As fun as it is to watch children open their gifts on Christmas morning, eventually all those toys and trinkets have to go somewhere. So to make room for the influx of new stuff and help you prepare for the holiday toy explosion beforehand we’ve put together a guide on how to start organizing:
Where to Start:
If you have toys in multiple places, plan to go room by room to avoid getting overwhelmed. If you have multiple toy rooms, we suggest tackling the one that stresses you out the most first, in order to get it out of the way.
Start the decluttering process by pulling absolutely everything out and separating the toys into categories.
As you make your way through the room there, are a few questions to keep in mind that will help you decide on what to keep or throw away:
- Does your child still play with this?
- Does it still work?
- Are any of the pieces missing, broken, or need batteries?
- Are there items in this room that should be somewhere else?
If most of your answers are no, then get rid of the item.
How to decide what goes and what stays:
- We’ve found that the bottom of unlabeled bins and baskets are where all little and random toy pieces land. These odds and ends immediately go into the trash.
- If a toy needs batteries it’s is an indication that your child has not played with it in a while and is no longer interested in it — so it’s time for it to go.
- Games that don’t have all of the pieces don’t make the cut either.
- If there is a random toy that doesn’t fit into one of the categories you separated all the other toys into, that should go too. The outliers are rarely things that your children want to continue playing with.
- Keep in mind the toys that may have sentimental value one day. As your children get older there may be some toys that you want to keep for their children to play with like an old train set or American Girl dolls. If they are no longer interested in the item, but you are not ready to let go of it, box it up, and put it away for later.
Once you have decided on what to let go of and what to keep, pack up the items that can be donated and get rid of the rest.
After clean out, it is time to decide how you want to contain toys.
Be sure that you keep like things together — for instance all Shopkins items, American Girl dolls and their clothes, nerf guns and their bullets, lego sets, etc.
Another tip we use to keep board games intact is to keep them out of reach, because we’re more aware of when they are being played and can keep an eye out for any pieces that may go astray before putting the game away.
Make sure you have a place for everything. When toys have a “home” children put their toys away. As much as we may be overwhelmed with the mess and chaos of a child’s room, so are our little ones. Help them, and help yourself, by getting organized! Having the right organization tools will be a big help during the process — check out our blog for some of our favorite products and how we use them.
And, don’t worry too much about your kids getting upset about a missing toy or two. Our children have never been sad that we’ve gotten rid of something; they are always so excited to be able to see all the toys they actually have!
While you’re decluttering you can also take the opportunity to take inventory of what your kids already own, and then come up with some fun ideas for holiday gifts.