You walk into your child’s playroom or bedroom and grimace. If you’re lucky, you haven’t tripped over anything or pierced the bottom of your foot on the sharp edge of a toy. It’s a mess and new toys only makes the mess worse. The good news is that with a few proven tips and strategies you can declutter the toys and enjoy a mess-free space.
1. Create a Rotation
One of the problems with children’s toys is that kids collect them like your floor lamp collects dust. Each day there seems to be new toys in the pile, origin unknown. Chances are your child doesn’t even play with all of them regularly. There are probably some toys that your child hasn’t touched in months.
Grab a large bin, or two, and fill them with toys your child hasn’t played with recently. Tuck them away in a safe and out-of-the-way space. You don’t want your child digging in the bin and pulling items out. Once a month, pull the bin out and put those toys in your child’s play space. Then refill the bin with the toys your child has been playing with. Sit back and watch what happens. They’ll start playing with those tucked-away toys as if they’re brand new. Your child will experience more creative playtime and you’ll have created a system to reduce the toy clutter in their room.
There will of course be a few treasured toys that never get packed away. However, the majority of the toys should enter this monthly rotation.
2. Create Storage Systems
Create a place for everything and teach your child to put things away. The largest clutter culprits are often the small toys. Doll clothes, blocks, toy cars, and action figures are problematic. Small bins will do the trick. Place a photo or label on the bin so your child knows where to put the toys back when they’re done.
3. Make Clean-Up Fun
At the end of playtime, have a five minute clean-up session. You might even want to create a clean-up song. Sing the song and require your child to clean up after themselves. Make it a game. Challenge them to clean up in a specified amount of time. If they beat the clock, they win a prize.
Sometimes children test their parents. If your child is unwilling to put their toys away, take away all of the toys that aren’t cleaned up. Stick to your word. Don’t be swayed by tears and tantrums. Children need to learn to be responsible for their belongings.
5. Get Rid of It
Finally, your child will undoubtedly outgrow toys. As they do, create a plan to get rid of them. You can donate the toys to charities. You can also resell them at used toy stores. Just like you clean out their outgrown clothes, also create a system to get rid of the toys they’ve outgrown.
Your home is your sacred space. By teaching your child how to organize their belongings and care for their space, you’re teaching them valuable life lessons and ensuring that your child’s toy room is a safe and clutter-free place to play.