It's easy to quickly get overwhelmed by the amount of toys that come into the house 😭 Between holidays, birthdays, special occasions, grandparents and more, every year that goes by the kids room becomes more and more overwhelmed with toys that are rarely played with, require a great deal of energy to clean-up and eventually break down.
1) Get over your guilt
Guilt can sabotage your efforts as you try to down size. You are afraid the kids might miss the toys, you feel guilty that friends and family spent good money on the toys, you feel guilt that you have so much and yet still feel overwhelmed by it.
You are going to have to replace your guilt with the some new stories. For example; the truth of the matter is that studies show that kids are happier, healthier and enjoy more satisfying play time when they have fewer and more meaningful toys. This is powerful!! When you start to feel a twinge of guilt, just bring it back to this realization and allow it to power you through the clean out phase. Your kids will thank you and you will thank yourself!
2) Keep the toys that they truly love
I love to watch my boys play, and they really only have about 3 types of toys that they really really love to play with:
Everything else is just clutter that they trip over or that winds up all over the floor and has to be cleaned up. The first thing I did to reduce the clutter by about 90% was place two bins in the center of the room. THEN I did a first sweep WITH them and asked them to place all the things that they no longer play with or would want to donate into one bin, and place everything else into the other bin, they cut the clutter by about 50% just on their own - but it wasnt enough. I did a second sweep on my own and bagged up the toys that I knew they no longer played with or outgrew.
3) Plan a donate party
It is fun to plan to go together to donate the bags of no-longer-used toys to a thrift shop and then grab a pizza afterwards. It all depends on your own child - some are more possesive and emotionally attached to their things than others and it might be easier for you to just go stealth mode and drop them off alone. You can take it both ways but if you can convince them it's a good thing and something to get excited about then all the merrier!
4) Get out ahead of the influx
I was recently introduced to the conecpt of a fiver party. A fiver party is where in lieu of gifts, friends and family bring a five spot to the birthday party instead of toys so that you can have a fun experierence together later on-like going to the movies or going out to dinner.
I loved this idea and used it at Cruz's last birthday party but I didn't want him to miss out on the fun of opening presents as well, so I asked guests ( if they were going to bring something) and wanted it to be more than cash, that it be craft supplies or a book or a truck or car that he loved.
It was perfect!
5) Simplify and Enjoy
Simplify the kids room and fill it only with the things that they absolutely love! It makes such a difference in how they interact together when they are in their room playing and how engaged they become with their toys.
Too much clutter just brings stress. Planning out a thoughtful and magical play area is really fun and frankly, life changing.
Maple Box Kids is ALL about legacy toys and creating space for CONNECTION over COLLECTION. What kind of toys do your kids love?