Most parents agree that keeping toys and play rooms organized and clutter-free feels impossible at worst and Sisyphean at best. No matter how hard you try and no matter how hard you encourage them to pick up after themselves, toys always seem to get distributed all over the place.
Regardless of how many toys have accumulated throughout the years, there are still ways to maintain a clean space. With some careful planning and commitment, you and your children can maintain a decluttered life and still have fun.
There are three main elements to decluttering the toys in your house: Limiting the acquisition of new toys, carefully choosing old toys to get rid of, and organizing the toys that you keep.
Below are a few tips to help you tackle each of these elements.
- Kid’s favourites
Pay attention to which toys your children actually play with and enjoy the most. This will help you make smart decisions about which toys to hold onto and which ones to part with.
It’s important to introduce the idea of getting rid of old toys to your children at a young age so that they don’t become too accustomed to keeping everything indefinitely, even if they never play with the majority of their toys.
- Set a specific area for toys
Designating a playroom goes a long way towards managing toy clutter across your house. If no room is the playroom, then every room is the playroom.
If your home or apartment doesn’t have a room to spare for this specialized purpose, don’t despair. You can still designate a specific shelf, chest, or closet for toy storage.
- Use the limits of your toy storage area to your advantage
If one closet or shelf is designated as the storage place for toys, once it is full something will have to be discarded before you can add something new. Be open and upfront with your children about this, and they can make decisions about which toys are worth keeping and worth discarding.
- Resist fads
At the peak of a toy fad, it may seem like nothing in the world matters as much as getting the latest hot toy. But remember, fads fade. When was the last time a child demanded a Furby or a Beanie Baby? Try sticking to toys that your child is going to have interest in for a long tie.
- Limit television
How will less television lead to less clutter? It all comes down to advertising. The more toy advertising that your children are exposed to, the harder it will be to resist over-purchasing toys and giving into the latest fads.
- Teach by example
If you’re always buying the latest gadgets for yourself, it will be harder to encourage restraint for your child.