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Decluttering Kid’s Toys Without Tears

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So both of my children have way too many toys, in my opinion. So many, that some toys don’t see the light of day for months. So their technique is to pull out every toy even if they have no intention of playing with it. The problem comes when it’s time to clean up all the toys and I hear “Ugh, mom!” “It’s too much for me to do by myself.” After those famous words, I realize it’s time to purge some of their toys.

Now, I am not one of those parents who waits until their kids fall asleep or go to school before decluttering and purging their toys. You might think this would be easier since you could just toss whatever you felt needed to go, but this plan will certainly backfire on you. Let’s say you decided to get rid of a toy that your son / daughter has rarely played with in weeks. Well, even though your child hasn’t played with that particular toy in weeks, it is one of his favorite toys. So the next time he is playing with his toys and he can’t find this toy, your son / daughter is going to come to you and ask if you know where their toy is located. He / she might even start to cry because after all it was one of his favorite toys. So then you explain to your child that you got rid of the toy because he didn’t play with it that much. Oh, here come the waterworks big time now! Then he / she starts to notice that some other toys are “missing” too. “How could you get rid of my toys?”, he cries. Well, it was easy because they had no sentimental value to you, but meant everything to your son / daughter.

So how can you prevent this scenario from happening in the first place? Well, you will need to get your child(ren) in on the action of purging their own toys. “My kids aren’t going to let go of one single toy.” Well, you will be quite surprised if you follow these simple steps.

Step 1 – Make a BIG deal about how your child is such a big girl / big boy. State to them that they are no longer a “baby” anymore.

Step 2 – After you “hype” them up about being a “big boy / big girl”, then pick out one (1) or two (2) “baby” toys and state “These toys are for babies!” “______________ (insert child’s name) is not a baby?” “_____________ is a big boy / big girl, right?” Automatically, most children will answer “Yes, I am a big boy / big girl” and will easily part with those particular toys. If your child is having a hard time letting go of the “baby” toys, sit down with your child and ask questions to find out why they are having a hard time parting with a toy.

Step 3 – If your child has a lot of the same types of toys (ex. Trucks) then set a limit on the total amount of trucks he / she can keep.
You could state to your child that he / she can keep 4 trucks if they currently have 10 trucks. Another option would be to allow your child to fill one bin full of toys, but anything that does not fit in the bin will have to be given away.

Step 4 – Have your child decide on which toys to keep and which toys to purge.
Now it’s time for your child to think long and hard about which toys he / she absolutely really likes over the other toys. Sometimes it will be a matter of a minute or two before a decision is made or it could be several minutes. Give your child all the time he / she needs to process this decision.

Step 5 – Repeat all steps, as needed, until your child has gone through all of their toys.

Step 6 – Celebrate with your child for doing such a great! Now get the toys out of your home ASAP before your child has a change of mind!  LOL

I hope using these steps will help you and your child purge their toys without any problems. Do you have any other suggestions? Please feel free to leave a comment. If you would prefer someone else to work with your child(ten) in order to purge their toys, please don’t hesitate to contact Mess or Blessed? for your organizational needs.

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