My triplets turned 14 a couple weeks ago (yes, the adage is true – time flies!), so it’s been a minute since I’ve written about decluttering toys. I haven’t stepped on a Lego in years and I can’t remember the last time I threw up in my hands in exasperation over a floor covered in dress-up clothes and plastic ponies. Yes, my kids still produce clutter, but now it’s more of the “dirty socks + phone charger + random school folders” variety, so you know, I’m not actually sure if we’ve made progress. 😂
However, I know that many of my readers are still in the toy clutter phase, so I wanted to share some resources – and popular past blog posts – that might help you create more peace and calm in the toy phase of your life.
Tip #1: Reconsider the Toy Room
I used to lament my lack of a toy room. I thought they were necessary. I thought a room dedicated solely to toys would solve the toy clutter problem completely. I was wrong.
In fact, as my kids progressed through childhood, I realized that my LACK of my toy room was actually a huge blessing! It forced me to incorporate toys into the main parts of our home in minimal, simple, and meaningful ways. This resulted in more playtime and less stress for this mama (hence, less stress for everybody).
If you’d like to read more about why you don’t need a toy room, click here to read my popular past blog post, “Why You Don’t Need a Toy Room.”
Tip #2: Follow Rose’s Toy-Purging Rules
If you didn’t start out your parenting life as a minimalist (I surely didn’t!) then you’ve probably found yourself wondering, “How the heck do I get rid of these toys without causing my kids trauma, offending my well-meaning in-laws, or feeling guilty about all the waste?”
If any of the above resonates, you’d likely benefit from adopting some toy-purging rules. (Lucky for you, I have some you can borrow!)
My three basic rules for purging toys are:
- Purge like the devil is on your heels by asking yourself questions about what types of toys matter to you.
- Set spatial limits
- Adopt a “less is more” attitude
If you’d like more details about these rules, including a list of my 5 favorite toy-purging questions, click here to read my most popular blog post ever (seriously, I can’t believe how many hits this one still gets each month!), called “3 Toy-Purging Rules for Less Pickup & More Play.”
Tip #3: Use an App
We live in a society where there is an app for everything. Toy decluttering is no exception.
You might be familiar with buy/sell/trade apps like Offer Up or Facebook Marketplace. Both of these are great ways to give your excess toys a new home – and perhaps make some cash, too! I also love Buy Nothing Groups because they allow you to give toys away for free to other families who can use them.
Recently, I learned about a new app called Toy Trader, which allows parents to trade outgrown toys in a simple, cashless manner. Users list items their children no longer need, sell them for in-app coins (called “Zennies” because they will give you more Zen!), and then use these coins to shop in the app. I communicated with Julie, the app’s creator, and I really loved her focus on sustainability and reuse.
Like many new apps, Toy Trader is working to build an audience, so they’d love support from early adopters. Click here to download their app and support a culture of reducing waste and reusing good things. We need more apps like this!
I hope those three tips help some of you busy parents who are full-on in the toy struggle. If you have a tip or idea for handling toy clutter, I’d love for you to email me personally at [email protected] and let me know!