This is our proven way to simplify toys after the Holidays —
I know this says, ‘after the Holidays’ but we use this strategy year round and it works. It works, you guys! The reason I wrote specifically ‘after the Holidays’ is because I know that’s when kids get toys the most, and in our case Holidays are followed by Birthdays which means more toys. I do ask for experiences over toys, and clothes over toys but if we are being honest nothing excites kids like toys. It’s simple as that.
Anyways, getting back to decluttering the toys after the Holidays. We don’t have a playroom, so all the toys are in their shared bedroom. Yes, all three share a room and you can see their set up in this post HERE. The rule is they play with certain toys they pick, and others are hidden in storage boxes under their beds for rotation. We do rotation of toys about every three months or so, and they always have something to play with that they find interesting. The truth is, kids get bored of same toys over and over and also, they get overwhelmed when they have all the toys out.
Just before the Holidays they were all over Lego Duplo playing and building, making puzzles, cars are always there and character toys like PJ Masks, Ninja Turtles, etc. Just before NYE, because we open presents on NY, we stored away all the “old” puzzles, some bigger construction cars, blocks and a few more things that they each picked to store away. That way those will be out of the way for a few months, before they make a comeback.
Select a few toys to play with
We used to have all the toys out and what usually happened is they spilled all of their toys out and not play with anything. So a few years back, maybe three I started rotating toys for them and they love it!
I let them open all the toys for New Years and I let them go to town with all of them. Then they pick which ones they want to play with for right now, and the others I store away. We pull them out to rotate toys, or sometimes take over to grandma’s so when they are staying over they have something “new” and interesting to play with. This way all of their toys get used, and they don’t get overwhelmed with all the toys at once. Plus, they are more eager to clean up and pick up their toys when there is less. Oh, and we also have a rule that when they are done playing with one toy, for example legos, they need to be put back before they get another toy out.
Side Note: I always get a lot of questions from you guys how I get them to clean their toys, etc., and honestly the best advice I can give you is to stay consistent. When they’re done playing with one toy, for example magnets then you tell them to put those away before anything else can be brought out. At first, they may not listen but not giving in and staying consistent will work.
There is three of them, and being that our space is limited they each get to keep a set of “three” types of toys. For example, Anastasija has her dolls and doll house, her new kitchen accessories such as coffee maker and ice cream maker. Then Mateja gets to keep his cars, and his train tracks. Vasilije keeps his Super Mario figurines and legos. This way they all get what they love the most, but they also get to share each other’s toys.
Things like building blocks, magnets, books, etc. are a staple and simply stay around always. Also, new puzzles stay until they get bored, then I store them away. They become new in a few months.
Also, after the Holidays we have Birthdays. First, Anastasija then Mateja then Vasilije which means more toys and things to bring into home. Another reason why I love to declutter and simplify our home.
My advice for you
Personally, my advice for you would be to find a way to do the same that fits your family style. Maybe picking out a few toys they truly love to play with is not your thing, but rest assured that children are overwhelmed and less likely to play with their toys when they have so many in front of them. They are likely to enjoy their toys more when they have less in front of them to play.
Our space is limited as is, and rotating toys has worked so well for us. Clean up is easy, they actually with them and there is never big enough mess to overwhelm them or me.
Things that never leave our room
A few things that never leave the room are books. We love books and although I rotate some of the books, they just have their favorites and always grab for them even if we read a new book. We have books in Serbian and English. Then there are cars, all kinds of cars but they always stay because Mateja has been obsessed with cars since he was a baby and always, always plays with them. Then we have the play kitchen and all of the accessories. No matter what, they always end up playing with it. It has been the number one ever since Vasilije was little. And, last but not least we have magna-tiles and blocks. They don’t play with them on the daily, but they play often enough to keep them out. They are in a clear storage box under the bed and they just pull them out when they feel like playing with them.
How do you declutter and/or organize toys? Do your kids have all the toys out at once or do you have a strategy too?