole bin can be brought to a
donation center in the spring.

My main hope with going through the kids’ stuff first is
that we will have a lot more space in our home.   Our house is large, we have space to live,
but the clutter has been taking over, and I am tired of it.  I am ready to move to a more “minimalism”
approach to our lives.  I need to make
space for the important things, and move out the things that take up time and
energy to care for when I don’t actually care for the items.

How do you manage your kids’ toys?  Do you regularly go through them?  Follow a minimalist approach?  Have a dedicated toy room?

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22 Comments

  1. Ugh, this is my mission this weekend! Hubby is away and it's just me and the kids (with no car), so we are purging all of the toys we don't need. We have been pretty strict, asking for no gifts for birthdays, only buying 1 or 2 toys for christmas etc, but they just build up so quickly! I need to get my hands on that Life Changing Magic of Tidying up too!

  2. I really like the idea of keeping the bin of the undecided toys for a bit in storage then coming back to it later on and deciding if the kids really want them then donating what's left. I also love that you include your kids. Great tips.

  3. I'm cursed with a lego infection. Everywhere I turn, they're growing out of the carpet, out of the chairs, and for some reason, out of little boys pockets. Great tips, I'm going to use these.

  4. I totally agree with your decision, although I thought you woud simply pack the unused toys while your husband took them somewhere out on the weekend. BUT, letting them decide is teaching them a valuable lesson!

  5. When my kids were little we donated toys every few months. My kids are teens/young adults today and they still donate things they don't use. Score one for parents 🙂

  6. This is not too bad I have seen worse rooms and they don't even have children lol! I agree open toys seem to get everywhere but I like how you have weeded out the toys!

  7. I laughed when I saw your photos…girl that's CLEAN!! I should show you my son room. There are days when I just shut the door and walk away. The only way to keep my sanity. We are daily sorting stuff and getting rid of the stuff we don't need. It feels like a never ending job!

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