Inside: If you’re drowning in toys, you’re not alone. Toys bombard us from every direction. Here are 6 tips to reduce frustration from having too many toys.
I’d just about had enough. Toys from grandparents, toys from goodie bags, and “treasures” from friends on the playground… The overabundance of toys in our home was getting to the point where I was ready to scream.
If you feel like you’re drowning in toys, you’re not alone. It is something many of us struggle with because cheap, easy-to-manufacture toys bombard us from every direction.
A study from the University of Toledo found too many toys led to less valuable playtime. They reported, “An abundance of toys present reduced quality of toddlers’ play.” In other words, the more toys a child is presented with, the less creative and independent their playtime is.
In this post, I’ll walk you through some things you can do to reduce frustration from having too many toys.
Overwhelmed by too many toys? Here’s how to fix it.
#1: Understand where your frustration is coming from.
Is your frustration with too many toys or having to pick up all the toys?
My guess is your frustration is less about the toys, and more about being frustrated you’re the only one who picks up toys.
In our house, we talk about how cleaning up the house isn’t my job as the mom. It’s a responsibility for all of us because we all live in this house.
Sure, I clean more than any other person in this household, but not because it’s my sole responsibility. It’s because I spend more time at home than my husband and I am generally more capable than my kids. 😜
But it’s everyone’s responsibility to clean up the house because we all live here and benefit from living here.
#2: Determine how many toys your kids need
If you’re trying to figure out how many toys your kids should have, here are a couple of guidelines.
First, are there any toys that are broken? Those are a no brainer — throw them out. Get rid of the armless doll, board games missing half their pieces or those sticky hands that pick up every piece of dust they come in contact with. Throw them out!
Next look for toys no longer being played with. These may be baby toys your toddler wants nothing to do with. Or it could be birthday gifts that quickly were tossed aside.
The last thing to look for is toys your child loves…but has multiples of.
In our house, that’s the bin full of vehicles my boys love driving on the floor, on the wall, and on my shoulder. 🤷♀️ They love those vehicles.
But in all honesty, do they need thousands of them? Nah, a small handful would probably be more than enough.
#3: Declutter toys
When it comes to getting rid of too many toys, there are three main ways to do it:
I throw out broken toys and donate toys in excellent condition. I no longer mess with selling toys.
A few years ago, we were on a mission to pay off our mortgage, and we sold a lot of our stuff to help pay down debt. When it came to selling toys, it was extremely difficult to do and never made much money.
Now, I’d much rather donate them so they can go to some kids who may not have any.
If you have toys that are popular and expensive to buy new, you might try to sell them. Otherwise, save yourself the heartache and donate them.
#4: Develop a simple toy organization system.
When I say develop a simple playroom organization system, I mean “simple”. If creating an intricately themed playroom is your jam, then by all means, decorate away.
But a lot of us are fighting to keep our heads above water and intricate systems that require a design team and a full-time housekeeper is not what we need right now.
There are two basic ways to organize toys:
- One large container. That can be a toy box or a large basket.
- Cubbies or individual bins.
We use cubbies because it’s a simple way to keep pieces together. We have a cubby for DUPLOs, one for wooden blocks, and another for the thousands of toy vehicles that live in our home.
This system is relatively easy to maintain.
Pick a system that works best for you and your family. Your goal is to pick something that is easy to maintain (preferably by your kids).
#5: Teach your kids how to clean up independently.
You’re going to hate me for this, but one of the best ways to teach your kids how to clean up toys is by cleaning up with them.
Ugh, I know! It’s the worst! If you don’t want to be the only one to clean up, you still have to be one of the ones to clean up???! Bahhh!
As the old saying goes, “More is caught than taught.” Meaning, your kids will learn more from watching what you do than from hearing what you say.
You can talk at them all day until you’re blue in the face, but they will learn quicker if you get in the trenches and clean up with them.
#6: Focus on progress, not perfection.
Real talk for a minute. The social media comparison trap is a real thing. It’s so easy to see everyone’s highlight reel and assume it’s real life.
Don’t compare your everyday life to someone’s highlight reel. We all struggle with something and a lot of people aren’t comfortable sharing their struggles.
Struggling with something doesn’t make you weak or bad. It makes you human.
If you feel your kids have too many toys, work on taking the steps outlined above. With each completed step, celebrate it!
Perfection is a myth, it doesn’t exist. So stop striving for it and instead celebrate the progress you are making every day.
You can do this!
You don’t have to be overwhelmed by too many toys. You can take small steps every day towards living in a home you love.
Right now, I want you to pick one thing you’re going to do to reduce the amount of frustration caused by having too many toys.
Are you going to declutter toys? Or teach your kids to clean up independently?
Pick one thing and implement it immediately. Let me know in the comments what you picked and if it helped decrease overwhelm.
You got this!