If you have a child or children it is likely that a lot of new toys just came into your home over the holiday season. As I wrapped gifts the week before Christmas I began to feel anxious about the number of toys that were under the tree, and the number of toys already inhabiting the house. Most of them in both cases coming from loving family members. Because BabyCakes's room doubles as the guest room when needed, 95% of her toys reside in the living room. I could foresee the living room being engulfed in toys after the holidays even before the presents had been unwrapped.
A few days before Christmas I preemptively gathered toys to be donated to create space for the new items. I was able to consolidate two toys bins and two large bags of toys into just two bins of toys that would be staying with us. It was a bit hard to let things go, but here are my 4 tips for decreasing your toy clutter.
Leave feelings out of it.
There were a number of toys that held sentimental value for Hubs and I that BabyCakes doesn't even play with any more. We have memories of her as a baby playing with them but they are really of no use any more. Separate sentimental value from actual value. With the exception of her very first toy that we put in her mementos box we got rid of many of her first toys that she doesn't care for anymore.
If you are still holding on to toys that are far below the recommended age of your child get rid of them. If your child has figured out some new unintended use for the item you can keep it around, but most times when a child ages out of the recommended age for an item they lose interest in it and move on to more age appropriate things.
Toys that are damaged beyond repair should be tossed. This should be the easiest group of things to get rid of. You definitely don't want to keep items around whose damage may cause a risk to your child or which no longer function properly.
Stop toys from coming in.
Stopping toy excess starts with lowering the number of toys that enter the home. I will never tell anyone to not buy BabyCakes a toy. I don't think it's fair to take their joy in buying her a toy away. I will however limit the number of toys I purchase her, and if someone asks what she may need ahead of time I'll offer non-toy suggestions like clothes, or toys that go with sets she already has, like Little People for her (affiliate link) Little People bus or trains/tracks for her (affiliate link) Thomas the Train TrackMaster set.
Even with these techniques we have more toys than BabyCakes can possibly play with at one time so I like to swap toys in and out from our stash in the closet every few weeks or so to keep her interested in things. It's nice to see how she plays with things in different ways after she hasn't had them for a while.
How are you keeping your toy clutter under control?