- Tarryn Myburgh
6 easy ways to make decluttering toys last
Updated: Aug 30, 2019
Myth: Offering kids more toys will keep them busy for even longer periods of time.
Reality: It's the opposite.
Did you know that kids focus better when they have fewer toys?
Children will appreciate toys more when they have less of them to focus on. They don't need a room jam packed with toys, they only need a select few. In fact, having too many toys lead to kids engaging less in independent play and in turn demanding more time from parents. No parent needs that. Therefore, it's better for you, your kid, and their toys, to have a clean playroom.
But where on earth do you even start? Often playrooms are simply cluttered messes. It's impossible to clean and the idea of cleaning it is simply too overwhelming. BUT, the cleaning still needs to get done though... Right?!
It's scientifically proven that a simpler and more organised home has a better impact on mental health.
After doing some reading and thinking, I tested some different methods that can help you clean up your kids toys...Here they are!
6 easy ways to help all families declutter toys and clean-out their child's bedrooms:
1. Pick a number
Don't be overwhelmed by the sheer number of toys. Simply choose a number of toys your child can keep. Start by breaking down toys into categories, for example, arts, cars, Lego etc. This way, you can view toys in an easier way, leaving you to choose a number. Once chosen, you can tell your child they can only keep that particular number of toys, per category. The categories can be as broad or specific as you like. You can even have additional rules. Perhaps Lego doesn't count per brick, but instead counts as a set. Now it's as simple as letting your child sort through their toys. They will quickly realise which ones they want to keep most and which ones they are happy to give away.
2. Something new for something old
One of the oldest tricks in the book. And still one of the most effective. Think about every time your kid gets a new toy. Now tell them that toy needs to replace an existing one. They might panic. But they quickly realise there are toys they no longer play with and that these toys can be replaced. Now you no longer having a box of toys that grows.
Note: This might not deal with existing issues of mess. But it does create a solid rule that reduces clutter and lasts the time.
3. Rotate toys in use
Rotation goes hand in hand with 'pick a number'. Not everything needs to be thrown away. Or even donated. Sometimes toys are seasonal. You might want to mix toys up to stay stimulated or you simply need change. This is still possible with less.
Sort through toys using boxes or baskets. Create one box labelled keep, one labelled store and one labelled donate. Your kid will sort through their toys. As they do, they will allocate them to different boxes. They will realise some toys can be put away for a later day. Leaving only a hand full of toys behind. Creating a lot less mess.
4. Take a photo for memory
Often, we want to hold on to toys for keepsake. They hold strong memories. Emotional ties. It’s not easy to say goodbye to this. But that’s where photos come in. Space is limited, so you can take a photo of your child with the toy. Make a folder full of those pictures on your computer or keep a box full of prints. You can even print a collage of the pictures to hang on the wall. This will take up less space. Plus you can now flick throw and travel down memory lane.
5. Reduce 'fixed' toys
Fixed toys simply have one use. Think of a plastic toy with a buzzer. It only does one thing. Dolls, building toys and creative toys. They are all excellent examples of "non-fixed" options. The goal is to keep toys that have multiple ways to role play, create and learn. The less toys kids have, they more they are stimulated to use their creativity and imagination, inventing and creating. A cardboard box can become a flying plane, a pirate ship or even a stage for other toys to perform on.
6. Sharing is caring
This wise old saying is important for a reason. It's easy to think 'But it's my toy.' However, this is a hard lesson for children to understand. The value of sharing and helping other people, out-ways the need for possession. Not everyone has the same opportunities. If you can teach your child at a young age the importance of sharing and giving away their toys to others, you are setting them up for life.
Here's where Joy of Giving makes a big difference. Instead of simply giving your toys away to anyone, now you can know who receives your toy. By watching the journey. Seeing who the receiver is. Experiencing something new. Your kid is taught to not only think about themselves. They will see the importance of helping others. Learning lifelong values early on.
It's as simple as store, curate, rotate, donate...
It's easy to start decluttering your house of toys and make these habits last when you follow 1 of these 6 ways above. And don't forget to give toys away instead of throwing them away.
They are often in great condition. And another child can benefit from this.
So, which way is your favourite? Or perhaps you have another way?
Let us know in the comments