Before Christmas is the perfect time to go through the kids bedrooms, playroom and cubby house to declutter. Decluttering their toys allows space for new toys and gadgets that they will get as gifts from you, family, friends and Santa. It is also a great opportunity for them to enjoy the gift of giving by donating toys in good condition that they no longer want or need.
Every family is going to be different in regards to how many toys they have, want and receive. Each child is also different. Some kids do play with a wide range of things while others tend to like to play with less and get attached to just a few items.
The first decision you need to make when decluttering toys is will you child or children be with you to help make the decisions. Only you know you child well enough to know if they will be a help or a hinderance during the process. The general rule of thumb is younger kids, do it without them, but as they get older it is a great teaching tool to be able to have them help and make decisions about what will stay, what will be stored, what is rubbish and what should be donated. I know in our house that all decluttering is done while the kids are at school as they want to keep EVERYTHING!
Next, know your categories.
Keep pile- these are the favourite, regularly played with toys. They’re age appropriate and in good working condition.
Storage pile– this is for special sentimental pieces that will be kept as keepsakes. It’s also for high quality items that may be used for a younger or future sibling or relative.
Sell pile- if you have items that are expensive or high quality and in good condition, consider selling them to help with the cost of Christmas. This also helps another family that can get the item at a good 2nd hand price instead of purchasing new at full cost.
Donation pile- anything that is in good working order, that can still be played with and enjoyed by a child but that your child has outgrown or no longer uses. You will be able to explain to your child, even if they’re quite young that as they no longer use these toys, you can take them together and donate them so other children can enjoy them.
Rubbish pile- anything that is too damaged, broken, missing pieces etc can just be thrown out. We know kids seem to accumulate a lot of trinket type items. Resist the urge to just throw these back in the bottom of the toy box. Throw them in the rubbish instead.
Finally, when putting the toys back, try to keep them organised. Starting off with everything in a set place allows children to see exactly what they have and enjoy it, and learn the responsibility of putting things back where they belong. We have some great storage solutions here.
It’s also a great time to clean anything going back into rooms and cubbies like tables, chairs and storage. Remember to give your helpers the added incentive of “making room for new toys” if they start to grumble about cleaning or not want to part with things they no longer use.
Now that we are well and truly back into the school year and daily grind, it’s easy for parental guilt to sink in.We’re so busy with work, life and endless to-do lists, we’re exhausted, and playing with our kids is not always our top priority. And it shouldn’t always be,
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