Get rid of the toys! Simple Solutions to be clutter-free
I know every parent has thought at least once about how much easier life would be if they could just get rid of the toys. I mean, they are everywhere, right? Our kids must have loads and loads of toys in order to be happy, right? The bigger, the louder, the more obnoxious the better, right?
Well, actually, no.
The reality is the quantity of toys is not making our kids any happier.
Believe it or not, quality over quantity applies when we are talking about kids toys too.
Having too many toys can lead to a whole host of problems for you AND your kids.
Getting Rid of All the Toys will Decrease Daily Upkeep
The playroom is out of control.
We don’t have enough room for all the toys.
Toys have taken over the house.
These are normal statements from parents with young children. While we make these statements, we also seem to think there is nothing that we can do about it because then we might be depriving our kids. Depriving our kids of what exactly?
If the choice is between living in a hectic, cluttered home or in a peaceful, comfortable space, I think even kids would choose the latter.
No one can thrive in clutter. No one can thrive in a mess.
If messes stress mama out, why would we think they aren’t stressing our kids out too?
If too many toys, too many options are leading to this clutter and chaos then its time to get rid of the toys.
Downsizing will give your children the ability to play with the toys they actually enjoy, in an environment were they can focus and relax.
Getting rid of the toys will give mama, or whoever ends up cleaning up these messes much less to clean up and organize.
Tossing the Toys will Decrease Noise
So technically just getting rid of random toys isn’t going to decrease the noise BUT if you are tossing the loud, flashy, battery-operated toys it will.
There is something about noisy toys that just calls to grandparents! My parents and my in-laws always buy the most obnoxiously noisy toys. (Love you guys!!) When you have a room full of noisy toys that is all you hear all day. It’s all your kids hear all day.
There is something to be said about silence. Children’s minds can think and learn and explore in the silence. They can create their own sounds and stories instead of having to rely on the batteries in the toys to do it for them.
Getting Rid of Unused Toys will Eliminate Clutter
Take a look at what your kids are actually using. I guarantee that they aren’t using half of what they have. Why?
First, you have so many toys there isn’t enough time for your kids to play with them all.
Secondly, you probably have more than one of certain types of toys.
Third, you probably have so many toys that your kids forget about them if they end up too far down in the toy container.
Lastly, I bet you have toys that your kids don’t even like, but you are holding onto them out of some sort of guilt. Maybe they were bought as a gift by a family member, or maybe it was just expensive.
What is the purpose of a toy that is not getting used? An unused toy is literally just creating clutter with no purpose.
Decreasing Toys will Increase Imagination and Creativity
Children learn through play. This is a pretty commonly accepted fact. What we fail to understand or remember is that the type of play matters.
A majority of toys available today are not fostering this learning and yet are children have these types of toys in abundance.
Let me give you an example. My oldest daughter, when given the opportunity has the biggest imagination. She loves playing with figurines and creating her own situations and scenarios with them. She went through a phase where she was really into airplanes and she kept begging me to buy her a barbie airplane to fly all her figures in. Now, we don’t even own barbies, but she had seen this plane in Target and was convinced she had to have it.
Until one day we sat down together and created an “airplane” out of a random box we found. Once she realized she could use her own imagination she never asked for the airplane again.
If we let them, our children will surprise us with their ingenuity and creativity.
I caught this same daughter using her TOES as people the other day because she didn’t have anything else to play with in the car. I PROMISE your kids can find ways to play with minimal amount of toys.
Decreasing Toys Creates More Room to Play
Toys, like every other possession we own have to be stored somewhere. Storage takes up space, space your kids could be using to actually play.
When we first started decreasing our toy collection I noticed I was able to get rid of shelves, cabinets, bins, boxes, containers… all these things we had been using just to maintain this hoard.
We are lucky to have a fairly large playroom but for a while it was FULL. Full of shelving for books and trinkets. Storage cubes with bins and baskets to contain all the toys. Tables with drawers to store things inside and on top of.
Now we have a single shelf for toys and the rest of the room can be used to play with these toys. My kids have room to build massive towers, train tracks, marble runs, or whatever else they want.
Simple Steps to Start Getting Rid of Toys
- Start getting rid of the toys with batteries. IF it’s your child’s absolute favorite toy or something they play with on a regular, keep it. If not, it goes.
- Get rid of duplicates. You do not need two of the same toy, you don’t need two of ALMOST the same toy either. Pick the newest or the one that’s in the best shape and toss the others. When we did our playroom cleanout we got rid of 3 dollhouses. Three! I only had two kids and we had a total of six dollhouses!
- Get rid of the toys that are no longer age-appropriate. Stop holding on the sentimental toys that you wished your kids played with but didn’t. Get rid of all those baby toys that you are “saving” in case you have more kids. If you really want to save them, get them out of the general toy population.
- Pay attention to what your kids are using. You can buy your kid’s toys all day but when it comes down to it, they will decide what they like, not you. I could buy my oldest daughter baby dolls all day long but ultimately she’s going to pick a set of figurines to play with.
- Talk to your kids about the things they want to get rid of. There may be things that you think they love that they are actually no longer attached to.
If you are really scared to get rid of something set it aside for a few weeks. When we did our 1st of 3 big cleanups I boxed up a bunch of toys and put them in the garage. My kids never even noticed…. until the day we drove the boxes to Goodwill.
How to Keep Toys to a Minimum Going Forward
When we decided to start getting rid of our kids’ toys we were also moving towards creating an environment with more open-ended play options. Open-Ended play has been transformative for our household and I really urge you to check it out here.
We have been able to maintain a simplistic and minimal toy selection for our three girls by making sure a majority of our toys are open-ended.
Making a conscious effort to not buy new toys all the time has been vital as well. After a brief transition period our kids have settled into the new mindset as well. There is no begging for toys anymore. They have become happy with what we have.
The simplicity that getting rid of the toys has brought to our home is amazing! Less toys in our home has allowed us to have a clutter free, less-mess, quieter, more creative and imaginative home.
Tell me, have you ditched the toys yet?