Dealing with the Christmas aftermath, many parents swear this is the year they’ll declutter kids’ toys. Maybe you think having fewer toys would be a nice thing for your family but you need more motivation. After all, does decluttering toys mean you’re turning into the Grinch?
By Sarah Mueller, Contributing Writer
In our house, we’ve learned how to declutter toys together with our four boys. Here are some of the benefits we’ve realized, plus some we’re still working on!
14 reasons to declutter and cut back on toys
1. Clean-up is easier.
Best. Reason. Ever. With fewer toys, a child can easily clean up his bedroom, even at age 3 or 4. Get a handy bedroom cleaning checklist for kids here.
2. Kids may spend more time outside or doing other things like reading and drawing.
3. Kids learn to focus and play for longer periods.
Sure, kids get distracted (and when they do, we use essential oils to help them calm and focus). However, when a child is engaged in imaginative play without being distracted by endless toy clutter, he’ll play longer and more happily.
4. Kids will actually play more if they have fewer toys.
It’s counter-intuitive, but true. When there are too many toys available, kids can’t pick anything and so they don’t. Fewer toys narrow down the choices and make it easier to pick something to play with.
5. You’ll need less storage space.
No need for toy rotations or intricate color-coded Lego storage systems. I’m all about having fun toy storage solutions, but it’s even better if you have less to store and organize.
6. Kids learn to consider their own purchases carefully.
My 4-year-old chose to buy some new Rescue Bots with his Christmas money. He spent a long time considering his options and had to wait for me to return something else so he’d have enough for the toy he wanted. I was proud of how he showed patience while he waited for his order to arrive.
7. You’ll be more thoughtful in their purchase of new toys.
You’ll ask yourself, “Do we really want this coming into the house now that we’ve finally decluttered?” And this thoughtfulness may extend to other areas of your life.
8. Kids are more creative.
Open-ended playthings foster more creative play than do toys that do all the thinking for kids.
9. Kids learn to be content with what they have if they aren’t expecting frequent new toys. I love how Erin’s family gives each child 3 presents each Christmas. I’m sure the little girls loved each of the carefully chosen gifts under the tree.
10. Kids learn to find new uses for the playthings that remain.
A playsilk can be a dress-up cape, a picnic blanket, a curtain for a puppet show or used to play peek-a-boo. How’s that for a multi-tasker?!
11. You’ll save money.
This might not be a primary motivation for having fewer toys, but it sure is a big benefit. You’ll save on the toys themselves, storage solutions for toys, repairs and replacements and batteries.
12. Kids learn to take good care of their toys.
For instance, if there are only one or two special dolls, they’ll be treated with greater care than if there are a dozen.
13. Your home and family will be more peaceful.
If you’re overwhelmed by the clutter, maybe your child is too. Decluttering toys can bring a refreshing calmness to your home.
14. A home can only hold so many things.
If you’re drowning in toys, it’s probably time to declutter.
How many toys is too many?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. The answer will depend on how much space you have, what your children enjoy and how much energy and patience you all have for cleaning up.
Does this mean you never buy any new toys?
No, but hopefully it means that you’ll carefully consider new purchases. We’ve had a lot of success with these non-toy gift ideas for our kids. Gifts like experiences, outings, presents for the whole family and consumable things don’t add clutter and often are more memorable than toys!
Decide why you want to declutter the toys.
I’ve always found that once you discover why you want to do something, it’s much easier to accomplish. In fact, once you find your reason it may even be impossible NOT to get it done because you’ll have all the motivation you need.