Have you ever wondered how your friend who has 3 kids always keeps a tidy home? And you feel bad that you can´t keep your home like hers?
As a professional organizer I often get asked:
“How can I declutter the toys fast so I can just have my home tidy?” or “How often should you declutter your kids’ toys”?
Unless you are getting a friend or a professional organizer to help you, my one big tip to declutter toys is to do it consistently and make it a habit by following these simple steps below.
Why declutter toys consistently:
Children are little versions of us. Our brains are restricted when surrounded by chaos, a messy desk restricts our productivity, and too many open browsers distract us from our best working selves. Children are the same, they will have trouble focusing in a bedroom crammed with toys. They will never play with many of them and you are left wondering why on earth should you bother paying for them in the first place!
How to declutter: Steady eddy wins the race.
These are the steps to declutter for children under 8 years old.
1. Observe to see what toys to keep
When your child is playing notice what he/she lifts up and plays with and what he simply pushes aside. During a week take out different boxes with different toys and see what he/she plays with the longest what makes him happy. Take note of books too, which books take his interest and that they want you to read and which ones you haven´t opened in months? Make sure your books and toys are all accessible to the child during this process.
2. Play, purge, and simplify your toys.
Take moments over a week when you are sitting down playing with your child with his/her toys and start to place things into a carrier bag that you know they don´t play with from step 1. Put the carrier bag behind you, less visible to the child and don´t mention anything to your child about where the toy is going. If they reach for a toy that you have put into the carrier bag let them take it out. In most cases, the child will automatically disregard it within minutes.
Keep the carrier bag close to hand (but out of reach of the child) so every time you sit down to play with your kid you can easily reach it or easily drop a few toys into it. The beauty of decluttering this way over the course of a few weeks means you are also playing with your child whilst clearing space.
Top Tip: It is understandable that at times it’s really hard to donate toys/books, especially if your child is young. Try to think of a close relative or friend who you see often and has children that you can give these toys to. It will make you feel much better knowing where the toys are going.
3. Once full, it goes.
When the carrier bag is full of toys and books it’s time it leaves the house. Try to do this immediately and if not store it somewhere you can see it (so you don´t forget about it) but out of reach from your child. Have a good friend or relative that will take these items and if not drop them at your nearest donating point.
Decluttering doesn´t have to be a huge ordeal that you have to take the day off to get it done right. For me, the thought of doing this is more overwhelming than the toy clutter itself. If you follow these 3 simple steps above decluttering can be fun and will release you (and your child!) from the burden of toy clutter.
Professional Home Organizer