If you’ve got kids under the age of 5, I totally understand if your house is overrun with toys.
It seems to creep up on you doesn’t it?
One day you look round and your house has become one big shrine to Pepper Pig.
Although understandable; it doesn’t have to be this way and I can assure you it’s easily fixed.
Follow my 4 step below to help you declutter:
- The Big Declutter
The process begins with the “big tidy up.”
It’s up to you to decide if you bring the kids in at this stage or not.
The Big Tidy Up is when you whizz around the house and collect every toy that you child doesn’t love and get rid of it (charity, tip, sell or gift).
I stress doesn’t love.
Harsh but needed.
You may decide to bring your kids in at this stage and explain to them about “giving” their beloved toys to other children who need them and can they help you?
If it’s going to open a can of “tantrum worms” proceed without them.
As the Parent, you know your children so you decide which option will be the best for you.
This stage is like ripping the plaster off a wound.
The quicker the better.
I stress that it’s vital you do this Big Declutter properly.
So, to repeat:
- Whiz around the house and grab the toys that are not loved by your children
- Pile in one room
- Immediately action: charity, tip, gift to someone or sell.
- The Big Clean
Toys are a hot bed for bacteria.
So, grab all the toys left and bring them into the kitchen.
Clean them thoroughly with bacterial spay!
- Find a Home
Try to bring your kids in at this stage.
Plan the storage solutions together; that way your children will feel involved and be more likely to maintain the system.
Decluttering Rule 101 is that everything in your home needs to have a home.
This rule applies to kids toys more than any other category.
It’s all about containment with children’s toys; you have to keep them contained (stored) to certain areas of the home otherwise they will take over the house.
The best option is to create a play room if you have the space; if not find suitable storage in your children’s bedroom.
Storage ideas? Try Pinterest for inspiration.
Everything toy must have a home though, by this I mean:
- it must be hidden away / neatly displayed.
- the storage solution must have easy access and be easy to use.
The best storage solutions I can find are shown in the links below:
- The Two Rules
The two rules are simple and super effective:
- The toys are always stored in their agreed home unless being played with
- Every afternoon prior to tea; all toys are to be put back into their home. No exception. This will become second nature to them after a month of prompting them!
It depends on the age of your children, but definitely from age 4 upwards putting the toys back is something they can be taught to do on their own.
Below 4, they will need your help
Advice that will help you:
- It’s important to allow kids to be kids and to play and make a mess. But boundaries need to be installed re the tidy up.
- Educate your children on tidying up. Start a reward system for jobs well done. Tidying is a life skill that they will fall back on for the rest of their lives so it’s important.
- Teach them Two Rules.
- Please be ruthless. Children don’t need millions of toys and only generally play with one or two anyway. So, don’t feel tempted to keep toys “just in case”.
- Children forget. They have short attention spans, so unless you are throwing away their night night blanket or favourite toy; they won’t miss it.
- Tell friends and family not to buy your children gifts unless pre-approved by you. Explain it’s because you are keeping the clutter down. Most people will understand this.
- Birthday parties tend to yield millions of gifts; either write on the invite that you don’t want gifts OR on ask parents to buy a gift and donate to a Children’s home of your choice OR on receipt of gifts; covertly keep some back from your child and either give to charity or keep for Christmas or re-gift.
- Educate your children on the importance of moderation and appreciation. Discuss how there are children around the world less fortunate than themselves.
- Install a rule: Every time you buy a new toy; you must give one away.
- Carry out a big declutter every 6 months.
- Practise what you preach. Children will replicate what their parents do.
I hope this has helped