If quarantine has shown me anything, it’s that we can make do with some much less than what we think we need. I’ve taken this time to go through closets, cabinets, pantries, and even our fridge to take note of the necessities we use and to clear out the stuff that is just taking up space. I’ve talked previously about maintaining a minimalist playroom but let’s chat specifically about toys! A successful minimalist toy area is one that is organized. If you don’t have a good organizational system, things can quickly get out of hand, and that’s how toys end up all over your home. Here are some helpful tips for decluttering toys around your house!
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1. Pull Everything Out!
The first tip is to pull everything out and take a survey of what toys you have. Everything in one spot may seem daunting but it’s so important to take note of what you have, what you can toss (get rid of those broken items!), or donate.
2. Group Similar Toys Together
Once you have an idea of what you are going to keep, decide which toys should be stored together. A good rule is that you will put similar toys together. You might put all of the Barbie dolls together, all of the Legos together, all of the small characters together, and so forth.
Legos are the one thing I always get questions about. We store ours in small plastic bins with labels so the kids know what’s in them. I’ve had these bins for years, they are sturdy and when the kids stop playing with Legos we can repurpose them or donate them!
3. Find spots to accommodate the toys
You don’t want to encounter a situation where you have toys that have no home and no place to be. Even if you have a child who is willing to put away toys, there would be no place to do so. Make a plan on where exactly you will store every item.
Before going to get additional storage, make sure you have the final pile of toys that are played with on a regular basis. Once you have the items you will keep, look within your own space for storage options before going out to buy more. If you need to invest in storage, look for innovative products such as storage containers that mount on a ceiling if you need extra room. Get creative! You can use boxes, plastic drawers, wood storage sets, empty dresser drawers, blanket chests, and more to store the toys.
Here’s a great example! My daughter plays with her play kitchen every single day and has a great collection of play food. I keep these in a wire basket I spray painted lovely rose gold and she knows this is where all her play food can be kept!
4. Label everything
You want your child to have a clear understanding of the places that store the toys. Make sure that every box and container is clearly labeled. If your child cannot yet read, then you can print out a picture of the item and tape that to the front of the container or drawer.
I have used this trusty Brother label maker for years!
5. Make sure everything gets put away
This is so important to decluttering and making it last! No matter how great an organizational system you create, it won’t if the children do not know to put their toys away when they have finished playing with them. It should be a habit that the kids immediately put their toys away before moving on to the next toy. Make sure that the children understand where everything goes, and it will become a habit. Practice with them and talk about the importance. My kids are old enough to understand the frustration of looking for a lost toy. They’ve started to be aware that if they aren’t diligent in putting toys back they will inevitably forget where they last left them.
The better you are at keeping the toys organized, the less you will have to worry about distracting clutter. Use the above tips to keep the organization in your home and to inspire yourself to continue decluttering toys during quarantine!