When you have kids, all those birthdays, Christmases, and special occasions can really make the toys in your house add up. Then multiply that by the number of kids you have! Of course, you love that your kids enjoy their toys, but it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed with too many toys around the house. What do you do with them all when the kids aren’t playing with them?
These tips for getting control over the kids’ toy clutter are sure to make your life less chaotic and more organized.
Get Rid of Broken Toys
If your kids are anything like mine, broken toys tend to get thrown in with the good toys and buried at the bottom of the toy box. The first step to clearing out your kids’ toy clutter is to purge all the broken and unused toys from your house. You don’t need to keep a car with 3 wheels or a puzzle missing pieces. Go through all your kids’ toys to find only the best ones to keep.
There’s no point in keeping old toys that the kids have outgrown or don’t play with anymore. Pack them up and donate them to a friend with a younger child, to a charity, or to a women’s shelter. It’s normal for kids to protest the removal of their old toys even when it’s clear they don’t play with them anymore, but many kids are willing to part with their toys when they understand they’re helping other kids who don’t have any. Encourage them to make a little card to go along with their donation.
Store and Switch Out Toys
We all know that kids can’t play with every single toy they have. In fact, your kids probably play with only a select few throughout the week. Pack up some of those less popular ones and store them in the attic, garage, or basement. This can keep down on the clutter in your home, and when you bring them back out, it’s like your kids just opened their Christmas presents early. Kids love to “rediscover” old favourites, and this will prolong the toys’ lifespans too.
Use a Variety of Bins and Baskets
It doesn’t matter how many times you make all the toys fit in one toy box, kids can’t seem to do the same. Instead of keeping them all in one place, provide several bins, baskets, and toy boxes that can be used to put toys away. This will not only make clean up time easier, but it’s a great way to help kids learn to organize their toys.
Provide Toy Storage Throughout the House
From bathtub toys and house toys to outdoor toys, kids can acquire a lot of toys. Instead of trying to keep them all in one place or in one room, designate specific places around your house that you can put the toys. This makes it easier to pick up toys before company comes over and allows your children to explore and play in different parts of the house.
Designate a Cleaning Time
The rule in our house is to put toys away as soon as you’re done playing with them. But nobody’s perfect. Sometimes things get forgotten, or we’re in a rush to get out the door. When you can’t keep up with your kids to put each toy away after they play with it, designate a time every evening when they know they’re expected to clean up all their toys. Picking up before bed each night keeps mess under control and teaches your children to be responsible for their toys.
Invest in High Quality Toys
Once you have purged all the broken or outgrown toys and set up organizational bins around the house, stick to buying quality over quantity. The better quality your toys are, the less broken pieces you will find strewn throughout your house, and the more your kids will play with the toys they have. Choose durable, quality toys that will encourage creative play and stand the test of time.
Create a Reading Corner
Along with play time, it is important for kids to do other activities to enhance their development. Design a reading corner with books your kids can read, coloring books, and other activities to occupy their minds. Keeping kids busy is a good way to limit the clutter in your home and keep everything organized throughout the day.
Keeping your toy clutter under control is key to feeling less stressed and having more time to enjoy with your kids. What other ways do you keep your kids’ toy clutter under control? Share your tips in the comments below!