Toys – They have a way of taking the whole house over. In the beginning, everything starts with the best intentions. Of course, you love your children and want to do everything to make them happy. However, you are surrounded by scattered Lego pieces, tiny car models, and Barbie dolls before you realise it. All of this makes your house look like a mess, makes your children bored, and makes you nutty as a fruitcake. Does this sound familiar? Do not worry – you are not the only parent who struggles with mountains of toys. All households with children have this ‘problem.’ Luckily, this one is easy to fix. Keep on reading to see how to avoid having too many toys in your house and how to, ultimately, make everyone happy.
Most parents avoid removing their children’s toys because they think they comfort children. But a couple of toys can be just as comforting as hundreds of them. Thus, do not be afraid to clear up the space. Start small. For instance, remove toys your children have outgrown or those they no longer play with. Then, get rid of multiples. And, finally, get rid of the junk – broken toys and those missing a piece, mixed-up puzzles, Happy Meal prizes, and party favours. Of course, when we say get rid of toys, we do not mean throwing them into the trash no. Toys deserve second homes, so donate them to charity or give them to your friends with younger children.
You know how the expression goes – out of sight, out of mind. This expression applies perfectly to children and their toys. They will not play with the toys if they do not see them. Instead, they will pull out every single toy from the toy box, play for half an hour, and then leave everything lying on the floor. To prevent this from happening again, you can put all the toys on display. This way, your children will see all their toys and get the one they want (it works every time). So, try to find some pretty kid-friendly shelves and put all the toys on display there. Also, if you are implementing some changes in your kid’s room, try to make them so it spurs creativity and foster learning.
Of course, to do this step, you must first complete the previous one, that is, to declutter. Otherwise, the entire room will still be a mess. If you have difficulties getting rid of your children’s toys, you can always consider placing them in a storage unit, for example. But be careful. There is the right way to store them if you want them to be safe and sound for years. Thus, do some research before you put those toys into boxes.
All children get bored of playing with the same toy. Because of this, as a parent, you are forced to keep buying new ones, which is a never-ending circle. Luckily, there is a way to fix this and avoid having too many toys in your home! For instance, you can organise a toy rotation every couple of weeks. It will eliminate the clutter, make you happy, excite your child and make them happy too. So, change the toys occasionally or whenever you notice that your child is getting bored. However, do not apply this rule to your child’s favourite toys, like the stuffed teddy bears they grew up with. These kinds of toys make the child feel safe and secure, and by taking them away, you may make them feel scared and confused.
Promote a culture of sharing and collaboration among your child’s friends and classmates. Organise toy swap events where children can exchange toys they no longer play with, allowing them to experience new playthings without needing constant purchasing. Additionally, consider establishing a borrowing system with other parents, enabling your child to temporarily enjoy different toys while reducing the number of toys in your home.
Parents buy children’s books as much as they buy toys. However, those same books end up on a shelf your child cannot reach in almost all scenarios. It will result in one thing – having too many books no one can use. So, try to implement some easy storage ideas (preferably with your child) where you will make all the books you have bought more accessible to your little one. If you do not have a place for storage in the room, consider installing some easy-to-reach bookshelves here and there. Hopefully, this will encourage your child to read, write, and amuse them. And, remember – do not buy new books until your child has read with at least two or three older ones. Moreover, if necessary, apply the rotation rule to books as well!
Emphasise Experiences Over Material Possessions
Encourage your children to participate in activities and outings that foster learning and create lasting memories. You can shift the focus away from material possessions by prioritising experiences such as family trips, visits to museums, or engaging in outdoor adventures. That reduces the desire for excessive toy acquisition and cultivates a sense of exploration, curiosity, and appreciation for the world around them.
Just because children get excited whenever they see a new toy in the store, it does not mean you have to buy it instantly. It will create an avalanche of toys in every room. Thus, try to talk to them about it. Of course, talking to children about not buying new toys can be extremely difficult. So, if talking does not do the trick, consider other approaches.
You can, for instance, tell your children that they will get new toys only for birthdays, holidays, or after a job well done. By knowing when they will receive toys, children will wait for that date. Moreover, this will encourage your little ones always to behave and maybe help you with some chores because they know that toys are a reward for finishing them.
Prioritise Quality over Quantity
Invest in high-quality toys that are durable and have lasting play value instead of purchasing numerous inexpensive toys that may lose their appeal quickly or break easily. Quality toys tend to be more engaging, promote skill development, and can be enjoyed by multiple age groups. This approach reduces the number of toys required and ensures your children a higher level of satisfaction and enjoyment.
Teach your children the value of giving back to the community by involving them in the process of donating toys to charitable organisations. Discuss the importance of helping others who may be less fortunate, and apply your children in selecting the toys they wish to donate. By doing so, you instil a sense of empathy and generosity in your children while decluttering your home.
Finally, if you want to avoid having too many toys, all the rules you set apply to grandparents and relatives. Therefore, set up a toy-limit direction for them too!