Clear Out Clutter’s Top Toy Tidy Tips
1. Are the toys/clothes age appropriate?
This can be quite a quick process. Grab all the toys that your child has simply grown out of and make piles or label boxes with CHARITY, FAMILY, MEMORY BOX, RECYCLE/BIN.
I always aim to take charitable items to the shop the day I declutter or I put them straight into the boot of the car ready to take the next day so that the sorted items don’t end up sitting for weeks in the hall. If I think the local nursery may want them, I call them and drop them off that day. I have several little nieces and like to ask my relatives if they want any items from their older cousins rather than just turn up with toys or clothes that they simply don’t want. Taking a photo and wats app-ing it over can let them decide what they want, the rest then goes to charity or donated/sold.
2. Keep similar or same toys together
Toys such as Lego, Playmobil and Sylvanian families should be kept in one box and I’d recommend only allowing them to play with these toys once all other toys are out away due to all the little pieces. You can buy play mats for Lego or cheaper still, you can buy a builder’s plastering tray from your local B & Q like they do in nursery and reception classes. Also, have you ever stood on a rouge Lego piece?! Say no more! Keeping these toys contained stops pieces from getting lost and lessens arguments about who’s tidying it away! (I’m sure I’m not alone here…)
3. Do they play with or use the toy/game?
If the toy is accessible to them and they don’t play with it, donate it. Often, we can end up with multiple copies of the same book or game. You can re gift or donate it. It’s better that someone else enjoys it rather than it gathering dust in your home if it’s not used.
4. Toy rotation
Personally, I wasn’t a fan of this method. However, this works for many people. If you can access your loft easily, you can store labelled boxes with toys or games and bring them down every so often for your child to play with. If your child doesn’t show much interest in the toy then maybe you can decide whether the time is right to donate and create more space for you. It can be a good idea to hide away some toys given at Christmas and birthdays and bring them out at another time. I think this particularly applies to craft kits!
5. Let them sell unwanted toys and clothes that no longer fit
My children sell their unwanted items and they are allowed to keep the profit. I may list it for them as obviously we need to be careful with social media. Make sure that you have a box in which to keep instructions for toys in as it helps when selling.
6. Craft/art supplies
I know it’s tempting to have pretty boxes for everything but it’s much easier to have a clear plastic box for craft so you can see exactly what it contains. If you want to be super organised, I’d also suggest having separate smaller boxes that contain sequins, lolly sticks, glue sticks and cellotape etc. My own children were (and still are) arts and craft mad so I bought them a scrap book each so that they could decide which pieces they wanted to keep to stick into the book. They are now all neat and tidy in the memory boxes in the loft.