As parents, there’s nothing more important than making your kids happy and living to see those smiles painted on their little faces. And for all we know, the best things that make them happy ‒ aside from milk, cookie, and a fun cartoon series ‒ are bunches of TOYS. Imagine how happy they are as they tear into birthday or Christmas presents, hoping what they would get were toys that they’ve asked Santa for all year long.
But sooner kids will grow. And you’d know it once you start seeing these old toys lying around the corners of the room, unloved and unplayed with. All my parents have been there. Trying to come home only for a bunch of scattered toys on the floor that are about to slip their butts down. And since most moms are self-proclaimed neat freaks, decluttering the toys at home is the first thing that comes to mind every time they get interrupted by these squanders at home. But as soon as you start decluttering the toys, you also end up feeling the pangs of guilt that suddenly every toy you try to get rid of becomes a beloved favorite.
So how do you throw away toys without being a mean parent to your sentimental kid? Easy. Below are some rules that I layout to make the decluttering sesh more fun and painless so that your kids won’t have to label you as a mean mom.
Educate your child about the importance of less.
Not all that are plenty are good and not all that are less are always bad. Let your kids know the benefits that they can get from having fewer toys at home. This way helps them understand the importance of practicing order and maintaining cleanliness at home. It also dodges your child from becoming slobs as they grow older. I swear, their future college roomies will thank you for this!
Create a new Birthday/Christmas tradition.
Using birthdays or Christmas as an opportunity to get your kids in on the decluttering process. Tell them that Christmas is coming and they will be receiving new toys so purging the old ones won’t be a problem. You can also create a new birthday or Christmas tradition where toys are not always the best presents that they can receive. Try to wrap other useful items such as clothes, shoes, books, and the like. This way helps them change their perspectives about the present.
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Consider quality over quantity.
Now that you’ve taken your child’s consent to declutter their toys, it’s time to decide which toys to purge and which ones to keep. Gather all the toys at home including the ones that are kept in the car, the basement, or the bathroom even. Separate the toys into category boxes: dolls, robots, board games, balls, and stuffed animals. Now go through each box and select the ones that need to be thrown away, sold, or donated. Start with the broken toys. Remind your kids that all toys with broken parts should be automatically decluttered. Of course, let them understand that they can no longer use something that’s already broken regardless if they loved them so much. Also, consider asking the following questions when selecting the toys to keep and dispose of:
- Do you outgrow this toy?
- Do you play with it often?
- Do you still need it?
- Do you want to share it with other kids?
Try to remove duplicates.
Some kids may have that Queen Elsa stuffed toy number 1, 2, 3, and so on. The first Elsa could be from your previous trip to Disneyland and the others could be the ones their aunties have given them on Christmas day. But really how many stuffed Elsas do your kids need to play with? Now, if you think all these stuffed toys are still in good condition, ask your child which among them is her favorite Elsa. Of course, do not forget to remind your kids that they can only keep one of their duplicate toys. Other toys that may have duplicates are:
- Baby Dolls
- Toy Cars
- Tea Cup Sets
- Kitchen Utensils
- Teddy Bears
- Puzzles/Board Games
- Barbie Dolls
- Play-doh Sets
Designate a space for the toys you want to keep.
Once you have divided the toys into categories such as to dispose, to donate, and to keep, it’s time to designate a particular space at home where you can place the toys that you and your child have desired to keep. You can use a treasure chest, a cabinet, a built-in shelf, a left-over bunk bed, or a small room.